There is a myth going around that you need green fingers to have healthy plants. And for years, I believed that I was incapable of growing any. I kept only the artificial variety for aesthetic appeal.
But I have come to realize that you don’t need to be Shrek (green thumbs, get it?) or Elizabeth Lawrence, one of the first females with a degree in landscape architecture, to have a beautiful garden (or potted plant).
You just need to choose the right ‘low maintenance’ plants. Here are a few plants that don’t require much attention:
1. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)
The ZZ plant is the perfect plant for novices and is popular for home and office use. It can also grow outdoors in places with a mild winter.
The thick waxy green leafy plant originally from Africa requires little watering and tolerates low-light conditions and neglect. The ZZ plant is an air purifier and grows slowly to a height of 2 to 3 feet. However, it is poisonous, so keep out of reach of pets and kids.
2. Coneflower (Echinacea)
If, like me, you prefer flowering plants, then try the hardy coneflowers. They are easy to grow, drought-tolerant, long-blooming, and make great cut flowers. Coneflowers attract birds and pollinators.
They come in a range of pinks and purples. The most common is the purple coneflower.
The plant has beautifully fragrant fluffy flowers and is also known as Polish roses. They are not fussy but do not like being transplanted, so choose the location wisely. Peonies love a sunny spot and bloom best in a place with 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.
According to a horticulture expert, Marianne Binetti, “peonies will bloom in the same spot for decades.” They are drought and slug resistant. However, on the downside, peonies attract ants.
4. Coral Bells (Heuchera)
The evergreen perennial plant, also known as alumroot, is native to North America. Heuchera’s claim to fame stems from its colorful foliage – colors ranging from bright gold to deep red to lime green. They also produce bunches of colorful delicate flowers on stalks.
Heuchera favors dry, hot conditions and is perfectly suitable for water-wise gardening. They are indifferent to sunlight but prefer shade. Coral bells thrive in containers too, happily mingling with other plants.
5. Chinese Evergreen(Aglaonema)
Another plant that is good for novices is the Chinese Evergreen plant. It comes in many different varieties, and though it can be grown outdoors in certain conditions, it is considered a houseplant.
The Chinese Evergreen requires low light, rarely exceeds a height of 3 feet, and is super forgiving if you overdo it on H2O.
If you are still nervous about choosing the best low maintenance plants, read some gardening books to bolster your courage.