Beaucarnea: January 2021 Houseplant of the Month

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Photo: Thejoyofplants.co.uk, styling by Elize Eveleens, Klimprodukties

Maybe you know this plant under the name ponytail palm for its long, ribbonlike, twisting leaves or perhaps elephant’s foot (or elephant-foot) because of its swollen base. I prefer simply beaucarnea, from its botanical name Beaucarnea recurvata (formerly Nolina recurvata). Whatever you call it, though, it’s fantastic to look at, easy to care for and tough as old boots. A beaucarnea doesn’t ask for much, but gives plenty in return.

The beaucarnea gets its name from Jean-Baptiste Beaucarne, a 19th-century Belgian plant collector, the first European to see the plant in bloom. 

Origin

Mature beau carne with thick base and multiples trunks, outdoors in tropics.
In tropical climates, the beaucarnea can turn into a sizeable tree! Photo: Gina1960, garden.org

Although the beaucarnea is often mistaken for a palm (Araceae), it’s actually a succulent member of the Asparagus family (Asparagaceae). The beaucarnea is native to the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz and San Luis Potosi in eastern Mexico, where it can eventually grow into a tree 30 feet (10 m high) with a base up to 3 feet (1 m) across. It has a healthy lust for life: there are beaucarneas in Mexico that are 350 years old! Although it rarely grows taller than 5 feet (1.5 m) indoors, it still makes for an impressive indoor tree. 

Growth Habit

Four small beaucarneas with a bulbous base planted in a single pot.
Young specimens have a bulbous base. Photo: thepalmroom.wordpress.com

You would have a hard time telling a beaucarnea from a grass plant when it first germinates: it has the same narrow, linear, mid-green leaves. But within a few months, it starts to form a thick bulbous, pale grayish brown, woody-looking base. This is called a caudex and it serves to store water for times of drought, as this succulent plant grows in very arid conditions in the wild, with a dry season often lasting 7 to 8 months. The caudex remains bulb-shaped for years, but eventually becomes a thick, woody trunk that tapers to a narrower stem as it grows, lifting the crown higher into the air, eventually it giving a palmlike appearance above and an elephant’s foot look at the base.

The trunk is normally solitary and never branches on its own, at least not indoors. However, you can force it to branch… More on that below under Culture.

Beaucarnea in clay pot with curving leaves.
Some specimens have curving leaves; others have leaves that are nearly straight. Photo: Amazon.ca

Leaves also lengthen over time. They’re upright at first, then arch out and downwards. They vary in length on mature specimens from 3 to 6 feet (90 cm to 180 cm). Sometimes they’re longer than the trunk is high, so the plant may appear more interesting when placed on a pedestal. As to curving of the leaves (the meaning of recurvata), they may twist slightly or massively: that will depend on the genetics of the plant you purchase.

When it comes to flowers, though, forget it. A beaucarnea almost never blooms indoors and when it does, only on very old specimens, as in botanical garden greenhouses, forming huge panicles of tiny white flowers.

Assortment

Nursery specimens of unpruned beaucarneas outdoors.
Nursery specimens in Hawaii, showing the typical single crown growth habit of a unpruned beaucarnea. Photo: Forest and Kim Starr

You can find this plant in garden centers at all stages of growth. Sometimes, it’s just a young plant with a round bulbous base and a few arching leaves. Or it may be much larger, with a swollen foot, thick stem and a single crown. You can also find it planted 2 or 3 to a pot. Other specimens have had their top chopped off and produce multiple crowns, each on its own thickened branch.

Variegated beaucarneas. These were sold under the name Beaucarnea recurvata variegata. Photo: plantslive.in

Occasionally, you may find a specimen with variegated leaves, each with a band of creamy white to yellow along either edge. Such a plant can be expensive and will likely be a bit fragile under less-than-perfect conditions: give it full sun indoors. There appears to be more than one variegated clone with various names as B. recurvata variegata, B. recurvata ‘Gold Star’ or similar.

Guatemala beaucarnea outdoors with reddish leaves.
Guatemala beaucarnea (Beaucarnea guatemalensis) looks just like the regular beaucarnea, except it reddens in full sun outdoors. Photo: palmbob, davesgarden.com

There is also a related plant on the market that masquerades under the name Beaucarnea recurvata: Guatemala beaucarnea (B. guatemalensis). The two are very hard to tell apart, but many plants sold today actually belong to the latter species, as it is faster growing and therefore more profitable to produce. One way to distinguish between them is that the foliage of B. guatemalensis will usually take on a reddish tinge if grown outdoors in full sun. If bought with reddish leaves (it may then be sold as red ponytail, B. recurvata ‘Red’ or B. guatemalensis ‘Guatemalan Red’), the color is usually soon lost when the plant is grown indoors under the necessarily weaker light found there. Some of the variegated clones probably belong under this species name.

