Who needs a high-maintenance houseplant? If you’re going through the trouble of decorating your home with some greenery, it makes sense to buy something that’ll last—even if your home is as dark as a basement, your ability to remember to water is nearly nonexistent, and your thumbs aren’t remotely green.
- Pothos: This leafy, versatile houseplant can endure two of the biggest plant maintenance no-nos for extended periods of time: Low light and low water levels.
- Spath: This hardy, leafy dark green plant has long skinny stems with a spike of itsy-bitsy white micro flower at its tips. It thrives in low light and it actually hangs onto water for weeks before drooping leaves signal that it’s time for a swig.
NOTE: After posting this, a commenter pointed out that these plants are poisonous to pets and children. A SF Chronicle story, which is the source of these and other “No-Fail Houseplant” suggestions, makes no mention of whether any of the plants featured are poisonous or not. I’ve looked into it, and, according to a North Carolina State University report, both Spath and Pothos are described as “TOXIC ONLY IF LARGE QUANTITIES EATEN.” They’re also known to cause irritation and severe pain in the mouth if eaten. Such unpleasantness makes it unlikely that anyone would eat them in large quantities, but it’s something to be mindful of nonetheless, especially if there are pets or children in your home. Thanks much for the comment.