Califonia Bountiful

Bullet-proof houseplants for busy families

Jan./Feb. 2015 California Bountiful magazine

With a busy schedule, ornamental plant expert David Brenner, founder of Habitat Horticulture in San Francisco, acknowledges there are times when even his own houseplants are neglected. Winter is a tough time for ornamental indoor plants, he says, but some do better under harsh conditions than others.

Here is Brenner's short list of houseplants that can tolerate some abuse and still bounce back:

  • Sweetheart Vine – Philodendron cordatum has been used indoors since Victorian times and tolerates low light and uneven watering.

  • Pothos – Epipremnum pinnatum comes in a lime green "neon" variety. Native to Malaysia, Indonesia and New Guinea, it does well in low light and needs frequent watering, but is nevertheless easy for novice indoor growers.

  • Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum needs shade and weekly watering to thrive and produce blooms. It tops NASA's list for removing common indoor air contaminants.

  • Umbrella Plant – Schefflera comes in a variety of species that tolerate bright-to-moderate light and moderate-to-low watering. It recovers well, even after a complete pruning.

  • Snake Plant – Sansevieria trifasciata, also called Mother-in-Law Tongue, helps filter air contaminants and thrives in low light and humidity, such as in a bathroom.

Read California Bountiful magazine's feature story on Habitat Horticulture.

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