Culture

This is one slow-growing houseplant! If you want a large specimen as an indoor tree, buy one of that size: a seedling can easily take 30 years to reach treelike dimensions indoors! 

Multistemmed beaucarnea in a white pot in a white decor
Although it prefers full sun, the beaucarnea will tolerate moderate light. Photo: Thejoyofplants.co.uk

For a plant that grows in full desert sun, the beaucarnea is surprisingly tolerant of moderate light, even low light, although in the latter case, it will likely decline over time. However, for good growth, intense light is required, with as much full sun as you can give it. It truly thrives outdoors over the summer, although you’ll have to reacclimatize it gradually to full outdoor sun each spring.

Water your beaucarnea regularly during the spring and summer, although letting the soil dry out between waterings. Fertilize it fairly generously at that season as well, with the fertilizer of your choice (it’s not picky). During the fall and winter, start allowing it to dry out thoroughly between waterings so as to prevent rot. It may, at that season, only need watering every 3 or 4 weeks, even less if you grow it at cool temperatures. 

💡Helpful Hint: If you have to travel for an extended period, you can actually just leave and not not worry about watering your beaucarnea for months on end. Although it will be rather parched upon your return, it will nevertheless recuperate.

The beaucarnea tolerates both hot and cold indoor temperatures and, outdoors, can theoretically take a few degrees frost if the cold doesn’t last long. Ideally, though, keep it above 50˚F (10˚C) at all times. 

It is not bothered by dry indoor air. 

Repot as needed into any well-draining potting soil, such as cactus mix, but ordinary potting mix is also fine.

Pulling dried leaves off a beaucarnea
Just pull off old, brown leaves. Photo: Nigel Saunders, The Bonsai Zone

Do make sure that the leaves can hang freely, because contact with a wall, cupboard or curtain can cause them to turn brown. If this does happen, you can just clip off the ends. As for grooming, older leaves eventually turn brown and readily come loose when you pull on them.

Big beaucarnea in a tight pot.
Underpotting will keep your plant more compact. Photo: gardenersdream.co.uk

For fastest growth, give your beaucarnea full sun, regular fertilizing and generous watering from spring through summer, plus repot regularly, every two years, into a larger pot. However, if you like your plant’s current size, you can slow it down considerably by doing pretty much the opposite: fertilizing little if at tall and watering very rarely. Underpotting, especially, will largely stop it in its tracks. Some people use underpotting to to maintain beaucarneas in small asiatic pots as bonsai specimens.

Beaucarnea stem cut short; new green sprouts appear all around.
Once the top is removed from the plant, new stems appear, slowly, over the following months. Photo: forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca

Branching can be induced by pruning, although given this plant’s extremely slow growth, it can be very intimidating to chop off its one and only crown. Don’t worry! After a few months, new growth will sprout and there will almost always be multiple stems: sometimes 6 or more! It will look a bit bare for a year or two, then really quite nice as the numerous leaf tufts fill in. You can cut it high or low: it will always resprout from dormant buds just below the cut. 

Mature specimen outdoors with massive clusters of white flowers.
Outdoors in a tropical climate, beaucarneas branch more readily and may eventually flower. Photo: World of Succulents

In tropical climates, the beaucarnea will grow outdoors year around. Excellent drainage will be vital in climates with a prolonged rainy season and it adapts to even the poorest, stoniest soils. Full sun will give the best and fastest results and can even result, many years on, in flowers being produced. It will grow attractively in partial shade as well, though it may not bloom there.

Enemies

Pale, floppy-leaved beaucarnea suffering from insufficient light.
Pale, floppy growth (etiolation) shows that this plant has been in the shade far too long. If something isn’t done, this plant may not have long to live. Photo: Arizona State University

In the unlikely case you lose a beaucarnea, it will likely be due to low light or overwatering. It simply can’t take low light forever and will eventually produce weak, pale green, etiolated leaves and may then slip into a decline it won’t recover from. 

Overwatering can lead to uncurable rot, in which case the decline is much faster. You just have to hold back on watering with this plant!

