We all love plants but what are the 5 easiest tropical interior plants to maintain. I come across people who travel a lot, some long work hours that drain them at the end of the day. Others sometimes I have a place that they pay rent of a mortgage at but are never there. If these people are doing well, they’ll hire my company or me to come in and service their plants. There are more people than you think that hire interior landscapers to go into their homes and maintain their plants. Most of the time, this is every two weeks, but there are a few that want weekly service.
Bimonthly vs. Weekly Watering
For the bi-monthly clients, you are going to see a range of about 5-10 plants that can go for two weeks without being watered. For bi-monthly clients, they can have about any tropical on the market. For our bi-monthlies, we have a tried and true formula of plants that go in these houses and offices that can stand not being seen or watered for that long.
When you have a bi-monthly watering schedule, it’s tough if not impossible to put a plant like a Raphis Palm. Don’t get me wrong some interiorscapers have Raphis in houses on two-week schedules, but they are leaving those plants most times sitting in an inch of water. In turn, it will start a chain reaction of things to happen.
One of the most annoying things that will happen and is my reason why I don’t service Raphis bi-monthly is ‘Gnats’…If you have gnats flying around your mouth when you speak, it is usually because your plants are too wet. Leaving the Raphis sitting in water for two weeks because you don’t want to want the Raphis Palm to go down.
(Raphis Palm leaves will drop and sag if the plant almost ever goes dry, if watered after they have gone down they will hardly ever be the same plant again, the plant’s leaves will always sag) The Raphis Palm is also one of the most expensive in the Tropical plant world. So technicians will do almost anything not to let this plant go dry.
What we do to avoid having dead plants greet us when we service weekly accounts in homes and offices is to use plants that have a track record of being hard to kill. The job is to avoid having dead plants. Ahead are my top 5 plants that can go 2-3 weeks without water and still bounce back after the neglect.
The Zanzibar Gem
Known also as the ZZ Plant is virtually indestructible in an indoor setting they do need to be watered but these plants with their shiny deep green leaves, stand up to disease will and can go weeks without water and still look great. A native of Kenya in Africa, the plant is drought tolerant and an excellent plant for any home or office.
Also known as the Snake Plant or the Mother-in-Laws tongue is another drought tolerant plant that will live for years in your home. The one in my house has been around for close to 15 years. These plants can be in a variegated form (two colors) of a solid green form. Snakes with their long leaves can be found outside in South Florida standing 4 to 5 feet tall. These are another plant that can go a month without water. These plants, even after the long water breaks, will bounce back with proper watering and an occasional fertilizer feeding.
The Ficus Lyrata
Known as the Fiddle Leaf Fig, is a great plant if you want height and a tree-like plant in the home or office. Lyrata are sturdy plants that once acclimated to where it will be living is a robust plant to kill, and can go 3-4 weeks without water as long as the plant is not sitting in a window getting full sun. The Lyrata known for its oversized leaves and flaky bark is another African plant form the region of Sierra Leone and Cameroon.
The Ficus Elastica,
Also known as the Rubber Plant, is a South Eastern Asia. This plant is a cousin of the above Lyrata in the Fig family. Rubber Plants have large brownish burgundy leaves and can go three weeks easy without water as long as they aren’t sitting in direct sun. These plants are attractive in an interior landscape setting standing erect and majestic.
The Dracena Marginata,
One of my favorite plants The Marginata can go quite a long time without water, The only problem with this plant is it will weaken and be open to pests if it goes too long without water. If you do have to go on an extended time without watering this plant-start the watering process back slowly. If after a long break from the water you dump water on this plant the plant will defoliate. So just water sparingly after a long absence, if you do this, the plant will come back slowly and be just fine.
With all of these plants, direct sunlight is not advised, especially if you plan to be away from the lant for an extended period. None of these plants can go long periods without water if they are sitting in a brightly sunlit window. If you can get these plants in a shaded, sunny area, these plants will be around for years to come.