The Garden Plant
Indoor plants that need little water 1

Indoor plants that need little water

Most workers spend more time weekly inside their office than they do in their own homes. So the question is, why not then make the office space more lively? One way to do so is with the addition of indoor plants. Many people are overwhelmed by the idea of caring for a living plant. Having the added burden of watering and repositioning a plant on top of work responsibilities is not one most people want to carry. What’s commonly unknown is that there are a wide variety of low maintenance indoor plants that naturally require less water than others.

Before we discuss the wide variety of low-water plants, it’s important to talk about proper care. Although these plants are “low-water” it doesn’t imply they never need water. They still need to be watered, albeit less often and typically in lesser amounts.

When a plant’s soil becomes dry, water it until a trickle comes out of the drainage holes of the pots. It’s important the plants do not sit in water or remain wet. The soil should be allowed to dry out thoroughly before watering again. Low-water plants require a well-drained soil mix and medium to high light. Most succulents will do well in direct sunlight or bright, indirect sunlight.

Most plants that use very little water are often classified as succulents. Succulents are plants with thick, fleshy leaves and stems. These leaves lose very little water because they have a thick, waxy skin (called a cuticle) highly effective at storing water and not losing it, even in hot weather.

Low maintenance indoor plants

cactus watering

Cactus watering

A cactus (a type of succulent), for example, has leaves and stems indicative of the cuticle’s water storage capabilities. In fact, the inside of a cactus often looks and feels a lot like the inside of a sliced cucumber, storing food and water for the plant which allows it to go a long time without additional water. There are many types of indoor cactus plants that do not require much TLC, including the Star Cactus, Moon Cactus and Prickly Pear Cactus.

jade plant watering

Jade plant watering

Another familiar plant with similar traits is the Jade Plant (Crassula ovata). The leaves of the Jade Plant (also known as the Money Tree Plant) are very efficient at storing water. These modifications help the plant during long periods of drought that would be detrimental to most other plants.  This unique capability is what makes them good office plants.

lithop watering

Lithop watering

A very interesting succulent, called Lithops or “living stones,” looks like little pebbles. Although extremely slow growing, these little pebble plants use very little water and are relatively easy to care for. In recent years, a wide variety of Echeveria has entered the market. Echeveria has rubber-like leaves available in many different patterns and textures. Echeveria leaves feel a lot like the texture of pencil erasers.

spider plant watering

Spider plant watering

These highly adaptable plants love sunlight but are also able to thrive in low light spaces. Spider plant watering is very manageable for an office environment. Depending on how much light is in your office, they can go anywhere from ten to fourteen days without water. It is best to wait until the plant’s soil is nearly dry before watering it. Consider taking the plant to your office kitchen sink for watering, letting the water completely drain through the pot.

zz plant

ZZ plant watering

Zamioculus zamifolia, more commonly known as the ZZ plant, is commonly found inside homes and offices.They are popular for the aesthetically pleasing dark green leaves as well for their minimal upkeep qualities. The plant also has a specialized root system that allows it to retain large amounts of water at a time. You will only need to water it every seven to fourteen days.

Other Plants That Need Very Little Water

Indoor Sedum such as Donkeytail Sedum (Sedum morganianum) are quite common and interesting. A number of succulents feature colorful blooms, including Easter and Christmas Cactus, Kalanchoe, Euphorbia spp and others. Agave plants (including Aloe vera) are great for bright, hot areas.

There are a wide variety of succulents available. The key is choosing the type or types that fit in best with your space. Other varieties include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Haworthia spp – a wide range of smaller, desktop succulents (many of which look like starfish and other “sea-like” creatures)
  • Euhporbia spp
  • Dracaena spp
  • Kalanchoe spp
  • Yucca spp
  • Echeveria spp
  • Aloe vera (Aloe Plant)
  • Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm)
  • Peperomia obtusifolia
  • Sansevieria trifasciata

While these plants don’t require much watering and upkeep, we know the demands of work can be high, leaving little room for plant care. Let our plant experts at Ambius take care of your indoor plant needs. Contact us at 888-701-5189.

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Brent Richard Dixon

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