Mealybugs and scale insects are the mostly likely insect pests. Check plants before purchase and isolate newly purchased plants for a good 40 days before putting them near others. The pests on infested plants are almost impossible to eliminate: they can hide out in the leaf bases when no insecticide is likely to reach them. Unless, that is, you cut off the plant’s top so as to dispose of all green growth, then carefully clean the resulting stump in soapy water. That can work … sometimes.

Cats sometimes nibble on leaf tips, as they sometimes do to grass outdoors, but beaucarneas are nontoxic, harmless to pets and people. Still, for the plant’s sake, try to keep it out of their reach. Any damage can be neatly trimmed off.

Multiplication

This is probably not something you should consider unless you bought a pot with multiple plants you simply want to divide. Not that multiplying a beaucarnea isn’t doable, but the plant is just so frustratingly slow!

3 rooted beaucarnea cuttings.
Stem cuttings will root, although a rooting hormone may be necessary. Photo: semanticscholar.org

If you’re patient, you can take stem cuttings (let the cut end harden off in the open air for a few weeks before potting it up). Use a rooting hormone. Do not root in water.

Sometimes mature specimens produce offsets at the base that you can twist or cut free and pot up in the same way. 

As for growing a beaucarnea from seed…

Your beaucarnea is not likely to bloom … and even if it did, the plant is dioecious (male and female flowers are produced on separate plants), so to produce seed, you’d need both a male and female plant in bloom at the same time, plus a pollinator: fat chance that will happen! If you want to grow one from seed, therefore, you’ll have to buy some. 

Pack of beacarnea seeds with seed tray
Beaucarneas grow surprisingly well from seeds, but will be years from becoming specimen plants. Photo: Hub of Gardening

Seed is available from several seed catalogues. It germinates in as few as 10 days or can take up to 3 months (germination is fastest in spring). Sow and grow the seeds indoors under about the same conditions as you would flower or vegetable seeds, although since beaucarnea seedlings are slower growing, they’ll need less frequent watering. Keep the seedlings just moist (but not wet) until you can see a caudex forming, then you can treat them like an adult plant. 

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The beaucarnea: slow but steady, nearly unkillable, and yet with a strikingly decorative effect. I think your home décor needs one!

15 Easy Houseplants for Beginners

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20180126A Darlene Taylor, YouTube .jpg

Start with easy houseplants before you move on to the more complicated ones. Source: Darlene Taylor, YouTube

Why do novice gardeners always seem to start with the most complicated houseplants? Gardenias, bonsais, carnivorous plants, living stones and, in fact, flowering plants in general (hibiscus, azaleas, etc.) are the ones even the most experienced gardeners often struggle to grow. Ideally, if you’re a beginning gardener, you’d start with easy plants, ones that can put up with both a bit of neglect and overly enthusiastic care.

Once you’ve successfully kept a few easy plants alive and in reasonably good shape for a year or so, consider your thumb to be getting green. Then you’ll be ready to move on to more difficult varieties.

The following 15 plants are about as close to unkillable as any plant could be and will succeed in almost all indoor conditions. In particular, they’ll tolerate low light and irregular waterings, always the leading causes of houseplant death, and will also put up with dry air, another major problem in many homes.

  1. Aspidistra or Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)

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Aspidistra (Aspidistra elatior). Source: www.palmaverde.nl

This old-fashioned houseplant is back on the market. It gets the common name from its cast-iron constitution. Or maybe it’s slow growth is what gives the impression it’s made of cast iron. In fact, though, it does grow, only very slowly. An aspidistra looks rather like a giant clump of lily of the valley, but without the flowers. Its dark green leathery leaves are sometimes spotted or striped yellow or white. It’s very tolerant of low light and in fact, doesn’t much appreciate full sun.

  1. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

20180126B aglaonema www.homedepot.com

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema). Source: http://www.homedepot.com

This is an upright-growing plant with short, thick stems and fleshy lanceolate leaves, often marked with silver and sometimes, in newer cultivars, with pink or red instead. Its growth is extremely slow … but it tolerates all but the darkest corners! It may even bloom one day and produce attractive red berries … but that can take years! It’s best to consider it as being a foliage plant.

  1. Dieffenbachia or Dumbcane (Dieffenbachia)

20180126D Dieffenbachia www.homedepot.com

Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia). Source: www.homedepot.com

This is a strongly upright growing plant erect with a thick “trunk” and huge broad leaves usually spotted with white. When it reaches the ceiling (and it will over time), just cut off the top and reroot it as a cutting. A new stalk will also appear from the base of the mother plant. The name dumbcane refers to the fact that it’s toxic sap can render the chewer temporarily incapable of speech, but don’t ever chew on this plant, even as a joke: it’s poisonous! This is an old-time favorite, often found in dark churches and office hallways where it has apparently been growing since forever.

