When it comes to making selections for indoor plants, I like to stick with plants that have the least likelihood of causing me a guilt trip due to an untimely demise. In other words, show me the plants that are relatively easy to care for which can handle just a wee bit (or a lot) of neglect. I am also more drawn to plants which feature showy displays of blooms because I have a tendency to forget that there are foliage plants that are just as striking, if not more so, than their flowering counterparts.
I'm sure I'm not alone in these sentiments, so let's take a moment to review the 10 often overlooked, but foolproof, foliage plants that won't put your green thumb reputation in too much jeopardy.
Chinese evergreen - This plant literally has my name on it as it possesses a high threshold of tolerance for fluctuating light, humidity and watering conditions. Chinese evergreen is practically dubbed "the" houseplant for busy people who are almost too busy for plants. This plant features dark green leaves patterned with silver and, if you provide it with enough light, you'll get a bonus: calla-lily-like blooms!
Snake plant - No need to worry about a bite from this snake. It can handle a bit of neglect, but it thrives the best when kept in a medium bright spot with regular watering. The leaves of snake plant are stiff, upright and edged in silver, gray or gold.
Purple passion plant - If you have a passion for the color purple, you'll love this velvet plant. The foliage looks and even feels like velvet with its dark green leaves covered in soft purple hairs. Purple passion plant is ideally situated in a hanging basket or a pot with a trellis due its vining nature. A bright spot and regular watering is all that is needed to keep the passion alive.
Cast iron plant - This plant lives up to its name, as it is one tough plant that has the mettle to withstand low light and humidity and a wide range of temperatures. The cast iron plant may not be the showiest plant on this list, but this lush, leafy evergreen will still have a commanding presence with its long, oval-shaped pointed dark green leaves.
Spider plant - You can let this trailing plant, with large arching grass-like leaves, accumulate a few cob-webs, as they can tolerate a bit of neglect. Pot spider plant in well-draining soil and provide it with bright, indirect light, keep the soil lightly moist, and this plant will flourish, perhaps even bestowing you with a few babies, or "plantlets," along the way. Available in green or variegated varieties.
Heartleaf philodendron - This sweetheart plant will sweep you off your feet. This trailing philodendron plant emanates romance with its dark green heart-shaped leaves. Indirect light, lightly moist soil and standard room temperature is all the love this plant requires.
Pothos - Pothos is about as foolproof as they come - low light tolerance and only requires periodic watering. This vining plant features glossy, heart-shaped, white/yellow variegated leaves with trailing stems. It is often seen in office environments cascading down file cabinets.
Dieffenbachia - Even though this plant has a hard name to pronounce, it is actually quite easy to care for. With beautiful large green/white or green/cream colored variegated leaves, this plant will lend a lush tropical look and feel to any room. Dieffenbachia prefers filtered light with soil that is kept consistently moist, but not soggy.
Dracaena - This tree-like plant displays a lot of spunk with its long spiky, tropical-looking variegated foliage. Brightly filtered light, consistently moist soil, coupled with a boost of fertilizer every now and then, is all the dracaena plant requires to thrive.
ZZ plant - Even though this plant has the ZZ's, it won't put you to sleep with its gorgeous waxy, shiny oval-shaped leaves. This is the quintessential plant for those with a brown thumb, as ZZ plant remains stunning even after months of neglect, and does well with low light and infrequent watering.
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Shelley Pierce was a writer for Gardening Know How, contributing to hundreds of articles for the site.
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