Five beautiful houseplants with rugged reputations


Houseplants aesthetically contribute to the interior by bringing a bit of wilderness to the man-made scene. In practical terms, they also transform carbon dioxide into oxygen while removing a few air pollutants. None of this happens, though, unless they survive. The following 5 choices not only tolerate the indoors, they thrive.

Pothos ivy
A native of the Solomon Islands, Pothos ivy, epipremnum aureum, is a beautiful vine that grows up to 10 feet long. The heart-shaped or cordate leaves are variegated with green and white or yellow. Although this houseplant doesn’t like direct sunlight, stronger indirect light produces more variegation. The basic rule for watering is to let the top couple inches of soil to dry out between waterings. Concerning temperatures, with roots in the south seas, Pothos ivy does enjoy humid settings between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but temperatures above 55 degrees are also handled in stride.

Jade plant
Looking like a miniature tree when mature with a light brown woody trunk, the Jade plant gets its name from its thick obovate leaves of a rich green color. Jade plants include several species of Crassula succulents. Some can grow to just over 3 feet tall. Since they’re succulents, their soil needs to be slightly moist in spring and summer but should be allowed to dry between waterings in winter. The Jade plant also appreciates a few hours of direct sunlight everyday.

Some houseplants can add color when they bloom, but the Peperomia always supplies color through leaves of green, red, purple, gray, or variegated blends of each. They can also include fascinating washboard textures on their heart-shaped leaves. Peperomia heights can range from 6 inches to 3 feet due to a multitude of individual species and varieties included under this name. With 5 or 6 hours of direct sunlight, Peperomias like acidic soil low in nutrients that’s permitted to dry between waterings. They also like cool indoor temperatures in winter but enjoy warm, humid summer conditions.

Snake plant
Sometimes called Mother-in-law’s Tongue, Snake plants can come in an assortment of shapes and sizes ranging from 1 to 8 feet in height. They are united by a set of green blade-like leaves emerging from a central crown with perpendicular darker green stripes. Some types also feature yellow edging. Planted in sandy potting soil, Snake plants like strong indirect sunlight but tolerate deep shade. The soil needs to dry out between waterings, and temperatures down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit are manageable, but 70 to 90 degrees is better.

Heartleaf philodendron
The vines of the Heartleaf Philodendron grow up to 4 feet and can be left to hang down freely. They can also be pinched back to create a mound shape or trained to climb up a porous surface. This houseplant needs modest to strong indirect sunlight, soil that’s barely moist through most of the year, and temperatures from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, let the soil dry between waterings and keep the air a little humid.