Houseplants – Recommended

Q: I live in an apartment. I’ve never been particularly successful with plants. Can you recommend some nice indoor plants that are easy to take care of and that are neither heavy nor require heavy pots?

A: Not all houseplants are equal in the “care needed” department. These tough houseplants require minimal attention:

Peace lily – Spathiphyllum
Snake plant – Sansevieria trifasciata
Philodendron – Philodendron
Cast-iron plant – Aspidistra elatior
Pothos – Epipremnum aureum
Dumb cane – Diffenbachia

Light, of course, is the usual limiting factor for houseplants. Of the list above, aspidistra (sometimes called bar room plant because it can tolerate such low light levels) is best for walls farthest away from a window. The others can usually thrive under light levels found near a sunny window. All would appreciate a months-long vacation on a shady patio if you have one available.

Remember that overwatering kills more houseplants than underwatering. Use your ‘digital water meter’ (your forefinger) to touch the soil before you water. If the soil is dry, water thoroughly. If it is moist, wait a few more days before testing it again.

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