Are you even a houseplant mom if you haven't killed at least two calathea and a f*cking maidenhair fern?
Hi, my name is Liz and I've killed some plants.
Let's be honest here, we're all friends. If you love plants and have started an indoor jungle at home, you probably have killed a few of them. We have all done it. There's no shame in it. The only way to truly learn a new skill is by making mistakes - am I right or am I right?
Who here has dreamed of creating a beautiful green home bursting with lush plants? And who here struggles with keeping their plants alive? Be honest. Keeping houseplants alive is hard work. It takes a lot of work and learning to get your philodendrons cascading beautifully or your string of pearls to look plump and juicy.
If you're new to the game or you're looking to create a low-key indoor jungle without all the bells and whistles, here are our picks at NODE for 10 houseplants that you practically can’t murder. So put that fiddle-leaf fig down, and slowly back away.
Disclosure - plants are ALIVE which means they do need some things (light, air and water are generally considered essentials, guys) but these indoor plants are some of the tougher and hardier ones that can take neglect and still show up looking good. Enjoy!
1. Golden pothos (Devil's Ivy)
Somewhat indestructible, golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is one of the tougher of the common pothos on the market, with splashy gold and green leaves, leaves that stay green even without a lot of light.
Not only does golden pothos purify your home, but it is also a hardy plant that looks great in hanging baskets as it has long trailing vines that you can leave hanging down, or pin train upon a fern pole into a plant tower.
It's a great intro trailing plant for your urban jungle.
2. Peace Lily
A beautiful house plant with lovely white blooms, the peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is an easy plant to grow and requires low light. One of those for rooms with fewer windows!
You often see these guys in offices or hidden away because they are nice and green but can survive without a lot of light. They can grow massive and produce lovely white flowers. A super low-key and hard-to-kill plant, these guys are great for those wanting some green without fuss.
3. Spider plant
Ah, the good old spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) which brings us straight back to 70's houseplant culture.
Perhaps not as trendy as it once was, it's a solid, impossible to accidentally murder through neglect, and it reproduces all on its own, whether you want it to or not. Spide plants often produce pups hanging off the ends of the long leaves.
4. Tradescantia zebrina (Spiderwort)
Ah good old tradescantia, a plant we love to hate, but we can't deny that with it's shimmery purple and silver leaves, she's a beauty.
Pretty much a weed, it grows like gangbusters and you can't kill even if you tried (trust me, we have forgotten some of these and they're still going strong). You can quite literally pull off a piece of the stem, chuck in soil, and you'll have a new plant before you know it.
Tradescantia looks amazing trailing down and hanging off shelves or tops of bookcases, and can take almost any light.
A good plant for beginners, peperomia are pretty common here in New Zealand and come in many types and varieties, most of which are pretty easy plants to care for.
Most peperomias are ow maintenance and have lovely lush leaves. A great feature of the peperomia is that they can be propagated using any part of the plant – the stem and the leaf which makes it easy to keep growing.
Watermelon peperomia are a little more fussy than the rest but just keep them humid and they'll be happy!
6. Rubber Plant (ficus elastica)
A hardy, low maintenance plant with lovely big leaves, rubber plants are popular for a reason: they can grow just about anywhere in any conditions. Up north in New Zealand, you'll see them grow wild outside, whereas further south they make lovely indoor plants that can be trimmed and encouraged to grow many different ways
Rubber plants you can find in NZ:
Ficus elastica - Tineke (white variegation)
Ficus elastica - Ruby (red variegation)
Ficus elastica - Black Knight (solid black)
Ficus elastica - Shivereana (light green variegation)
Ficus elastica - Robusta (good old normal green)
7. Monstera deliciosa
I feel like no blog about houseplants is complete without the gorgeous Monstera, affectionately known as the Swiss cheese plant because of the unique holes in its mature leaves (fenestrations). This statement plant which has dominated style boards and Instagram feeds is a plant enthusiast favorite. It’s easy to care for and difficult to kill which gives it its popularity.
Known as the fruit salad plant back in the day, once your monstera is nice and mature, it produces edible fruit - doesn't often ripen here in good old cold New Zealand, so don't get your hopes up.
8. Sansevieria (Snake Plant)
The snake plant with its long, firm leaves has been a treasured plant in the Chinese culture because they believed that eight gods bestowed their virtues on those that grew the snake plant in their homes. It is a very popular, easy to grow plant and does a better job of purifying air than any other houseplant. In fact, it even converts carbon dioxide into oxygen which makes it perfect for your bedroom for a good night’s sleep!
Also known as mother in law's tongue (don't ask me why), these guys are super cruisy and easy to care for houseplants in NZ that can grow and grow, thriving on neglect, and there are many varieties to chose from.
9. Succulents and cactus
One of the latest trends in the plant world has been that of succulents. There are so many different varieties in terms of color, shape, and size that you’re bound to find one you love. And when you do, they are one of the easiest plants to look after. Hardy and accustomed to little water, cactus and succulents make amazing gifts and first time plants.
And bonus, you can do so much with succulents to spruce up your indoor space!
10. Air plants
How cool is it to have a plant that doesn't need soil? Let me introduce you to the wild west of houseplants - air plants.
Air plants are exotic plants that can grow in pretty much any conditions. Plus, they are impossible to kill! They are called air plants because they get all the nutrition they need from the air – so you don’t even need to worry about watering them or checking their soil. Very low maintenance if you ask me! You can even get them to flower - pop them in a bathroom and they'll be happy as with the humidity.
Spanish moss and tillandsias are the two most common air plants you'll find in New Zealand. You can get really wild with how you deorate with them too!
What are your favorite houseplants that you’ve managed to keep alive? What's your toughest indoor plant? Let me know ☺