According to Upwork, 41.8% of the American workforce is now working from home. What does that mean for you? It means that lots of folks are heading to their local garden centers to find plants that will fill the void that professional biophilia experts like Plantscapers once occupied. Personally, I’m thrilled to see the interest in bringing greenery into homes, but it’s essential to start your plant journey with a win. Here are five of my favorite beautiful and unkillable plants to brighten your home or office.
Dracaenas—If you crave a bit of the tropics, dracaenas are the unkillable plants for you. These trees are easy to maintain and will grow well in any home. They originate mostly in Hawaii and often come potted in lava rock to ensure proper drainage and require weekly watering.
Although they come in smaller grow pots, most people buy dracaenas as established trees, ranging in height from 4’-9’. Most varieties only require low light, except for the Marginata and Tricolor—they need a bit more light. As with anything with color in its leaves, those that have colors other than green will require more sunshine to maintain their color.
Some of my favorite colorful varieties include Dracaena Lisa (narrow, thin light green leaves), Dracaena Cragii (dark, fat leaves), Dracaena Marginata (spiky reddish, green leaves), Dracaena Tricolor (red, pinkish leaves), Dracaena Arborea-(wide curved leaves), Dracaena Warneckii (green with white edges), and Dracaena Lemon-Lime which is a fun 3’ plant that is a bright neon green with yellow stripes. There are many others, but these are the most popular.
Philodendrons—This vining plant is available in many variations and colors and is so easy to maintain. It is available in 4”,6”, and 8” grow pots and is great on a shelf where you can allow the leaves to trail down. These plants are very flat, so they are great for tight spaces. There are several different Philodendrons varieties, including Cordatum Philodendron (dark green leaves with heart-shaped leaves), Neon Philodendron (lime green solid leaves), Brazil Philodendron (dark green with white spots), Congo Philodendron (a taller upright plant that is available up to 3’ tall with jagged broad leaves), and Hope Philodendron (zig-zag leaves that grow upright to 3’ tall).
Pothos—This is another vining plant and comes in 4”, 6”, & 8” grow pot containers. If you’re the forgetful sort, this is the plant for you. This plant is so easy it could grow in a closet. Water once a week and keep it in indirect light, as it can scorch in intense sunlight. It loves decorating those forgotten corners in a decorative container on shelves, coffee tables, or reception desks. It’s also great for underplanting under large trees. The Pothos comes in many fun variations: Jade Pothos (dark green), Marble Queen Pothos (white and green), N Joy Pothos (light green with dark green spots), Golden Pothos (yellow and green), Satin Pothos (dark green with speckled white spots), and Neon Pothos (lime green).
Sansevieria—Commonly known as “The Mother-in-Law Plant”- this is a very contemporary, upright plant that does best when left alone. They are available in 4”, 6”, 8”, 10”, 12”, and 14” grow containers, with the tallest starting at 4’ tall. Sansevieria are such an easy, fun plant to have in your home. They are available in many variations, but the most popular are: Laurentii Sansevieria (green with yellow edges stalks), Cylindindrica Sansevieria (straight, with rounded dark green stalks), Dwarf Sansevieria (many short, fun with different colors), Zeylanica Sansevieria (dark green stalks), and Black Coral (dark green stalks) which are very dramatic and striking. Best of all, they take almost no maintenance. They all like limited light and watering once a month! Yes, once a month! If those aren’t unkillable plants, what are?
ZZ Plant—This plant is relatively new to the scene and super fun. It has a zig-zag leaf structure and fans out a bit, making it a little wider than an upright plant. It is lush, dark green, and is available in 4”,6”,8,10”, and 14” grow pots, with the tallest about 4’ tall. ZZ is incredibly easy to maintain, with once a week watering. Pro tip: wipe the leaves with a damp cloth occasionally to keep those leaves clean and shiny. It is very architectural. A large ZZ in a decorative pot makes a bold statement in any area of your home.
When looking for plants, remember to purchase from a very reputable garden center. Check the plant for bugs before you purchase it. Please keep it simple, water weekly, unless you have a Sanseveria, and fertilize quarterly. Wipe leaves off with a wet cloth to keep them clean and bugs away. Although we jokingly say that these are unkillable plants, too much attention can be harmful. Most people kill plants with kindness. Just leave alone and enjoy!
Your plants will improve your productivity, air quality, and well being without you even knowing. And if you’re still overwhelmed, the experts at Plantscapers are happy to help you choose your new favorites for your space. Let’s chat!