The Houseplants That Are Almost Impossible To Kill

Do your worst.

Are you a well-intentioned yet accidental houseplant murderer, like most people?

Do you wish you lived in a lush indoor Eden, but are constantly reminded that plants die?

There's hope for you: Some houseplants are simply harder to kill than others.

Tovah Martin knows this. The gardener and author of “The Indestructible Houseplant: 200 Beautiful Plants That Everyone Can Grow,” Martin put many houseplants through typical stress tests to learn which plants live with very little attention and which are the neediest.

She told HuffPost that, while your source of sunlight is the most important thing to keep in mind when deciding which plants to get and where to put them in your home, a plant's lifespan ultimately comes down to how you feel about it.

"The more you think it’s beautiful, the more apt you are to take care of it. You just want to keep that beauty going -- that's when you put yourself into the plant," she said.

She likened buying a plant to choosing a girlfriend. Sure, there are a lot of plants in the world, but "choosing accordingly helps narrow the field and makes you successful at it. I always say I’m a big advocate for choosing the plants you would live with rather than being saddled with something your aunt or mother thinks you should have. I think that chemistry and attraction are everything."

With photographs and tips, Martin profiles houseplants that can survive the harsh conditions of real life, your worst behaviors and how to deal with tricky, elusive natural sunlight, wherever you live.

When you find the right balance, “This is going to be a happy marriage,” she writes.

If only all relationships were as indestructible.

Here are the best houseplants for any personality type:

If You’re Not Home That Much:
Photo by Kindra Clineff/Courtesy Timber Press
"If the plant is home alone a lot," Martin recommends air plants for anyone who can't (or forgets) to water them that often. Because air plants get their nutrients from their specialized leaves (rather than their roots), "they only need water like once a week, and it doesn’t even need soil at all. You put it into a bowl, and you just fill the bowl with water for like an hour and then throw the water out."

(From left to right: Tillandsia xerographica, Vriesia fenestralis, Cryptanthus sp. and Quesnelia marmorat.)
If You Don't Have That Much Light:
Photo by Kindra Clineff/Courtesy Timber Press
The Zamioculcas zamiifolia (or ZZ plant) is perfect for you if you, say, "almost live in a closet," Martin said. "A ZZ plant can take almost no light; it’s just amazing how little light they need. If you forgot to water, it wouldn’t hold a permanent grudge against you."
If You're Into Flowers:
Photo by Kindra Clineff/Courtesy Timber Press
If you want color in your room but think flowery plants are too delicate, Martin said you haven't met the African violet.

"An African violet is just going to pour out the blossoms in the middle of the winter," Martin said. "Right when you need them most."
If You're Not Into Flowers:
Photo by Kindra Clineff/Courtesy Timber Press
For "funky foliage," Martin told HuffPost a "dracaena would be really good. They have ones with really colorful weaves now."

In "Indestructible Houseplants," she writes that she keeps the roots of hers "crammed into a tight, shallow container of less than 6 inches in diameter. I water it, but not to excess. I don't push it."
If You Want An Indoor Forest:
Photo by Kindra Clineff/Courtesy Timber Press
The Norfolk Island pine tree, according to Martin, "looks like a little tree, it really does. It’s wonderful, like somebody shrunk the forest."

And they don't grow that much: "A whole year has come and gone since [mine] wiggled their way into my life," Martin writes in her book. "They have not added another tier of greenery, or even another needle."
If You've Got The Winter Blues:
Photo by Kindra Clineff/Courtesy Timber Press
If the winter blues get you down, Martin said the tropical lady slipper orchid is perfect for you. "The word 'orchid' makes people scared," Martin told HuffPost. But the lady slipper is "a little easier. Most orchids grow up in trees, and that makes them hard. This is a terrestrial orchid, so it really grows in the ground. It’s not so dicey. And they have that great, big, huge flower."

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