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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 May 22, 2019

                  10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                  10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                  There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                  One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                  In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                  Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                  1. Cat Camel Stretch

                  Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                  Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                  Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                  Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                  2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                  This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                  Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                  The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                  Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                  Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                  3. Jumping Jacks

                  Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                  Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                  4. Abductor Side Lifts

                  Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                  Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                  5. Balancing Table Pose

                  This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                  Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

                  ablab

                    6. Leg Squats

                    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                    7. Push Ups

                    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                    8. Bicycle Crunches

                    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                    9. Lunges

                    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                    10. Bicep Curls

                    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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