I now consider myself a full-fledged plant lady. I have a large number of plants scattered around my house and it is slowly, but surely, becoming an indoor jungle.
But when I was first starting out with plant care, I struggled.
From Plant Killer to Plant Lady
My first attempts at keeping plants alive were utter failures.
At one of my first jobs out of college I tried to take care of two large, finicky tropical plants. These two office plants posed a huge challenge. I went from overwatering to underwatering and back again.
I was convinced that I just didn’t have that elusive “green thumb,” and didn’t even attempt to keep any plants alive in my apartment.
Then my husband and I bought our first home. We toured and purchased it in late fall, so I had no idea what to expect with the yard in the spring.
All kinds of perennials started popping up and were now under my unskilled care.
It was a great surprise and also a great responsibility. And through trial and error I managed to keep most of them alive. Luckily for me they seemed to be pretty hardy — lots of hostas, daylilies, peonies, and hydrangeas.
I became more interested in adding to my outdoor plants and added a few annuals in planters that first spring. And year after year added more and more perennials as my gardening skills grew.
My interest in outdoor plants and budding confidence created a desire to raise houseplants as well. I slowly grew my plant collection in the house, filling the south-facing windows with succulents.
I discovered that some types of plants are much easier than others. For example, my favorite type of indoor plants — the succulents. Mostly because they are fairly easy to keep alive!
They don’t require a ton of attention. Just a little sunlight and water about once a week and they can usually thrive.
Four House Plants That Are Hard to Kill
The first succulent that I bought and one that is quite hardy is:
1. The Snake Plant
Also, known as the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue.
These plants can survive with very little light. And with leaves that point straight up, they have a cool, architectural look.
Check out this website for more on Snake Plants and their care.
2. Aloe Vera Plant
This short stemmed plant does well in dry conditions.
Aloe Vera is a small plant that grows upright with stiff leaves that contain gel that can help soothe a sunburn.
In addition, Aloe Vera plants also help purify the air.
3. ZZ Plant
Also known to be low-maintenance, the Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ Plant) has small, glossy leaves that artistically extend upwards. Sometimes these plants look fake!
The ZZ plant is tolerant of low light and does well with occasional water.
But be aware, the ZZ plant is toxic if ingested, so be sure to keep away from pets and younger kids.
4. Air Plants
These are a bit funky. Air plants are like tiny, living sculptures.
No dirt? No problem!
In their natural environment these plants grow on other plants. They use their roots to attach themselves to other things, rather than absorbing nutrients.
Since air plants don’t need soil, air plant care is a bit different from other plants, but they do need water, light, and air to thrive.
- Water once a week or so. I water mine on the same day every week (Friday) to make it easier to remember. This allows time for the soil to dry in between watering.
- Do not over water, wait to water until the soil is dry.
- If possible, put your plant in a pot that drains. This really helps prevent overwatering.
- Use a special potting soil for succulents.
- Use Miracle-Gro to boost the overall health of your plants.
Then have some fun with it. Coordinate containers, like all white or terracotta or get an eclectic mix with pots and containers collected over time.
Put them in baskets or group them together on a plant stand. Or, get hanging plants for Bohemian vibes.
Where to Buy Plants
I have found most of my house plants on Amazon, Etsy, or in local stores.
You Can Do It!
Overall, I think if you can keep children alive, you should be able to keep plants alive. Especially the more low maintenance succulents!
Good luck and happy gardening!
And to get your kids inspired to help with plants, check out The Children’s Garden in Fargo.