(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on April 25, 2008. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to your questions.)
I currently have over a hundred house plants. I have learned over the years that some are easier to care for than others. In this article I will go over the ones I believe to be the easiest of them all. Pictured at the right is a Schefflera. Easy, low maintenance. I keep it in a South facing window in the winter. That isn't very bright here in Canada. It is very forgiving if watering is not consistent. I've never seen a bug bother it.
This is known as Oak Leaf Ivy(Cissus rhombifolia). Unlike many ivies I have known, this one is not prone to the dreaded spider mite. It does not need extra humidity in the winter when the house is dry. Its new leaves are a beautiful copper colour when grown in a bit of sun. They actually like to be dried out between waterings!!!
Episcia are one of my passions. Their leaves come in almost every colour imaginable. They do not require sun, just bright light. The one pictured to the right(E. Showtime) is grown in a north facing window. The pink leaved ones are fussier, but the rest are very low maintenance.
One of my favourites, Hoya Carnosa, wax plant. Quite happy in bright light and forgiving if under-watered occasionally. Prefers to be root-bound so we don't have to worry about re-potting it every year. Again, the plant pictured here I grow in a north facing window.
Heart Leaf Philodendron. One of the easiest vines. Medium light requirements, the one pictured is in a north window BEHIND the Hoya. Poisonous, so care is needed around children and pets.
Any of the holiday cactus are nice, easy plants. They only become difficult if you worry about making them bloom. Mine thrive on neglect, and bloom as well. The one pictured is to the side of a north window.
This is known a Ric Rac cactus. It is a jungle cactus, just as the holiday cactus are. This one gets south and west light exposure. Not particularly fussy about watering.
All of the above plants will thrive if their individual needs are met. All house plants will. My main point here is that when our jobs, life or family occasionally stand between us and the care of our plants, which happens, these plants will understand. They won't die or pout or sulk, they will survive, and when the time comes that we can continue the proper care they will bounce back. Sure, the odd leaf might yellow, or brown at the edges and drop, but they will not outright die on you. They are dependable.
You must also keep in mind that I live in Canada. Where I live our summer temperatures rarely go above 90F. Our nights are always cool. What survives for me through a period of neglect may not do as well for a person living in Texas.
All of the photos are my own. These are some of the most dependable house plants I have, they survive anything I throw at them and bounce back with joy. Please consider them when next you are plant shopping.