Almost a genocide

Do you see this pretty little pot?

It has seen a lot of death.

I do not have great luck with house plants. I can easily choose them as part of a great room design. I can find the ideal leaf shape and the perfect vessel to place them in, but after that, it’s best I just leave.

And I’m putting it mildly. Much more mildly than I over or underwater the brave plants that venture into my dangerous home. I have unintentionally killed lots of plants. My husband has been known sigh with sadness as he empties yet another pretty pot of dirt into the trash.

I have met others with this problem, but there is no support group for those of us sporting rather brown thumbs. So today, in the hopes I may offer some succor for people like me, I present my list:

8 House Plants I Can’t Kill


This little climber is a real prizefighter. It will grow to enormous lengths despite any number of neglectful conditions.

Peace Lily

Don’t let this delicate example fool you. These plants can grow to be 6 feet tall and almost as wide. They may droop when they are thirsty, but they spring right back up.

English Ivy

This plant family often challenges professional landscapers when it comes to removing it from buildings. It really holds on and puts up a fight, which makes it perfect for me.


This is a tree, which makes me proud that I can sustain something so big when I have killed so many smaller plant specimens. This tree is also known as a rubber tree, based on its sap, and is a cousin to the fig tree.

Snake Plant

This plant can also grow to be very tall. It is sometimes known as “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue”, but I’ll leave the name choice to you.

Spider Plant

These plants can be grown quickly and easily. This plant is also known as “Bad Mother” because it leaves its youngest sprouts vulnerable as they droop away from the center of the plant.


This plant is hardy enough to withstand multiple military moves across several states without leaving a single plump leaf behind. What more can you ask of a plant?

Donkey’s Tail

This is my very own little plant in this picture. I grew it from a tiny little collection of stems and now it has stretched its heavy arms toward the window. It is not as full as other examples of this plant, but it makes me smile every day.

All of today’s pictures, with two noted exceptions, come from the luscious plant encyclopedia of the Better Homes and Gardens website. They are great resource for any plant or garden owner, even those of us known to clutch a watering can as we swallow our shameful failing.

What types of plants do you enjoy in your home? Have you ever struggled with a particular house plant? Please don’t make me feel alone out here with my plant efforts. Leave a comment!

Posted on June 9, 2011, in Decor, Lifestyle. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’ve always had good luck with jade plants, but your donkey’s tail looks cute. I’ll give that one a try. I’m like you. I have a hard time keeping plants alive, too.

  2. Plants make a house a home! Your blog makes me want to run right out and purchase one!

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