Lazily scrolling down my Instagram feed, I see many posts of bright room layouts with plants adorning the walls. This makes me turn away from my phone screen and look at my bedroom walls. There’s a stick figure drawing that my sister drew some time ago and some marks of Crayola from babysitting. The rest of my bedroom walls are bare and lifeless.
Although I am a big fan of plants and agriculture, I don’t have a particularly handy green thumb. My first plant was a small succulent gifted on my fourteenth birthday by my older brother. I put the plant on my windowsill and watered it too often. It was early October, so the New England chill had started to settle in. It went from a pretty Echeveria to a squishy, yellow-colored dying plant in three weeks. I stared in shock as the plant looked back at me in disgust. It inflated as I poked the plant. Then It gave out and the watery insides dribbled down my fingers like plant vomit. That was the first plant I killed. Filled with regret, I promised to not have another houseplant (that was a lie, I have a spiky cactus that is still going strong).
What I didn’t know is that plants vary in the amount of care needed to survive. Some plants need constant watering and attention, and some will just flourish on their own. Here are five plants that are hard to kill—even if your green thumb is non-existent.
Devil’s Ivy (Pothos): This plant sounds ominous, but it isn’t! Pothos is often called “Devil’s Ivy” because it is hard to kill and still thrives in darkness. My biology teacher has this plant in the back of his room and it hasn’t been watered for quite some time. It’s like the Hulk of plants: green and resilient.
Philodendron: Often mistaken as Pothos, this plant has large and shiny leaves. Would it be weird to pet it? Yes. But should you? Also yes. Philodendron can range from hanging in small baskets to being the main focal point of your indoor garden. It will keep growing with care and might outgrow your apartment (hopefully not).
Strawberry Begonia: Although there won’t be any sweet summertime strawberries, Strawberry Begonias are stunning on their own. It has wide circular leaves, and when flowering, it will send blooming runners downwards. This plant will liven up any room with its charm and bubbliness.
String of Hearts: String of Hearts is a particular favorite of mine. The leaves can vary from purple to green. Also called Chain of Hearts, they can be tricky to handle at first, but with proper care, they can reach the floor! This plant is also non-toxic to pets. Don’t let your cat paw at them because they will break the chain of hearts (and your heart too!)
Jade Plant: I remember gifting this to my freshman U.S. history teacher, who let me take care of her plants before class. After a few months, it did start drooping because of the lack of watering and sunlight, but we revived it! The Jade Plant is also called a money tree because of the Feng Shui belief that the plant attracts wealth.
Some days I find myself wanting a new plant to decorate my room with. I try to convince myself that I DON’T need any more plants. But to no avail, I still end up in my local plant nurseries and flower shops and my wallet wilting. My two favorite places are in the South End: niche plant shop on 619 Tremont St, and Olympia Flower Store on 1745 Washington St.