  1. Dracaena or Dragon Tree (Dracaena spp.)

20180126E Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana' www.homedepot.com

Dracaena (Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’). Source: http://www.homedepot.com

There are several species of Dracaena, but the easiest to cultivate is the so-called corn plant (D. fragans), the one with a thick, woody trunk and large, arching, lanceolate leaves, sometimes with a yellowish band in the center. It does indeed look like a corn plant! D. deremensis, often just called dracaena, is similar and indeed, is now considered simply a variety of D. fragrans (yes, change your plant label!). Just as easy to grow as the original D. fragrans, it has narrower, darker green leaves, sometimes striped white or yellow.

  1. Dwarf Schefflera or Dwarf Umbrella Tree (Schefflera arboricola, syn. Heptapleurum arboricola)

20180126N Schefflera arboricola www.plantandpot.nz

Dwarf Schefflera (Schefflera arboricola). Source: http://www.plantandpot.nz

Much easier to grow than the other commonly grown schefflera, the one with larger leaves (S. actinophylla), the only truly dwarf thing about the dwarf schefflera is its leaves, as it can become quite a sizable indoor tree over time. It has dark green palmately compound leaves, definitely a bit umbrella like. In some cultivars, they are variegated with white, cream or yellow markings. Its branches tend to arch out at awkward angles: don’t hesitate to prune them back to stimulate denser, more attractive growth. A classic plant for banks and malls because of its indifference to neglect.

  1. False Shamrock (Oxalis triangularis, syn. O. regnellii)

20180126P Oxalis triangularis shop.harros-pflanzenwelt.de.JPG

False Shamrock (Oxalis triangularis). Source: hop.harros-pflanzenwelt.de

No, it’s not a true shamrock (Trifolium), but it does bear three leaflets, each triangular in form. They can be green or purple, often with a silver or pink mark. Oddly, they close up at night. This is probably the easiest houseplant to bloom and indeed, flowers quite readily and pretty much all year, with pink or white flowers. It’s very easy to grow and can go fully dormant if you neglect it long enough, then sprout anew from its underground rhizomes when you start to water again. That said, it’s certainly not maintenance-free, always needing a bit of grooming, as there always seem to be a few dried leaves or dead flowers to remove.

  1. Fiddleleaf Fig (Ficus lyrata, syn. F. pandurata)

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Fiddleleaf Fig (Ficus lyrata). Source: http://www.homedepot.com

Probably the easiest of the many figs or ficuses sold as houseplants, it doesn’t drop its leaves when you move it like the more commonly grown weeping fig (Ficus benjamina). The large dark green leathery leaves are indeed fiddle-shaped, as the common name suggests. It becomes huge over time: don’t hesitate to cut it back when it goes too far.

  1. Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum, formerly P. scandens, P. cordatum and P. oxycardium)

20180126J Phiiodendron hederaceum www.amazon.com_

Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum). Source: http://www.amazon.com

This climbing aroid bears dark green heart-shaped leaves. Its shade tolerance is legendary: I know of plants over 50 years old that have not seen a single ray of direct sun since they were purchased! You can grow this plant up a trellis or moss stake or let it dangle attractively from a hanging basket. Note that this plant has gone through several botanical name changes over the years and is now Philodendron hederaceum. Let’s hope this name sticks!

  1. Hoya, Wax Plant or Porcelainflower (Hoya carnosa)

20180126H Hoya carnosa Yvan Leduc, WC

Hoya (Hoya carnosa). Source: Yvan Leduc, Wikimedia Commons

The hoya is one of the few plants that blooms well even in the shade. On the other hand, the growth of this climbing plant is terribly slow: it can take 5 to 10 years before producing its first umbels of pink or white perfumed flowers, each with a darker crown in the center. In the meantime, fortunately, its foliage is attractive: thick and waxy, sometimes variegated or curiously twisted. It’s a climbing or hanging plant whose stems tend to get out of hand, so you may need to do a bit of pruning.

  1. Ponytail Palm or Elephant’s Foot (Beaucarnea recurvata)

20180126K Beaucarnea recurvata www.ikea.com

Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata). Source: http://www.ikea.com

Succulent plant with a surprising tolerance of dark corners (most succulents require intense light). The trunk of this small tree is swollen at the base, like an elephant’s foot, while its long, narrow, often wavy leaves hang down like a pony tail, the source of its common names. It’s a tough, easy plant, but very slow growing.

