No-fuss houseplants

Houseplants are a widely popular addition in many homes. For some people, though, the thought of growing a houseplant has them seeing only brown instead of green. They may think their indoor growing conditions are less than optimal, or maybe they simply think that houseplants are too fussy or take too much time.

The good news is that you can forget the primping and pampering; there are several houseplants that are easy to grow and maintain, and provide any home a touch of green — they’re nearly indestructible and resilient, and happily survive and thrive in nearly any condition and with a level of care that might border on neglect! In fact, the best tip to care for any of these no-fuss houseplants: Always water in moderation; overwatering is the easiest way to kill them. For most, it’s usually best to allow the soil surface to dry out between waterings.

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Low-maintenance and a versatile favorite, pothos can be grown as a mounding plant if growing tips are pinched, or allow vines to spill over a hanging basket or climb up a moss stick or support. Popular varieties include golden pothos, marble queen, and golden queen.

Light: Will grow in low light to bright sunless
light, though some light is needed to keep variegation on leaves.

Water: Water regularly, allowing soil to dry out slightly between waterings; water less in winter.

Growing tip: Leaves love to be misted.

Dracaena (Dracaena spp.)

Available in many shapes and forms, with leaves either green or dressed in bi-color or tri-color stripes. Three easy-to-grow types are dragon tree; corn plant; and the deremensis varieties that include all-green “Janet Craig,” the white-edged Warneckii, or the striped series with colored margins in white, yellow, and green.

Light: Will grow in low-light areas; best coloring in light shade to medium light.

Water: Keep consistently moist spring through fall; reduce watering in winter.

Growing tip: Avoid dry soil and overwatering; direct sunlight may scorch leaves.

Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron scandens) 

Said to be the easiest philodendron to grow, this trailing sweetheart of a plant bears 3- to 5-inch shiny green leaves. Tolerates both poor conditions and neglect.

Light: Best with indirect light and even grows in low light.

Water: Will tolerate moderate to somewhat dry soil; does best with regular watering, with soil drying out somewhat between waterings.

Growing tip: Pinch out growing tips to keep plant bushy, or allow vines to trail or grow upright on moss stick.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Graceful, attractive plant with long, lance-shaped glossy-green leaves and long-lasting white “flower” leaf bracts. Tolerates short-term neglect and will even flower in low light levels.

Light: Low to bright indirect light.

Water: Keep moist but avoid overwatering; water when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch.

Growing tip: Leaves love to be misted; do not grow near cold winter window drafts.