Do you want to green up your space, but always forget to water your plants and end up browning up your space instead? Think that you’ve got to relegate yourself to cacti and succulents? While most houseplants do require at least a weekly watering, never fear, there are some plants which can tolerate drought very well – including these 6 houseplants. (And these easy indoor gardening tips will help turn anyone's brown thumb green.)
Aloe Vera tops our list because, not only does it not require much water, but has numerous medicinal uses. You can use the gel inside the prickly leaves for treating burnt skin and rashes, as a mouthwash, as a natural makeup remover, or as a diabetes-fighting supplement.
You should water your aloe plant about once per week. But, if you forget, don’t fret! Aloe Vera stores water in its leaves, so it can go for extended periods of time without watering. In fact, the leading cause of death for aloe houseplants is over-watering! If the leaves are thin and curled, it means that you are probably not watering enough.
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Better known as “snake plant,” this plant is virtually impossible to kill – even if you have absolutely no green thumb. It tolerates low light interiors and it can go through an extended drought like a champ.
Before you dismiss sanseviera as “boring,” bear in mind that there are many species of sanseviera. Sansevieria trifasciata is the one we are most used to seeing in nurseries, but other species grow into more exciting shapes and have different color patterns. Sansevieria kirkii is particularly interesting because of its tiny star-shaped flowers.
Water this plant when their moisture level is at almost zero, which means only about 1 or 2 times per month! Don’t let it get too much water because root rot will occur. When in doubt, it is better to underwater than overwater!
Bromeliads do require more frequent watering, but they have evolved to withstand drought so are a good choice for the forgetful indoor gardener.
You should water bromeliads when the first two inches of soil have gone dry. Don’t water them before this or they will easily succumb to root rot. When watering, pour enough water to soak the potting medium. You’ll want to see the water running out of the drainage holes. Bromeliad leaves also form a natural “water tank” and they can take in water through this tank. You’ll also want to put some water in this tank, but remember to occasionally flush out the tank to prevent salt buildup.
Known as the ZZ plant, this houseplant practically thrives on neglect. It can handle bright to low light, and its waxy leaves means it retains water and can go extended periods of time without watering.
Note: just because the ZZ plant can go without watering, it doesn’t mean you should purposely not water it. You will need to water the plant when the top soil starts to feel dry. Never over-water the ZZ plant as it will cause root rot. Take care of it and you will be rewarded with its interesting flowers.
Aspidistra elatior is better known as the “cast iron plant,” – a name it got for being virtually indestructible. Unlike the other houseplants on this list, the cast iron plant can actually grow fairly large (up to 36 inches).
You will want to water the cast iron plant when the top soil becomes dry, and even less frequently in the winter. If you forget to water, don’t worry. This plant can go a month or so without watering. It won’t look too great, but it will rebound quickly once it gets a drink.
You will know that your jade plant needs more water if you see shedding leaves, brown spots on leaves, or the leaves start to wrinkle.