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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 March 13, 2019

                  How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                  How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                  Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                  You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                  Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                  1. Work on the small tasks.

                  When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                  Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                  2. Take a break from your work desk.

                  Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                  Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                  3. Upgrade yourself

                  Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                  The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                  4. Talk to a friend.

                  Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                  Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                  5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                  If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                  Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                  Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                  6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                  If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                  Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                  Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                  7. Read a book (or blog).

                  The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                  Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                  Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                  8. Have a quick nap.

                  If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                  9. Remember why you are doing this.

                  Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                  What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                  10. Find some competition.

                  Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                  Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                  11. Go exercise.

                  Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                  Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                  As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                  Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                  12. Take a good break.

                  Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                  Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                  Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                  Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                  More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                  Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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