Indoor Plants

10 Best Indoor Plants for People Who Like a Challenge

10 Best Indoor Plants for People Who Like a Challenge

Houseplants are surging in popularity, with millennials buying more and more of them.

However, in many cases, owners struggle to keep their plants alive. That's because few people are willing to put in the time and effort to maintain the meticulous routines and conditions that these plants need.

If you're one of the few, you can challenge yourself by branching out into some more difficult houseplants. In this post, we'll give you the best indoor plants for you.

Love High Maintenance Houseplants? These are the Best Indoor Plants for You

If you have the time and motivation to give difficult plants everything they need, then give these ones a try.

1. Aphelandra Squarrosa (Zebra Plant)

The zebra plant is just as high-maintenance as it looks, with rich, striped leaves and vibrant yellow flowers.

If you want to keep them looking as impressive as they do in the store, you'll have to keep your home at a constant temperature of around 70?F, no matter the season.

You'll also need to regularly check the moisture of the soil, making sure that it's retaining enough water. If it gets too dry, the leaves will start to droop. A humidity tray can help to maintain the right moisture levels.

 

2. Orchid

Orchids are notoriously difficult to grow, so if you're not a particularly attentive houseplant owner, this flower isn't for you.

This tropical flower has specific needs. First of all, it needs lots of direct sunlight. However, too much heat can be a problem. That's why it's best to place it in North-facing or East-facing windows and avoid hot afternoon temperatures in the summer.

Orchids need to be watered once a week so that they have time to dry out a little between each watering. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil first. Put your finger about an inch in, and if it feels dry, add some more water.

3. Rhododendron Simsii (Azalea)

Unlike many of the plants on this list, Azaleas hate too much heat. In order for them to grow, they need to be kept in temperatures under 65?F at all times.

However, they need plenty of water, which should be given at the leaves as well as at the roots.

4. Nephrolepis Exaltata (Boston Fern)

The Boston Fern is a lush, green plant with long, feather-shaped leaves. However, it can be difficult to keep them looking vibrant once you take it home.

This fern grows naturally in tropical rainforests, so in order to have one in your home, you'll need to try to recreate those living conditions. This means that you'll need to provide warm temperatures, moisture, and humidity.

It needs to be potted in a mixture of peat moss, garden soil and sand, then placed next to a window that gets plenty of direct sunlight. It will also need to have a humidifier running in the same room, particularly in the Winter. Otherwise, it will lose moisture and start to dry out.

5. Ficus Benjamina (Weeping Fig)

The trick to keeping a weeping fig is acclimatizing it to your home the right way. If you simply move it in without doing any research or preparation, it will start to die fairly quickly.

When you first bring this plant into your home, it's common to see leaves start to turn yellow and wilted. This is part of the way the plant adjusts to a new environment.

It's important to resist the temptation to perk the plant up by giving it more water. This will simply make things worse. Give your weeping fig a few weeks to adjust, making sure it doesn't have any sudden changes in temperature or other growing conditions.

6. Stromanthe Sanguinea (Tricolor)

This plant needs lots of humidity, so the bathroom is probably the best room in the house for it to live in. The leaves need to be misted daily, so keep a spray bottle full of water nearby!

7. Croton

Crotons are leafy, tropical plants that come in an array of beautiful colors.

The leaves of one plant can contain various shades of orange, pink, green and yellow. Their color scheme makes them an attractive prospect for houseplant lovers, but if their conditions aren't quite right, they'll soon start to fade.

Crotons need much more direct sunlight than most other houseplants. To maintain their vibrant colors, they need at least four hours of it every day.

The moisture of the soil needs to be maintained, without being allowed to get too wet. Humidity is key, too. If it doesn't get enough, the tips of the leaves will start to dry out.

This plant grows quickly, so you'll need to keep an eye on it to make sure it hasn't outgrown its pot. Ideally, it should be re-potted every year or two.

8. Alocasia (Elephant Ear)

Elephant ear plants love water just as much as their namesake and need to be watered constantly throughout the year.

The soil needs to be rich enough to retain moisture, but well-drained enough to stop the roots getting waterlogged.

9. Musa Acuminata (Dwarf Cavendish Banana Plant)

The tropical banana plant is a great challenge for houseplant enthusiasts.

Getting this plant to bear fruit is particularly difficult, but if you get the conditions just right, you can make it happen.

It needs plenty of humidity and warmth, so should ideally be grown in a conservatory. If the air is too dry or cool, the leaves will start to darken and spider mites will start to move in.

Give it copious amounts of water in spring and summer. In the Winter and Fall, it will need a little less, although still much more than most of your other houseplants.

This plant grows rapidly, so you'll need to feed it often, too.

10. Dionaea Muscipula (Venus Flytrap)

The last plant on our list is as exotic as it is challenging.

The amazing Venus Flytrap is a fascinating plant to keep, and those who grow it successfully can enjoy watching it snap shut to devour insects. However, getting to that stage takes a lot of work.

You need a very humid environment. For this reason, it's recommended to use a terrarium.

The soil should be kept moist. That means watering it when it's barely damp, and fully saturating the soil each time. Use distilled water or rainwater, as these plants can have adverse reactions to the chemicals in minerals that tap water contains.

For most of the year, they need 12 hours of sunlight a day. In the winter, they go into dormancy for around for months. During this time, you can move the plant to a shadier, cooler area.

Give Enough Water

Now that you know what the best indoor plants for you are, the next step is to get ready to bring some home.

When you do, you'll have to make sure you get everything right. Do your research and find out exactly what kind of soil you should buy, how much sunlight your new plant needs, and what the required humidity levels are.

Most importantly, you'll need to keep a good watering schedule. Before you get started, read our guide on how to know the watering needs of your plants.