  1. Pothos or Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

20180126M Epipremnum aureum 'Marble Queen'. www.instagram.com:houseplantjournal.jpg

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Marble Queen’). Source: http://www.instagram.com

Very similar in appearance and habit to the heartleaf philodendron, but with leaves not as distinctly heart-shaped and always streaked or marbled yellow or white. Like the philodendron, you can grow it either as a climber or a trailer.

  1. Snake Plant or Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)

20180126I Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii' www.homedepot.com

Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’). Source: http://www.homedepot.com

This succulent has long, leathery, lance-shaped, dark green leaves with gray mottling that rise from the soil in tight clumps. There are also both dwarf varieties (bird’s nest sansevierias) and cultivars with various kinds of leaf coloring, from entirely dark green to highly variegated. It’s one of the most shade-tolerant houseplants, although in fact it prefers intense sunlight.

  1. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

20180126L Chlorophytum comosum 'Vittatum' brightside.me.jpg

Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum ‘Vittatum’). Source: brightside.me

Always popular, with a rosette of thin, arching, ribbon-like leaves often streaked with creamy white. It’s usually surrounded by countless “babies” on trailing umbilical cords (actually, stolons) and is popular as a hanging basket plant. It will tolerate most indoor conditions, but will stop producing plantlets if it doesn’t receive at least medium light.

  1. Syngonium or Arrowhead Vine (Sygonium)

20180126O Syngonium podophyllum www.homedepot.com.jpg

Syngonium (Syngonium podophyllum). Source: http://www.homedepot.com

Another obvious philodendron relative, just as resistant to low light. Young plants produce a compact rosette of arrow-shaped leaves sometimes marbled or streaked with cream, pink or red, but the plant completely changes its habit over time, developing long climbing or trailing stems and deeply cut leaves. You can prune it back to keep it in its juvenile appearance.

  1. ZZ Plant or Aroid Palm (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

20180126F Zamioculcas www.homedepot.com

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia). Source: http://www.homedepot.com

This is plant is an aroid (as plants in the philodendron family are called), but it’s a very unusual one and it certainly couldn’t look less like a philodendron! Instead, it bears pinnate fronds with shiny leaflets and a distinctly swollen petiole, making it look like a palm or cycad, but without a trunk. It’s perfectly at ease in the shadiest spots and very tolerant of neglect.

Easy Peasy Plant Care

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Caring for these 15 houseplants is pretty basic. Source: clipart-library.com

Obviously, each of these plants has its preferences when it comes to growing conditions, but all of them are tolerant of a wide range of environments, from full sun to deep shade (with, I hope, at least some light: after all, the plants receive all their energy from the sun)! They also make great office plants, able to grow far from the nearest window, living strictly on light coming from ceiling fixtures. All are perfectly fine with normal indoor temperatures and will tolerate dry indoor air in winter … but most would still prefer good atmospheric humidity if you can supply it.

As for watering, simply apply the golden rule of watering: water deeply, enough to moisten the entire root ball, then allow the soil to dry before watering again. Really, caring for them couldn’t be easier!

You don’t even need to fertilize these plants! At least, not if you’re growing them in low light. Under good lighting, you can simply apply an all-purpose fertilizer at a quarter of the manufacturer’s recommended does from April to October.


And there you go! 15 houseplants that you can place almost anywhere indoors and that will decorate your home for decades. Practice using these very basic, hard-to-kill plants to build up your indoor gardening skills before you start experimenting with more complicated houseplants, such as flowering plants, bonsais, living stones and others.

Have fun!20180126A Darlene Taylor, YouTube

50 Houseplants That Don’t Mind Dry Air

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Most houseplants just don’t do well in desert-dry air! Source: pexels.com

Dry air is a major problem for houseplants in the winter… and indeed, any indoor plant (seedlings, cuttings, etc.). When the atmospheric humidity is less than 40%, certainly common enough in many homes, plants try hard to compensate by transpiring more heavily, that is, by releasing water to the air through their stomata (breathing pores). The drier the air, the more they transpire, and that can lead to their tissues losing water more rapidly than their roots can replace it. This can result in all sorts of symptoms of stress: wilting, flower buds turning brown, leaves curling under, brown leaf tips, even the death of the plant.

And if that weren’t enough, leaves stressed by dry air are also more subject to pest damage (red spider mites, whiteflies, thrips, etc.)

