Monday, June 17, 2024
Indoor plantsOntario GardenerPlants

Easy care houseplants (part 3 of 3)

Plants transform our living spaces indoors and out, but those that are invited into our homes do more for us than we do for them. The fact that they absorb the carbon dioxide we eliminate and produce, through photosynthesis, the oxygen we breathe in, make us well-suited roommates. Here are some easy care houseplants that are hard to kill.

Peperomia maculosa.

Peperomia caperata ‘Abricos’.

Peperomia argyreia (Watermelon).

Peperomia caperata ‘Kirsten’.

Radiator Plants Peperomia

With literally thousands of different varieties of peperomia, the only common trait they share is a succulent and fleshy leaf. Leaves vary in colour, size, texture, shape and pattern, some even look like rosettes or sedums. Peperomia, P. argyreia or watermelon peperomia as it is referred to, has silver stripes with elliptical shaped leaves while the Peperomia obtusifolia, or baby rubber plant has an upright demeanor.

There are numerous varieties to choose from, and as they tend to remain compact, they are suitable for growing in small spaces. The other trait peperomias share is a ‘rattail flower’. The flowers are essentially long, thin spikes sticking out of the plant that resemble rat tails.

These relatively care-free plants prefer low to medium light and moderately dry soil. They will tolerate florescent lighting or supposedly even being placed on a radiator, which is how they received their nickname, though we don’t recommend that.

They will forgive a missed watering or two, but will start shedding leaves if you’ve missed too many. On the other hand overwatering will lead to rot. They are best watered from below without soaking the crown of the plant. Peperomias are wonderful additions to terrariums, dish planters or as fillers under larger potted plants. They are easily propagated from leaf or tip cuttings.

Peperomia columbiana.

Peperomia caperata ‘Lilian’.

Peperomia nevada.

Peperomia prostrata.


Spider Plant Chlorophytum comosum

Nicknamed for the plantlets that dangle down from the mother plants, the spider plant is a quite common houseplant. They are easily cared for and the plantlets can be placed directly in the soil or water to root providing you with a never ending supply of spider plants.

They have variegated grass-like leaves and like indirect, natural light. These plants tend to be the thirstiest of the ones we’ve recommended but even they will forgive a little negligence on your part.

If you’re sick of the plain, old spider plant try out ‘Bonnie’. White and green variegated leaves twist and curl in an unusual pattern creating a very interesting looking plant.

For Part 1 (Pothos & Snake Plant), click here.

For Part 2 (Dracenas & African Violets), click here.