Ill.: creazilla.com & dmstudio, depositphotos, montage: laidbackgardener.blog
By Larry Hodgson
Question: My 82-year-old mother forgets to take care of her houseplants. Yet she still adores them. Could you suggest to her some varieties of plants that she could keep despite the lack of care?
Answer: Sure! There are many houseplants that can tolerate unequal care. In fact, many almost thrive on neglect … as long as at least some watering occurs. (Watering is the one thing indoors plants can’t take care of on their own.)
The following plants are easy to grow, require no fussy care and are very drought tolerant, but can also get along under less than perfect light conditions (really good light is sooo rare in homes).
- Aspidistra or cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)
- African milk tree (Euphorbia trigona)
- Clivia (Clivia miniata)
- Crassula or jade plant (Crassula argentea)
- Elephant’s foot or ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
- Heart leaf philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum oxycardium)
- Madagascar palm (Pachypodium lamerei)
- Medicinal aloe (Aloe vera)
- Mistletoe cactus (Rhipsalis spp.)
- Ox tongue (Gasteria spp.)
- Sansevieria or mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)
- Spineless Yucca (Yucca elephantipes)
- Wax plant (Hoya carnosa)
- Zebra haworthia (Haworthia attenuata, now Haworthiopsis attenuata)
- ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
Obviously, when you are at your mother’s place, you could always discreetly water a few plants if you feel the negligence seems to be going a bit too far … or suggest that you and your mother water the plants together.