5 Hard-to-kill House Plants for Frequent Travelers

originally published on Inquirer.net

For the active traveler, it seems that house plants need to be avoided, especially if you like being away for a week or more. Even the most responsible traveler can forget about a houseplant or two. By the time they’ll have returned, it will have been reduced to nothing but a clump of shriveled brown leaves. But if you’re an aspiring green thumb who has an equally avid wanderlust, all is not lost! You just need to keep these safe, hard-to-kill plant choices in mind the next time you go to a plant nursery.

One of the most widely known succulents before they became a huge trend in the modern world. Like many plants of its species, Aloe can be so hard to kill you’d actually have to put effort into it. They like their soil to be very dry (as wet soil encourages rotting in the roots) and are usually watered in three-week intervals (lessened even more in the winter). Just pop it in a spacious container, leave it near a window and you can easily water it once you’ve returned from a long trip. As a bonus, aloe can have healing properties on sunburnt skin after a big beach trip.

Jade Plant
Jade plants are equally easy to care for and just as hard to eliminate accidentally. As they are a type of succulent, their leaves are juicy and thick aside from being pleasingly rounded and green. A jade plant requires a lot of sunlight in order to survive and direct exposure is recommended. As for watering, the top layer of the soil must be completely dry before any further watering can be done, but leaving the soil dry enough to be dusty is a bad idea as well.

A beautiful trailing plant that is said to remove toxins in the air. It also trails and makes great accents and ornaments for high and empty spaces (just make sure it has a stick to climb on). Unlike the first two plants, the Pothos should not be exposed directly to sunlight; instead keep it near and not in front of windows or openings. It can easily thrive in normal pots of soil or vases full of water and can grow even in low-quality soil. Due to its tolerance for low light, it can be a great ways to color your bathroom or office spaces. It’s one of your top picks for a low-maintenance plant.

Snake Plant
Known for its striking foliage lines, hardy nature, ease of care, this air-purifying plant is an asset in any home. Even someone who has had a tragic past with plants won’t be able to accidentally kill this green miracle. Snake plants prefer soil that is easy to drain, which can be facilitated with absorbent and naturally warm terracotta pots. When shopping for one, pick a snake plant with dark-colored leaves as lightly colored ones are a sign of a weakening plant. Avoid watering the leaves and keep the plant away from your pets as it can be poisonous to them when chewed on.

Lucky Bamboo
While this plant resembles a miniature bamboo tree, it’s not actually of the same family line. Like Pothos, it can survive whether submerged in a vase of water or in a shallow dish filled with soil. Vases or small bowls of water are often recommended because they give the plant enough sustenance for a lot longer, even while you’re gone. These adorable houseplants must not be exposed directly to sunlight and hard water must not be used (some people use a gallon of purified water, which can last 2 months). When adding the water, make sure it only reaches the roots so as not to encourage rot.

So, if you want to earn your green thumb while still being able to leave your home for vacations, buy these low-maintenance plants and add some green, oxygen-producing friends into your living space. They’ll definitely be alive by the time you get home, ready for their next watering after you’ve fully relaxed from a long adventure.