10 plants that are almost impossible to kill
I'VE noticed a trend when it comes to plants in the Chronicle office - very few of my colleagues can keep them alive.
The Chronicle's digital producer Jess Cook admitted she had a cemetery where she buried lifeless remains of once healthy lavender plants and sub editor Amanda Coop said she admitted defeat and just kept plastic succulents.
I tried to act shocked and disappointed when I heard their stories and then I rode off on my high horse despite knowing deep down, I too used to be a plant killer.
Sometime during 2016, I decided to change my ways and learn how to grow big, green, plant babies.
Filtering through Pinterest, I chose a few indoor plants every hipster would have and I Googled the hell out of how to keep them alive.
My few plants grew into an impressive number, but I was relying on the old faithfuls I knew were hard to kill.
To expand my plant circle, I talked to Possum Paradise manager Kelli Leatham and got the low-down on indoor and outdoor plants that are almost impossible to kill.
1. Zanzibar gem
The zanzibar gem is a type of cycad with thick, glossy leaves that has been described as an almost un-killable indoor plant. It can survive in low-light areas (the perfect bathroom plant) and can survive with very little water.
The anthurium brings the tropics indoors with its large, glossy leaves and vibrant coloured flowers. It likes the indoors, out of direct sunlight and Kelli said it will flower for a good part of the year.
3. Monstera deliciosa
Native to the jungles of southern Mexico and Guatemala, this green beauty will jazz up any room in the house. Place in a brightly-lit spot and water when the soil is dry.
4. Lucky bamboo
Lucky bamboo can be grown in water or soil and prefers low light than too much light, which can burn the leaves. Some say to use bottled or distilled water because they can be sensitive to chlorine found in tap water.
5. Mother-in-law's tongue
This hardy plant requires minimal maintenance and will tolerate low levels of lights. The mother-in-law's tongue, or snake plant, should only be watered every few weeks.
Kelli said a favourite among locals was the peaches and cream grevillea. This native plant grows to about 2m high and 3m wide. Grevilleas prefer full to half sun and once established, require little water.
Possum Paradise stock a new variety of metrosideros called little dugald and little ewan which Kelli said are excellent for coastal conditions, attract birds and are hardy. She said you can buy dwarf varieties that grown between 1m-2m.
Bougainvillea love full, hot sunny conditions and are suited to drier climates. They come in various colours and sizes including the dwarf variety called bambino.
9. Australian natives
Kelli said Australian natives don't require a lot of water and there's an abundance of varieties to choose from. She said they can grow between 1m-3m and are a popular choice at the nursery.
10. Succulents and cacti
Succulents and cacti were the first plants that sprung to mind for Kelli. Succulents have the ability to store moisture in their stems or leaves and are best grown in free-draining soil in a sunny spot. An bonus with succulents is they can be propagated quite easily, meaning you shouldn't have to stock up on them.