Low-maintenance plants

Not all houseplants are high maintenance.

Not all houseplants are high maintenance.

Some are slow growers, so it’s OK if you place these plants in a spot with lower light. They’re also forgiving if you forget to water.

“It's when I pay too much attention that I get into trouble,” says Jane Krepp, a master gardener about her favorite houseplant: rex begonias.

Jane along with our panel of plant experts throughout the Lancaster County region shared their favorite low-maintenance plants.

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Corn plant

Dracaena fragrans looks like a corn stalk, hence it’s common name.

This corn’s usually grown indoors.

Holly List, a master gardener, loves the graceful, leathery leaves of this long-living plant that doesn’t require lots of attention.

Corn plants will grow in low light or brighter filtered light.

If you are up for a challenge, this plant can be divided by air layering. List’s plant grew too tall and leggy, so she divided her plant this way. Scrape a half-inch band from the bark one to two feet from the top of the plant, dust with rooting hormone and wrap with damp sphagnum moss followed by plastic wrap. When roots appear, cut off the stem and plant.

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Pothos

In the tropics, pothos (Epipremnum aureum) can climb 50-foot-tall trees and have leaves up to three feet long. Indoors, the plant grows smaller but is still a forgiving houseplant recommended by master gardener Kim Frey.

Pothos thrive in low and medium light. The more markings and variegation, the more light they need.

As the vines grow, let them trail from a hanging basket, train them up a moss pole or help them climb the walls with adhesive mini-hooks.

Pothos are common, but a local grower heard there’s an upcoming shortage because of its popularity during the pandemic.

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Snake plant

Snake plants thrive on neglect, says Jody Davey, manager of conservatory habitats at Hershey Gardens.

Dracaena trifasciata only needs water once or twice a month or a small amount weekly.

“Feed it twice a month or not at all and it will be happy,” she says. “It grows well in low light and can adapt to brighter, indirect light as well.”

If you travel a lot, the snake plant is perfect for you, says Lois Nolt, owner of Tillandsia& in Leola.

“It will still be alive when you return home,” she says.

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Jade plant

Jade plants (Crassula argentea) are very tolerant of dry soil. Their succulent leaves store water, making it a low-maintenance houseplant suggested by Jen Hollenbaugh, greenhouse manager for the Lititz location of Esbenshade’s Garden Centers.

Don’t overwater and your jade plant may be on its way to a long life. Some survive more than 100 years.

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Chinese evergreen

Aglaonema, or ags, can handle low light and owners who forget to water their plants, says Kathy Trout, owner of Ken’s Gardens.

This plant has a wide range of colors and patterns in its variegated leaves: green, pink, white, yellow and silver.

They’ll also flourish under fluorescent lights, making them a good office plant as well as a houseplant.

Share your favorite low-maintenance plant below:

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