By John Ployer
Houseplants are an increasingly popular hobby for busy college students. Less work and money than dogs or cats, plant fans know that they can offer quite a bit of life and “pizzazz” to an otherwise boring apartment or dorm room.
But what plant to get? Whether you never owned a houseplant or are an expert in indoor plant cultivation, you can benefit from seeing what kinds of plants are out there.
From someone who’s been to a lot of plant stores, here’s six houseplants which are proven to be both popular and low-maintenance.
This wacky looking houseplant has become increasingly popular in recent years, consisting of one stalk with many circular leaves, the pilea has become a go-to for plant enthusiasts. Once pileas reach a certain size they tend to start putting out pups (or babies, as us young people tend to call them), meaning you’ll have a collection to share with your friends in no time!
Partial shade in the summer, full sun in the winter, water only when soil is dry.
An actual tree, the Rubber Tree has become a popular houseplant because it will only grow as big as the pot allows. Rubber Trees have big leaves and come in a variety of colours. On the inside they contain a sap that rubber can be made from (do not try at home). Rubber Trees are both pretty and low maintenance. Try to keep in indirect light. Water weekly while the plant is actively growing, during periods of dormancy reduce watering to once or twice a month.
This unique looking houseplant is common in offices everywhere. But rather than the sad, overgrown plant left to add some “life” to the office, this plant can be front and centre in your living room. Schefflera is easy to grow and easy to maintain. Only water when dry, partial to full sun is best. Schefflera tends to grow tall and thin but if you chop off the growing tips you’ll almost always get more than one new branch sprout out.
With Christmas right around the corner Norfolk Pines have started popping up in stores, but its more than just decoration, it’s a pretty houseplant for any season. Coming from the Pacific Island of Norfolk, this isn’t similar to any pine found in Canada. Its needles are soft, and unlike evergreens it can grow multiple branches, leading to some interesting shapes.
Easy to take care of, just water when dry, offer full or partial shade, and keep indoors.
Among the most popular houseplants, this slow-growing succulent is popular thanks to how easy it is to take care off. It’s a plant that will survive if you forget to water it, perfect for the forgetful college student! Only water when COMPLETELY dry or else you risk the roots rotting. Older Jade Trees can take on a tree like structure which many people find fascinating. Full sun is recommended.
Money Trees can go by many names, but you probably know them as houseplants that comes in a pot of five plants braided together. Legend has it Money Trees bring good fortune to their owner, hence the name.
Money trees tend to live healthier unbraided however, which I did to mine. They grow slowly and put out very few branches, but can grow big and tall with time. Tolerant to many conditions, water once or twice a month.