Some plants are easier to grow than others. For example, some people will tell you that orchids are not hard to grow. They will then explain that they are not hard to grow if you prune them, keep the humidity just so, and feed them properly. To me, that is a fussy plant. If you are a fellow brown thumb, you will want a plant that needs little more than a drink of water when it starts to wilt. These are plants like the spider plant, the aloe vera, the yucca, and the devil’s ivy. The following are some plants to avoid if you want hard-to-kill houseplants.
Avoid plants that need high humidity. Fussy, albeit beautiful, plants such as the pink aglaonemas, or its parent plant, the rotundum, are tropical plants, and they need tropical humidity to grow. Unless you own a hot house or a green house, you will not be interested in these kinds of plants. Basically any plant that boasts an exotic lineage, for example, the pink aglaonemas is a Taiwanese plant, is going to be hard to keep alive.
Avoid plants that need a watering schedule. Easy growing plants let you know when they need to be watered because they start to wilt when they get thirsty. Actually, all plants will start to wilt when they get thirsty; it’s just that the easy growing ones spring back to life when they get a drink. Other plants, for example the begonias, can’t handle wilting. This is unfortunate because the exotic looking begonias have absolutely gorgeous leaves. They do flower, but unlike most plants, the flower pales in comparison to the leaves. These plants need good light and moderate humidity to grow. This already sounds a little fussy, I know. The real goocher, however, is that the plant can be irreparably damaged if you let it wilt. This can be a big problem if you only know it is time to water when you see the plant wilt. If you are no good with a watering schedule, you probably should leave the begonia alone.
Avoid plants that are sensitive to the cold. Believe it or not, some plants can’t tolerate a draft. We aren’t talking about can’t handle a freeze; most plants can’t handle a freeze. No, these plants need to be protected from things like the swamp cooler, or a chilly window. It’s too bad, too. Like the other plants mentioned in this section, these fussy plants tend to be some of the most beautiful. For example the peacock plant and the flame violets are lovely. These members of the Episca family have exquisite flowers with fabulous shapes. Unfortunately, they need to be kept warm at all times. It is recommended that you grow them under artificial light. Kind of like premature babies, only these plants will never outgrow the incubator.
If you have a brown thumb, you should probably avoid most plants that you have to visit a nursery to buy. A good rule of thumb might be that if they started out in a green house, they have no business in your house. Even if you ask one of the green thumbs in the nursery about how easy the plants are to grow, their answers will be skewed. It’s like asking a marathon runner how hard it is to run a mile. “Nothing to it” they will likely tell you, and they are right. In a way. There is nothing to growing orchids either, if you are experienced with plants, already understand the concept of soil acidity and the influences of humidity. However, if you aren’t ready for it, a mile is hard to run and an orchid is hard to grow. Stick with simple plants like the rubber tree plant until you have learned a few things about indoor gardening.