Some Plants Can Cope

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Plants with thick, waxy leaves cope better with dry air than those with thin ones. Source: davisla.wordpress.com.

That said, many plants, especially those native to arid climates or ones where they are exposed to long periods of drought, have developed ways of compensating for dry air. Cacti and succulents are usually very resistant to dry air and so are some epiphytic plants, like hoyas.

Some plants resist dry air by producing leaves with fewer stomata than normal, thus reducing water loss. Many have abandoned leaves altogether and breathe through their green stems (many cacti, for example). Others keep their stomata closed during the day, when the sun is hottest and water loss is greatest, breathing only a night. (This is called Crassulacean acid metabolism or CAM.) In other words, they essentially hold their breath 12 hours a day! Also, plants resistant to dry air often have extra-thick leaves or leaves coated with wax, powder or hair, all of which reduce evaporation.

Plants That Don’t Mind Dry Air

What follows are a few houseplants that don’t really mind it if the air in your home is on the dry side. Not that they will suffer if you increase the humidity to levels more acceptable to plants in general (most plants prefer a relative humidity of 50% or above) and that indeed is good for your health too, but if improving the atmospheric humidity something you just can’t do, at least these plants will pull through without a complaint!

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Aeonium arboreum ‘Atropurpureum’: one example of a plant that tolerates dry air. Source, Bernard Dupont, Wikimedia Commons

  1. Aeonium spp. (tree houseleek)
  2. Agave spp. (century plant)
  3. Aglaonema spp. (Chinese evergreen)
  4. Aloe spp. (aloe)
  5. Ananas comosus (pineapple plant)
  6. Aspidistra elatior (cast iron plant)
  7. Beaucarnea recurvata (ponytail palm)
  8. Cephalocereus senilis (old man cactus)
  9. Cereus peruvianus (Peruvian apple cactus)
  10. Ceropegia woodii (rosary vine)
  11. Clivia miniata (clivia)
  12. Crassula ovata (jade plant)
  13. Crassula spp. (crassula)
  14. Cryptanthus spp. (earth star)

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    The thick leaves of the dieffenbachia can generally cope quite well with drier air, but you can see just a bit of damage at the tip of this one. Source: Forest & Kim Starr, Wikimedia Commons

  15. Dieffenbachia spp. (dumbcane)
  16. Echeveria spp. (echeveria)
  17. Echinocactus grusonii (golden ball cactus)
  18. Epipremnum aureum (pothos, devil’s ivy)
  19. × Epicactus (orchid cactus)
  20. Euphorbia lactea (candelabra spurge)
  21. Euphorbia milii (crown of thorns)
  22. Euphorbia tirucalli (pencil cactus)
  23. Ficus elastica (rubber tree)
  24. Ficus lyrata (fiddle leaf fig)
  25. Gasteria spp. (ox tongue)
  26. Gymnocalycium mihanovichii friedrichii ‘Hibotan’ (red ball cactus)
  27. Haworthia spp. (zebra plant)
  28. Hippeastrum cvs (amaryllis)
  29. Hoya carnosa (wax plant)
  30. Kalanchoe (kalanchoe, panda plant)
  31. Ledebouria socialis (silver squill)

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    Few plants tolerate dry air as well as living stones (Lithops). Source: Dysmorodrepanis, Wikimedia Commons

  32. Lithops spp. (living stone)
  33. Mammillaria spp. (pincushion cactus)
  34. Opuntia spp. (bunny ears)
  35. Pachypodium lamerei (Madagascar palm)
  36. Pelargonium graveolens (rose-scented geranium)
  37. Pelargonium × hortorum (zonal pelargonium, zonal geranium)
  38. Peperomia obtusifolia, P. clusiifolia (baby rubber plant)
  39. Philodendron hederaceum oxycardium (heartleaf philodendron)
  40. Rhipsalis spp. (mistletoe cactus)
  41. Sansevieria trifasciata (snake plant)
  42. Schlumbergera (Christmas cactus)
  43. Sedum spp. (sedum, donkey’s tail)

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    The nearly round leaves of Senecio rowleyanus are designed to reduce evapotranspiration. Source: Forest & Kim Starr, flickr

  44. Senecio rowleyanus (string-of-pearls)
  45. Senecio serpens (blue chalksticks)
  46. Stapelia spp. (carrion flower)
  47. Streltizia reginae (bird of paradise)
  48. Syngonium spp. (arrowhead vine)
  49. Yucca elephantipes (spineless yucca)
  50. Zamioculcas zamiifolia (zeezee plant)20171227A pexels.com