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8 Hard-to-Kill Houseplants For a Cursed Green Thumb

8 Hard-to-Kill Houseplants For a Cursed Green Thumb

The wide variety of plants that thrive indoors make for affordable, versatile decor, while having the added benefits of cleansing the air in your home and circulating more oxygen. Houseplants are even a key element of effective feng shui. But some of us were born with a black thumb rather than a green one and can’t seem to keep plants alive long enough to appreciate them. It could be a curse, or you could just be way too busy to care for your plants.

The good news is there are several hardy plant species that require little skill or effort to maintain in your home. Below are eight houseplants that are made of sterner stuff, so you can get your feng shui on.

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1. Cast-iron plant

    photo source: halfrain via Flickr

    Aspidistra elatior aka the “cast-iron plant” is as tough as its name suggests. Low light, infrequent watering, poor quality soil, and even temperature fluctuation don’t bother it. It can survive in temperatures as low as 23 °F (−5 °C) before it begins to perish. Cast-iron plants are perfect for spots that aren’t next to windows; direct sunlight will damage their leaves. Ensure your pot has some kind of hole(s) for its soil to gently drain, otherwise it will do quite well with little attention. White and pink-ish flowers blossom around early summer.

    2. Spider plant

      photo source: Ordinary daily life of yoshinokichi via Flickr

      Snake plants (Chlorophytum comosum) do well even if their roots are crowded in a small-ish pot, meaning you won’t have to worry much about transferring a plant that gets too big. It typically grows to about 2 ft. (60 cm.) high and produces sparse amounts of small white flowers. They can live in temperatures down to 35 °F (2 °C), though room temperature is best for growth. There’s evidence that snake plants can reduce small amounts of indoor air pollution.

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      3. Kalanchoe

        photo source: Rachel Ford James via Flickr

        This pretty flowering plant doesn’t mind temperature shifts or dry climates. Being a type of succulent, they require little water. The Kalanchoe plant doesn’t tolerate super low temperatures, with a minimum temperature tolerance of roughly 45 °F (~7 °C), but that may not be a problem in most homes. They are a popular plant for their abundant and colorful blossoms.

        4. ZZ plant

          photo source: hollyjazzz362 via Flickr

          The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia), also called the “Zanzibar Gem”, is so hardy, drought just changes it from evergreen to deciduous, so forgetting to water it for a while probably won’t kill it. In fact, watering it too frequently increases risk for root-rot. It tolerates low-ish light levels and does best in room temperature or warmer temperatures.

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          5. Jade plant

            photo source: Steven Severinghaus via Flickr

            Crassula ovata has several common names including jade plant, lucky plant, and money tree. It doesn’t like bright sunlight and can be watered relatively infrequently in the summer, even less in the winter, when it typically sprouts tiny white flowers. The main requirement for a jade plant is that it’s planted in rich soil and has a pot that allows proper drainage. Jade plants are also good for bonsai if that interests you.

            6. Ponytail palm

              photo source: madaise

              Ponytail palms (Beaucarnea recurvate) are often planted outside where they can grow quite large, but can also be grown inside in varying sizes. They prefer to be placed by a sunny window, but don’t require a ton of watering and does well in dryer fast-draining soil. It may need to be re-potted once per year as it grows, but this is relatively low-maintenance for a pretty plant that can serve as a larger decoration.

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              7. Crown of thorns

                photo source: Shihmei Barger via Flickr

                Euphorbia milii or “crown of thorns” is a succulent that produces beautiful red-ish to white flowers with an interesting petal formation. It doesn’t like too much water but may enjoy an occasional spritz with a spray bottle on its leaves, and the flowers stick around all year. A bit of caution: contact with its sap or small thorns causes itching and swelling of the skin, so wear gloves if handling the plant.

                8. Mother-in-law’s Tongue

                  photo source: Steven Severinghaus via Flickr

                  Mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant will thrive even under neglect, and can go a month without being watered. This plant is particularly good at tolerating low levels of light, and is probably one of the toughest houseplants to kill. It is one of the best houseplants for reducing indoor toxins like nitrogen oxides and formaldehyde.

                  Featured photo credit: Spring at Workplace/Alexander Kuznetsov via flic.kr

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                  Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                  The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                  The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                  Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                  your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                    Why You Need a Vision

                    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                    How to Create Your Life Vision

                    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                    What Do You Want?

                    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                    Some tips to guide you:

                    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                    • Give yourself permission to dream.
                    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                    Some questions to start your exploration:

                    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                    • What qualities would you like to develop?
                    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                    • What would you most like to accomplish?
                    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                    A few prompts to get you started:

                    • What will you have accomplished already?
                    • How will you feel about yourself?
                    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                    • What does your ideal day look like?
                    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                    • What would you be doing?
                    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                    • How are you dressed?
                    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                    Plan Backwards

                    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                    • What important actions would you have had to take?
                    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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