Carefree houseplants bring the garden indoors

When, more than one of the dinner guests we recently had, commented, as to how healthy the potted plant kept on the kitchen floor looked, it suddenly dawned on me, that I have achieved something I earlier couldn’t: keep a houseplant alive and well! Granted, that the plant I am raving about is popular because of the ease in growing it indoors, nevertheless, I am happy.

Known as ZZ Plant or in Latin as Zamioculas zamifolia, this lovely indoor plant is very carefree and forgiving, hence thrives on neglect. And, since it is a slow-grower, more often than not, over-watering can be found as the culprit if an otherwise healthy plant dies; so, to avoid such a loss, water thoroughly once, then allow to dry, not too dry though, before applying water again. Like other members of the plant family Araceae such as Peace lily and Arum, the ZZ plant grows and multiples from succulent rhizomes. Upright stems bear narrow, dark green leaves which are so shiny that one wonders if some artificial treatment has been done to give them the gloss.   

Potted plants prefer to be kept at locations where they will receive bright to low light only, and not direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves, therefore a definite plus for those of us who don’t get enough sunlight inside the house but would like to have indoor plants. In fact, since it is not very easy to find plants that will tolerate low-light conditions, I generally resist the temptation of buying houseplants even though I long to bring the garden indoors especially during winter months.

Speaking of low-light conditions, two other houseplants that I have had luck in growing indoors of late are Sansevieria, commonly called the snake plant, and aspidistra, also known as the cast-iron plant. Both of these require little attention on my part and receive no sunlight but only normal indoor lighting in the areas they are kept.    

Though not as carefree as the above mentioned indoor plants, I always look forward to bringing home a poinsettia during holiday time, to add cheer and color during the festive season. Interestingly, nowadays, poinsettia comes in many more colors besides red; the one I got this past Christmas is a lovely cinnamon and matches the decor perfectly!

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