20 Plants Even You Can't Kill

Don't have a green thumb? Here are 20 plants just for you.

| November/December 2007

  • Place decorative plants such as this orchid (Cymbidium Magic Mountain 'Valentine') in front of a mirror to enhance their gorgeous blooms.
    Photo By Rosemary Kautzky

Tree-Form Plants

1. Parlor palms (Chamae- dorea elegans) and kentia palm (Howea forsteriana) adapt well to moderate indoor light. Slender lady palms (Rhapis excelsa) fit easily in small spaces. Most prefer fairly dry conditions.

2. Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) always sheds some leaves in the fall, but plants will lose fewer leaves if they’re kept in one spot. Green-leafed varieties are more vigorous than those with variegated foliage. Prefers full sun but tolerates shade and regular watering.

3. Rubber plant (Ficus elastica) can make a terrific formal floor plant when its leaves are kept clean. Many newer varieties have reddish leaves. Prefers partial shade and regular watering.

4. Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heterophylla) fills a large space with its layered lateral branches. It’s a strong style-setter in a cool, well-lit room. Water regularly.

5. Red-leaf philodendron (Philodendron erubescens) can be trained to climb a post or board, eventually forming a 5-foot tower of glossy, tropical-looking foliage. Prefers light shade and regular watering.

Plants for Entryways

6. Sansevieria (Sansevieria trifasciata), is also known as snake plant and mother-in-law’s tongue. Tall varieties grow to 2 feet, and there are dwarf varieties for small spaces. Prefers full sun and frequent watering.

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