Then there are those of us who are lucky to keep fake flowers around for any extended period of time.
My mother is one of the former. Unfortunately, I am one of the latter. (I’ve even managed to kill a cactus in my time—the poor desert dweller succumbed to a watery grave). Suffice it to say, I am not the person you call to water your plants when you’re on vacation (no, seriously—ask my poor mother’s tomatoes).
Now that the weather is getting cold, all the leaves have mostly fallen from their trees, the grass is losing its touch of green, and all but the heartiest of outdoor plants are succumbing to their natural deaths (or hibernation). And while I look forward to not having to water any more plants, the lack of color during a Pennsylvania winter can get incredibly discouraging. And gloomy.
If you’re anything like me and hate plant maintenance, yet yearn for some life in the dead of winter, consider some of these easy houseplants to bring green into your home (and maybe, just maybe, your thumbs as well):
Growing indoor cacti–and having them thrive–is completely possible…even for me (I’m currently the proud owner of several very much alive cacti, now that I know what I’m doing).
Many varieties of cacti are well adapted for low humidity houses. They only require modest amounts of water and fertilizer, but do take note: they require a lot of sunlight. Water frequently in the growing moths (April through mid-September), but give it a rest come winter. A sip every month is all this little guy will need to get through the dead of winter.
When it comes to low-maintenance houseplants, air plants (Tillandsia) are virtually fool-proof.
What makes these plants different? Well, for one they don’t need soil to grow (thus the air part). To keep these quirky little bromeliads happy and healthy, all you need to do is mist them with water once a week. Easy? We think so.
Aloe Vera plants don’t mind being kept inside (especially during the winter months when they will freeze).
Aloes like sun, but they can burn, so keep them in indirect sunlight. It’s also a lot easier to over water your plant, rather than under water it, so go light handed–especially in winter. If you don’t let the soil dry between waterings, you can accidentally rot your plant. If you take care of your aloe, your aloe will take care of you (and your burns).
Jades are certainly one gem of a houseplant.
These succulents don’t require much care at all and can easily live a long, long life. Proper watering is key with these plants: you shouldn’t let the soil dry out completely but you don’t want to over water, either (root rot). Instead of making a watering schedule, simply water it when the top soil is dry to the touch. They should also be kept in full sun for optimum growing potential.
Spider plants are the plants that keep on giving. They are also one of the most adaptable of houseplants and the easiest to grow–making them a perfect option for those of us who accidentally keep killing our plants.
All they need to thrive is well-drained soil; bright, indirect sunlight; and the occasional watering. Come spring, mature spider plants may begin producing flowers, which could develop into babies (spider plant spiderettes). Root the little babies in soil and you can start a whole family of spider plants around the house!
Despite their (arguably) somewhat-odd appearance, Peace Lilies are an easy houseplant to care for, which is why they’re so popular in homes and offices.
Besides their striking appearance, they’re also incredibly useful at cleaning the air in their environment. To keep the peace with these lilies, place them in an area with medium to low light. Like most of the plants on this list, Peace Lilies are better at tolerating under watering versus over watering. Check them once a week: only water it if the top of the soil is dry.
Pothos is another great “starter plant” for anyone looking to bring some hearty green into their home.
This plant is pretty much as undemanding as they come: they do well in bright indirect light OR low light and can either be grown in dry soil OR in vases of water. Even better? They thrive in nutrient-rich soil but do almost as well in nutrient-poor soil.
It’s important to note that they are poisonous and can make children, dogs, and cats sick if ingested. Keep these plants out of the reach of little mouths.
Ivy isn’t just for garden walls and old Victorian houses–this climbing plant can make a perfect (and easy!) indoor companion, too, if you know what makes it thrive.
Light is incredibly important in growing ivy–they need it bright to thrive (and be less-prone to pests). Ivy plants like it more on the dry side, so let the soil dry out a bit (so it’s dry on top) before you water it again. While English Ivy is the most common variety found indoors, all ivies can work to bring the outdoors into your home!
Sarah is a content writer and social media assistant with a BA in literature/creative writing from Wilkes University. When she’s not spending her days at work writing, reading, and drinking coffee, she’s usually at home reading, writing, and drinking coffee. She also devotes a fair amount of time to HGTV, drawing, and doting on her dog. As a creator, Sarah believes in emphasizing personality through design and DIY projects.