Houseplants contribute a lot to your home: beauty, serenity, even oxygen as they go about their daily growth and flowering. But their need for constant care can also be a drain on your time.
Can you keep houseplants healthy and vigorous even if you can barely spare a minute to care for them? Yes - if you follow a few simple rules and choose the right ones for your home's available light and your availability.
These six easy indoor plants you can't kill can survive some neglect.
First, keep only those plants that you genuinely enjoy, and that do well in your surroundings. If your house is dark and shady, for example, stay away from all cacti and other sun lovers - in low light, they'll grow spindly and misshapen.
If you're often out of town, avoid plants that need frequent watering, such as ferns - they will die of thirst. The tag in a new plant's potting soil can help guide you as to how much light and water the plant needs.
Take a similar approach to plants you keep out of habit. If that scraggly cutting from Aunt Agatha's rose geranium refuses to prosper, add it to the compost; she'll forgive you.
If the potted azalea that sat on your desk at your hated old job makes you miserable when you look at it, toss it.
Own fewer, larger plants instead of a lot of smaller ones. They'll make a bolder statement, and you won't need to spend as much time caring for them.
To make plant care easier, keep plants in the part of the house where they'll do best: Gather those moisture-loving plants in your humid bathroom. Then group plants that prefer life on the dry side on the same sunny sill. That way you won't harm some as you try to keep others alive.
If you want a sure thing, these easy indoor plants are your botanical best bets.
The Grape Ivy plant is a handsome vine with tendrils resembling those of grapes. This plant adapts easily to limited light and soil that's a bit on the dry side.
Brown thumb or not, these plants are a good bet to bring home.