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Easy to Care for Houseplants

Gettyimages | Elena Davydenko / EyeEm
By Sharon Oliver

If you love houseplants but they don’t seem to love you, there are scores of green beauties out there to help make your home or office the envy of others. Just as humans thrive on Vitamin D, which is a source provided by the sun, so do plants. Well, they depend on some light to survive, at least.

However, their main requirement for tender loving care is rich soil and water, with the occasional plant food thrown in every now and then. A drop of fish emollient is good if you can stand the scent. But, if a lack of abundance of daylight streaming through your windows is the issue, here are a few houseplants sturdy enough to live without too much rays.

Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea Recurvata)

Ponytail plant
Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beaucarnea_recurvata_001.JPG

While some may say the ponytail palm prefers a lot of light, they do tend to fare well in low or high light settings. The plant is recognizable its long sweeping leaves and are relatively easy to take care of. Since they store water in their trunks, frequent watering is not needed.

It is recommended that they receive 5 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, if possible, and rotate the plant every few months. A word of caution. The ponytail can be susceptible to mealybugs and spider mites, but a good spray of water should get rid of them.

Swiss cheese plant (Monstera Deliciosa)

Swiss cheese plant
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This native rainforest plant got its name, Swiss cheese plant, due to the cuts and holes appearing throughout the leaves. Direct sunlight will damage the leaves so a nice spot in a fairly lit room and with plenty of shade is best. The Swiss cheese plant can reach fairly tall heights during its maturity, so it would be ideal as a focal point in a large room.

Allow soil to become dry to the touch before watering and re-potting once every two years is recommended. These plants should be kept out of reach from small kids and pets as they can be toxic if ingested.

Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus Verticillatus)

Swedish ivy
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Don’t let the name fool you. The Swedish ivy is not a native of Sweden but of South Africa, northern Australia and the Pacific Islands. The plant is low maintenance, fares well under low lighting and enjoys moist conditions. Think kitchen or bathroom locations. The plant is safe for children and pets and serves to detoxify the air.

The Swedish Ivy is a popular hanging basket houseplant commonly seen in homes and offices. Keeping the plant in an area at room temperature between 60 and 75 is suggested.

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)

ZZ plant
Gettyimages | ©Daniela White Images

If there was ever a plant designed for those with a brown thumb, the ZZ plant is it. It is e-z to care for. This practically indestructible houseplant can survive month after month of neglect, including low lighting and still look healthy, and gorgeous. This hardy native of East Africa can go up to four months without water. How’s that for low maintenance?

There is a downsize in that like the Swiss cheese plant and some other plants as well, the ZZ can be toxic if accidentally ingested. Place them in a safe spot and wash your hands after touching the leaves.

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