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THE EASIEST HOUSEPLANTS

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Doug Hackbarth - Broadview Florist & GreenhousesGrowing plants inside the home is always difficult but there are many plants that are easier to grow than others. Ones that tolerate little water and little light include Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen Plant), Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant), Sanseveria (Snake Plant) and Zamioculus Zamiofolia (Z.Z. Plant). These are the easiest of the "easy plants" list. Never water these plants on a weekly basis, rather only when they are dry. It might be 2 to 3 weeks between waterings but that is why they are so easy.

Plants that need much more light but still do not need to be watered often would be (as expected) cactus, succulents and aloe. In fact, cactus may not need to be watered until next March! The single, biggest reason for death to succulents and aloe would be over-watering. You may need to wait 4 to 6, even 8 weeks between waterings. Interesting though, whenever you do decide to water, water thoroughly. Small little drinks of water do more damage, as the moisture does not reach the entire root system. Use at least 8 to 10 ounces per 6 1/2" pot and more or less for other sizes and never allow your plants to sit in water.

There is a long list of easy plants that like more light and more water, but are still considered to be easy. Pothos and philodendron, pepperomia, dieffenbachia (dumb cane), draceana (many varieties), ivy, palms, nephthytis, anthurium, wandering Jew and spider plants will all grow in low light levels (brighter is still better) and need to be watered every 7 to 12 days. The brighter light levels usually result in better color to the leaves as well as sturdier stems.

Just a couple more choices could be the ficus tree (weeping fig) and the asparagus fern. These two are easy (to me) but might give you a little bit of a problem as with the ficus, if the watering isn't just right, the plant will drop leaves. And the asparagus fern (which is not really a fern) tends to shed and make a mess all over your floor which results in constant cleaning. Most people are familiar with the asparagus "sprengerii" but the asparagus "meyerii" is much less messy and a more graceful ferny plant.

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Doug Hackbarth
About This Author
Doug's is the owner of Broadview Florist & Greenhouses in Waynedale. He authors a garden & landscaping article in the newspaper. In his adolescence he attended Hillcrest, Kekionga and Elmhurst HS. His expertise has been shared in print, tv and radio.
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