Four houseplants that won’t die

By Ryan Cornell

Keeping a plant alive for longer than a year can feel like a real challenge.

Fortunately, there are a variety of indoor plants strong enough to withstand the darkest cubicles and most forgetful waterers.

Kristin Brill, a Quicksburg resident and horticulturalist, recommended a quartet of these plants for those missing a green thumb.

Perhaps better known to some as “dumb cane,” this plant contains toxins in its leaves that can cause intense numbness when chewed.

Brill said the foliage plant is attractive for offices because it doesn’t require much water or sunlight.

The only catch with dieffenbachia, she said, is its slow rate of growth.

Devil’s ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
Unlike the dieffenbachia, the vines and heart-shaped leaves of the devil’s ivy grow fairly quickly, said Brill.

“It’s just really easy to grow,” she said. “I’m sure there are people out there that could kill it, but it’s a super super easy plant to grow.”

And because of its ability to remove pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene and xylene, the houseplant has become a popular addition to many offices.

Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera)
Despite the latter half of its name, you won’t find any needles on this houseplant.

Although the Christmas cactus is friendlier to the touch than many of its cousins, it shares the same ease of care, possessing a similar level of drought and shade tolerance.

Brill said the plant blooms around December, exhibiting brightly colored flowers.

Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron scandens)
The “sweetheart plant” has leaves shaped similarly to the devil’s ivy, and it’s just as easy to care for.

Philodendrons can survive in low light, in lightly moist soil and can thrive for years in a small pot.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or

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