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Readers Respond: Tales of the Toughest Plants

Responses: 49

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Hahaha

My husband and I seem to kill every houseplant we come in contact with, so I got really excited when I saw the title to this article. Reading further I had to laugh. We had both a cactus and a bamboo and managed to kill them both. The cactus only lasted two months before it keeled over. The bamboo held on for 6 months, although it never grew an inch. The weird part is that we have a huge vegetable garden where everything just thrives. I guess we're just not meant to have indoor plants.
—Guest Othercat

Lily of the valley

My mother's favorite flower was lily of the valley, once planted in semi shade it just takes over, might I add with a beautiful scent. This lily is virtually impossible to kill. The root system is connective so it turns into a beautiful ground cover as well.
—Guest DocJohnM

tough houseplants

wandering jew.after being told they brought bad luck,I all but ignored it and it still thrived,finally killed it by sticking it outside in -10 weather for the rest of the winter.
—Guest revy

tough houseplants

wandering jew.after being told they brought bad luck,I all but ignored it and it still thrived,finally killed it by sticking it outside in -10 weather for the rest of the winter.
—Guest revy

wandering Jew, elephants ears

Wandering Jew cannot be killed. Pull it up one place, and it will discover a new place to grow.It grows in purple and green. Elephant ears will start in one area of the yard and then pop up in other areas of the yard. They freeze and then return the next spring, better than ever. They multiple quickly----too quickly.
—Guest summergirl1631

houseplants for beginners

It all depends on the watering habit. A newbie that overwaters should go with a Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) if the problem is forgetting to water, I would recommend a ZZ plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)
—Guest la/lapetite

A Plant for all seasons & all reasons

Been nurturing plants for about 50 years now! Easiest to grow from a little shoot and little investment is the JADE! It shows off it's plump little leave in beautiful greens and grows like a weed. We went on vacation for 3 weeks and forgot to get the Jade water - when we returned, it was a little droopy, but sprang right up after watering! I've overwatered it too, but it just keeps up that jade karma adding beauty to our home. From a 6" $1.79 plant, to a 12" high by 15" wide thing of beauty. Try it! It likes fertilizer about 3x a month, watering once or twice a week in fall or winter, but guzzles it every other day in the summer. It lives here in Las Vegas, so heat can be a problem, I just keep it inside. It does like the indirect lighting that I use - the inexpensive vertical blinds can be opened just enough to let a few rays in on it. Jadeons of the world, unite!
—Guest n8rgrl

toughest plants

Had an Ivy that grew very long length with only one strand. His name was Valentine. He liked music Talked to Valentine about everything. Was moving around and those who had him cut pieces of him off for he was very healthy (should be would give him my horrible heart pills) Valentine lived Twenty seven years. I loved that plant and still depressed over him though I cut on piece of him and now have third and fourth plant of him second one weak. they are 17/19years.
—Guest claudine

hardy plants

After a holiday in Fuertovenura (where we visited a mountain farm) I bought an aloe vera plant - that was in 2003 and since then I have divided off sevencuttings - the branches easily take root, need minimal watering and are wonderful when rubbed on a bruise
—Guest don1982

Yucca! Its Tough!

Here in OK, summers can get hot, especially along a driveway. we wanted to plant something along our circular driveway. nothing survived. we then planted Yucca about 10 -15 ' apart all along it and they are magnificent. The foliage doesn't grow much outward and now the long spikes are in bloom. And no fallen leaves to rake or sweep next Fall. Now we've got to do some separation as it has produced so well. Linda Joy Adams
—Guest Linda Joy Adams

Bet me you can't kill'em

I have managed to kill off at least one if each of the 7 types Jen names in the article. I AM the one person who can kill off a silk plant. Don't ask me how I do it, but I sure do.
—MAGGIELANDIS

Violets that won't die

Even my daughter can't kill an African Violet and I call her the Black Thumb of Death for plants. Maybe the fact the plants on on her kitchen window sill where she can see them and water them helps or perhaps those violets are miltant plants who refuse to die.
—Guest Rita

Cast Iron Plant

Also known as Aspidistra. The plant I have is a division of one my grandmother had all 49 years of her marriage. My mother and her sister divided in half in 1959 when my grandmother died. By 1965, my mother divided it into 5 plants so that each of my brothers, sister and I could have part. Mine is still growing and has been divided several more times. It doesn't care about light, water, dust, fertilizer or being pot-bound...it just keeps going. If it's treated to light, water, fertilizer, washing or repotting, dozens of new leaves appear almost immediately. My plant turned 100 years old this year!
—virginiabluis

Golden Pothos

When we opened our store 4 years ago, colleagues gave us a dish garden. The only plant to survive is the pothos - it grew all over. Which reminds me - I'm going to have to train the vines across the walls or something. Right now, it looks like "The Pothos that ate Pittsburgh"! I've rooted cuttings, transplanted and shared them and it's still going strong. It's about the only plant I can't kill. :-) My grandmother had a green thumb. She could grow a tree from a popsicle stick! My thumb's yellow to brown-ish. Another hardy plant you should have on the list is aloe vera. It can be almost completely dried out and it will come back with a vengeance.
—Guest Deb

Spider plant!

I bought one of these almost 4 years ago and with no effort whatsoever, I have separated it 3 times and planted it's babies as well. I have them all over the house now (about 4 pots, to be divided again soon), in full sun, full shade, and half/half. Little water or lots of water, they're hardy things! I recommend them to the worst of gardeners. :D
—Guest Anna

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Tales of the Toughest Plants

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