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Hard to Kill : Houseplants for the inept

The New York Times | Michael Tortorello published November 10, 2010

Plants need water, you know. If you like plants, or better, like to live with plants, or even better, like to live with beautiful plants, but your foyer is a halfway between a cozy berth in someone else’s home and a pauper’s grave in your backyard, you definitely need to read this article.

house plants jumbo

Three experts such as Uli Lorimer, curator of native plants at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Mike Rimland, director of business development for Costa Farms, a leader company in the indoor houseplant and bedding plant industry, and Mark Hoover, the man behind Plants Are the Strangest People, a blog where he writes about the quirky lives of his 878 houseplants, where asked for advice. So they shared their best tips and their favorite catalogs.

Here is a list of plants that cannot be killed (with a star next to the indestructible plants):

· Uli Lorimer’s list ::
Wax plant (Hoya Carnosa Variegata)
Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium Nidus)

wax plant and birds nest ferns

Rabbit’s Foot Fern (Davallia Fejeensis).

Uli Lorimer and Rabbits Foot Fern

Croton (Codiaeum Variegatum)

Croton plant

★ Cast-iron plant (Aspidistra Elatior) :: You can treat this plant like a piece of furniture. That is to say, remember to dust its foot-long leaves every once in a while.

cast iron plantcast iron plant

· Mike Rimland’s list ::
Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)

Mike Rimlandmoth orchid plant

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

peace lily plantpeace lily plant

Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea Recurvata)
Malaysian Dracaena (Pleomele Reflexa)

pony tail palmmalaysian dracaena plant

★ Sago Palm (Cycas Revoluta) :: “You could drive a truck over it, and you couldn’t kill it”.

sago palm

· Mark Hoover’s list ::
Pandan (Pandanus Amaryllifolius)

Mark Hoover and Pandan plant

Long-leaf Fig (Ficus Maclellandii)
Anthurium (Anthurium Andraeanum)

Long leaf figanthurium plant

Jungle Drum (Asplundia Jungle Drum)
★ Strawberry Begonia (Saxifraga Stolonifera) :: The botanical name sounds like a Mary Poppins tongue-twister.

jungle drum plantstrawberry begonia