Video: Choose Indoor Plants You Can’t Kill!

Video: Choose Indoor Plants You Can’t Kill!

by / 10 Comments / 176 View / March 13, 2008

Believe it or not, there are some indoor plants that are almost impossible to kill!

Sound to good to be true?


Watch this video for suggestions from garden designer, Shirley Bovshow.

10 Comment

  1. I’ve had a bromeliad growing for a few years and the bottom leaves have started to go brown recently, does anyone know why?

  2. Thanks Mr Subjunctive. Did you read my post about it “taking a village to produce a garden segment?” It’s the same thing when you have plant questions, there is always someone out there who can help out. Thanks!

  3. Thank you both for your replies and suggestions. BTW, I took a look at your site, Mr. Subjuctive, and I like the way the you’ve listed and rated the plants.

    I appreciate the replies!

  4. I don’t have wide experience with indoor ferns either, actually. I’ve grown bird’s-nest, rabbit’s-foot, and holly ferns, and —

    Holly: hard to find, fairly easy to grow. I gave it a 2.6 (somewhat easy), mostly because it doesn’t do well if underwatered. Like, miss a day and you’ll be harshly punished. But humidity, light, etc., are flexible.

    Rabbit’s-Foot: I haven’t done a post yet, but I’d give it a 5.8 (difficult). The winter dormancy scared me. It lost frond after frond and I thought it was a goner, and then in spring it grew replacement fronds and then some. Humidity is a little bit of a problem, and watering is tricky in the winter.

    Bird’s-Nest: 4.6 (slightly difficult). It’ll scorch if the light is too bright, if the air is too dry, or if the plant gets too hot. These are all somewhat easy to avoid, though, except the dry air. Not a fast grower indoors.

    As for the others (bear’s-paw, staghorn, Boston, brake, table, etc.), everybody seems to agree that maidenhairs are difficult, but beyond that, people seem to have pretty different experiences.

  5. Hi Anna,
    Don’t be afraid of Cyclamen. Once you understand that it will bloom and then go through dormancy period, you can be sure you did not kill it! It may bloom more than once if you deadhead. I’ve had a 65% success rate of encouraging another flush of blooms this way. Other than that, keep it out of direct sunlight (not by the window) You can tuck it in front of another taller planter near a window to protect it from direct sun if you want it near the window though. Place on a tray with pebbles and add water to provide supplemental humidity.

    Hey Lin,
    Thanks for dropping in and your variegated pothos suggestion. I don’t have lots of experience with indoor ferns so I don’t feel qualified to suggest the best ones. Anyone out there have some direction from Lin? How about you Mr. Subjective- let’s get some of your expertise working here!

  6. I’ve grown all of the plants you mention and I agree with you, though I can understand the comment about cyclamen. If I’m gifting a non-gardener, pothos is a “sure thing”…so hardy! Anna, check out the variegated varieties of pothos…really pretty. I think anthurium is great, too-the flowers are so long lasting. Another houseplant I’ve had for a long time is a sago palm. It has done beautifully (with minimum care). For those areas that could use some height I like Corn stalk plant (Latin name: Dracaena fragrans ‘massangeana’)–very hardy.

    What ferns do you suggest for indoors?

  7. Shirley, I’ve got the perfect window in my new house for the cyclamen but was afraid to try them. I always killed them. Will they bloom more than once a year inside? Now I know to dunk it and not top water getting the leaves wet. Perfect pronunciation of Sansiveria–which I only new as Mother-in-law tongue. I remember you talking about practising that word forever before going on the show. I’ve never had a pothos but my mom had one that grew around the room-it reminded me of my favorite Katherine Hepburn movie- Desk Set.

  8. I really probably should slow down when I’m reading blogs — I didn’t realize the website and the video involved the same person. So now I feel like a bit of a douche. I still wouldn’t recommend Cyclamen to people who think they have black thumbs, but. One of the people I work with used to live in California, and said he found Cyclamen easy too, at least then, so maybe a person just has to have lived in California for a while?

    I would maybe have gone with Anthurium — they’re a lot easier than I thought when I bought them, and there are some really outstanding cvv. out there: they’re underrated. I bought a couple for foliage (I knew they bloomed, but didn’t especially care), and then without even trying all that hard, they’ve been in continuous bloom since last June, indoors, under mostly artificial lights. Granted that the flowers aren’t the most flowery-looking flowers, but that doesn’t seem to stop people from buying peace lilies.

  9. Hi Mr. Subjunctive,
    Sorry I lost you at Cyclamen….but I’m glad that I found you! You have a great web site and I like your houseplant rating information.

    Believe it or not, Cyclamen has been one of my most reliable houseplants with clients. I explain to them that “dormancy” and “dead” are not the same thing. It is important for new gardeners to understand this and not throw away every plant after blooming time is over! After flowering and withering of leaves, the Cyclamen is exiled to a cool dark place for a few months then repotted in fresh soil in late summer. A few months later….surprise! More flowers.

    I wanted to include a couple of flowering plants in the presentation to illustrate that plants like these can be enjoyed for more than one season with proper care.

    Thanks for the visit and for your comment. I’m sure you are not the only person who will have the same reaction…but that is what gardening is all about. Different methods, different experiences.

  10. She lost me at Cyclamen. “Indoor plants you won’t kill,” to me, means something that’s not going to die before a year’s up. I don’t know what her angle is, but all she’s going to do is convince a bunch more people that they have black thumbs.

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