So as you might know, I’m a major plant addict. I’ve loved plants, gardening and everything found in nature for as long as I can remember and have always been fascinated with plants and flowers as a little kid. Aside from my veggie patch adventures outdoors, one of my favourite things to do inside the home is decorating it with indoor plants. I just love the feeling of bringing the outdoors in and blurring the line between the two. Plants bring life to indoor spaces, give it a fresh feel and can also literally clean the air as well! Over the past couple of years, my indoor plant collection has slowly grown and grown. The picture above, only shows a third or quarter of my collection .. oops!
Steve Jobs quote print from the lovely folks at Universal Studios
Through trials and experimentations, I’ve learnt that some plants are easier to look after than others. On one side of the spectrum, there have been ones which I have sadly killed (hi, every single fern that has walked inside my door also once, a pilea peperomioides I paid $85 for – how heartbreaking) and then on the other side, there are ones which I have magically kept alive without much effort. Today, I want to share with you my guide for anyone who wants to add some greenery to their home, starting with plants that you just can’t kill.
1. ZZ plant / Zanzibar Gem / Zamioculcas zamiifolia
DIY pot made in a pottery class I’ve been attending.. Totoro inspired!
The ZZ plant is one of those plants that thrives on neglect. It’s one of the few plants that can survive in dark corners and only needs to be watered maybe once a month in summer and once every couple of months in winter. My ZZ lives in the darkest corner of my bedroom and I have so far only watered it 4 times in 4 months, yet it seems extremely happy having shot out three new shoots already. Oh and I lie, unfortunately there is a way to kill this plant – by watering it too much. So keep it on the dry side. Trust me, it won’t die.
2. Devil’s Ivy / Epipremnum aureum
Devil’s ivy was my first ever house plant and the fact that it’s still alive means that it was one easy thing to look after. At home, it’s lived in a medium brightness indirect spot on the top of my shelf with its vines trailing down. I water it every so often when the top inch of the soil is dry and sometimes, I’ll even forget to water it yet it keeps shooting out new leaves. The plant grows very fast in summer, shooting out new leaves non-stop and it is super easy to propagate as well, simply cut about a few leaves worth of stem off the ends, cutting just under a root node and popping it in water.
3. Swiss cheese plant / Monstera deliciosa
Marbled terracotta pot picked up from Bunnings
Monsteras have been a part of my household for as far as I remember. When I was a child, I used to hate this plant because it was so big and frightening and dare I say, ugly. It eventually actually got so big that my parents had to plant it outdoors and so my first personal indoor monstera was actually a cutting from our old outdoor one. I planted the cutting indoors and it had massive leaves! I wanted something smaller so I eventually bought a small one (pictured above) from a nursery and have been looking after it for about a year now. It’s grown heaps since! Monsteras are quite easy to look after, I keep mine in a bright indirect spot and turn it every now and then to encourage the leaves to sit how I want them to sit (they always face the sun so you can play around and figure out what position turns the leaves how you want them to sit). I water it when the top inch of the soil looks dry and again, it seems like one of those plants that can tolerate an irregular watering schedule.
4. Zebra/prayer plant / Ctenanthe burle-marxii
Pot picked up from Notre Dame, a Danish homewares store in Copenhagen
I always thought this plant was a calathea but it actually belongs to a related family, the ctenanthe genus. Gosh these plants grow so fast! I originally bought one of these for a friend, who then gave me a cutting from it. I only had it for a few months when it shot out two new shoots so I separated these and put them in another pot. This is one of them. These plants are so easy to look after. It loves indirect light and watering when the top inch of the soil is dry. If the leaves droop, it means it’s thirsty. If you watch carefully, the leaves change direction all the time!
5. Heartleaf / Philodendron scandens
My heartleaf philodendron is one of my more recent acquisitions but the speed and ease at which it grows makes me think that it also deserves to be on a ‘plants you can’t kill list’. I treat it much like how I treat my devil’s ivy, having it in an indirect spot and watering it when the top inch of the soil is dry. The leaves just keep popping out and they are so cute, in a dark green heart shape.
I hope you enjoyed this plant-filled post! Let me know if you’d like to see another one, I have so many more plants to share!
Photography: Rowena Cao & Connie Cao