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If you have a notable inability to make plants grow – or worse, find yourself throwing out scores of withered house plants after unsuccessful attempts; then you’re probably suffering from a really bad case of black thumb. When you have the tendency to fail as a gardener, chances are you’ve resigned yourself to life surrounded by fake plastic plants. But there are hard-to-kill plants and succulents that can survive even the most extreme events of black thumb.
Whether it’s a constant scenario of forgetting to water plants or you’re just after something a little low maintenance because you’re new to the whole ‘gardening’ experience, there’s no need to miss out on greenery around the home and office. Here’s our top easy-care plants and succulents that are hard to kill – even for the seriously notorious plant killer!
As succulents, Zebra Haworthias are qualified survivors. They are stunning in form so complement any home or office perfectly with dark green foliage and bright white stripes resembling a zebra-like appearance. Ideal for window sills, Haworthias are small and slow growing plants which come in a variety of options making them a top pick for modern decorating styles. Haworthia Fasciata, the Pearl Plant and the Star Window Plant are part of this succulent family, all producing flowers over time too.
Very similar to the Haworthias are Aloe Plants – one of the most commonly known household plants. Winner of the hardiest plant award in hard-to-kill plant experiments, the Aloe grows rather quickly and produces the famous aloe vera gel in its leaves; great for sunburns, as a skin moisturiser or a healthy boost to the digestive system. Because the gel of these plants can be purchased in chemists as has so many great uses, it’s no wonder why it makes the best household plant. Different types of these plants can also be sought and thrive best in sunlight.
A hardy version of the popular Japanese Bonsai, Jade Bonsais have spectacular glossy leaves and are some of the easiest succulents to grow. They can flourish in the garden, indoor/outdoor pots or a large bonsai container. If you let it, Jade Bonsais will grow into a small tree without much water and sprouts small white flowers which look great against the shiny olive-green leaves. These succulents don’t like bright sunlight so are ideal for the office. The only thing you will need to ensure is its planted in rich soil with proper drainage. Jade Bonsais are also said to bring good luck.
Also known as the Mother of Pearl Plant, the Ghost Plant is extremely drought tolerant and grows well in gardens or in pots with barely moist soil. Perfect for the forgetful gardener, Ghost Plants bloom easily in bright spots and can be propagated with a simple snip of a leaf. As a succulent type, these silvery-blue perennial plants are best grown over a longer period (3 or more years). They can also be found in flash whites, bright pinks and lavender colours.
Image Credit: liz west
As far as hard-to-kill hanging houseplants go, the String (or chain) of Hearts is a definite winner. Popular for its durability and its heart-shaped leaves, these hanging vines are marbled in a pinkish-green colour. When grown outdoors the plant’s flowers will attract hummingbirds making it a great addition to any garden, but they work well as inside plants too in bright light spaces. The String of Hearts can withstand neglect, dry environments, air and drought and simply requires good soil with drainage to thrive.
As close to fake plastic plants as you can get, without going tacky, Rubber Plants were huge in the 70s. Making a comeback though in today’s generation (as all vintage things do), their leaves can change colour when grown in lots of light. Rubber Plants can’t stand to be watered too much and thrive best in indirect light. If you’re opting for these hard-to-kill plants, make sure you let the soil completely dry out before watering again.
For those wanting something on the larger side, Kentia Palms are great for achieving the size you want without the hassle of upkeep. These palms are slower growers, so don’t expect it huge too soon and are best grown in indirect sunlight. Kentia Palms should only be watered when the top layer of soil has completely dried out and work great as indoor and outdoor plants. They aren’t fussy about humidity and will only need to a trim once or twice a year when any leaves turn brown.
Another fantastic hanging plant is the Burro’s Tail. With a busy appearance that resembles bunches of grapes, these multi-layered plants add a new dimension to any dull looking space. And best of all they’re super easy to look after. Also known as the Jelly Bean Plant, Burro’s Tails are designed to grow in a hanging basket and enjoy medium to high amounts of sunlight. They don’t need much watering and because its leaves fall off easily at touch, are best kept in higher places away from children and pets.
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Manic Botanic – Perth based florists with a range of hard-to-kill plants and succulents ideal for any home or office environment. You can catch Jayde on Google+.