3 Almost Impossible to Kill Houseplants


I’m not too certain about the name of the color that’s directly between green and brown, but whatever it is, that’s the color of my thumb. For the most part I’m pretty good at keeping my plants alive. But every now and then one seems to suddenly give up on life and call it quits.

Just the other day while I was making my rounds with my watering can I noticed my cactus all slumped over, like a deflated balloon. After enjoy a long life of three years, he had reached his limit. It’s never easy to lose a loved one, and yes I do consider my plants my children, but this loss was particularly hard since it was a secret Santa gift from my lovely friend Maggie. Not just another mutt I brought home from the bodega in Brooklyn.

I mean really, who kills a cactus?

And succulents? Don’t even get me started. The plant that seems to be notorious for how easy they are to keep alive. Fuhgeddaboudit! Those things practically take their last breath the moment I lay eyes on ‘em.

Throughout my years of being a plant mom, I have found some tried and true survivors. Those plants that almost seem impossible to kill. They give you all sorts of signs and signals that they’re struggling, possibly even close to their deathbed, but let you know they’re still fighting the good fight while giving you one last chance to notice them before they throw in the towel. I like to think of these plants as having a particularly long grace period. Very forgiving at times when you go away on an 8-day vacation and not only forget to water them, but also leave all the blinds in your house drawn up tight. Like one final kiss of death before you jet off to soak up the sun [how ironic]. Yet there they are, still standing proud when you return.

They accept you for your flaws, and still love you. If only men were as easy as plants. I’m kidding. Kind of.



snake plant

I’m convinced you couldn’t kill a snake plant even if you tried. You could probably water this thing with a box of rat poison and it’d still be sitting there, waiting for more.

I bought one about 4 years ago to give to my friend for her birthday, but seeing as it was too heavy to carry on the train, I ended up keeping it [in her honor, of course]. I still call it her birthday plant. I mean really it’s quite special, considering it’s the only plant I own who’s birthday I remember each year.

This guy tolerates low light very well, so if you’re looking to spruce up your desk at work, he’s the guy for the job. Bonus: it only needs to be watered every 2 weeks. Extra easy to remember if you’re on a bi-weekly pay schedule. Payday for you. Water day for him. You can both flourish and grow together.

zz plant

Convinced you have a brown thumb? Meet the ZZ plant, your new best friend. There’s a reason you see this kind of plant scattered throughout every Urban Outfitters or any equally poorly lit retail store. This plant is super chill. He was chill before it was even cool to be chill.

This low maintenance cutie thrives in low light and only needs to be watered every 2 weeks. But trust me, my sister has one in her house that I’m convinced hasn’t been water in at least a month, and he’s still going strong. Don’t be afraid to test its limits. But also, maybe don’t be afraid to just water it every 2 weeks instead.

The name of this plant always makes me think of that ZZ Top song, “Gimme All Your Lovin.” Yet this plant’s needs couldn’t be more misrepresented by a song title. It really only needs a small fraction of your lovin’.


Pothos marble

This little guy is a type of ivy, and he isn’t afraid to let you know when he’s been feeling a bit neglected.

When this plant gets a bit too dry a few of the leaves will turn a pale yellow color; a clear indicator that he’s in need of some TLC. But never fear, you’re still in the sweet zone, the grace period, the ‘i-will-love-you-back-to-life-so-help-me-GOD’ period. Give it a good soak and gently pull off any discolored leaves. Good as new!

Another fan of low light, which is ideal for houseplants you’re hoping to keep away from the windows, more toward the center of the room. Can’t have all your plants taking up your prime windowsill real estate.

He gets thirsty though, so be sure to water at least once every week, allowing the soil to dry between watering.

[images sourced from The Sill ]