Everyone loves plants that are easy to care for. But what about our "slightly" more high maintenance friends? Sure, they may be drama queens at times. But with the proper care and plant-parent love, these green amigos can also be the most beautiful and rewarding. So we made a list of the hardest houseplants to care for. While these are recommended for more experienced plant-parents. You'll soon find after reading, that anybody should give these green amigos a shot!
Musa (Banana Plants)
First on our list is the Musa or Banana plant, also known as our friends Baloo and Juma. Banana plants can be hard to care for because they're made of 80% water, which means they get very, very thirsty. But don't let that dissuade you from inviting them into your home. Banana plants are also very good at reminding you to water them. Forget to water Baloo and Juma? They'll make sure to tell you by drooping their leaves (but don't worry, they'll perk up as soon as you give them a drink!). Oh, the drama.
Tradescantia Zebrina (Wandering Jew)
Tradescantia Zebrina, or Wandering Jew plants, are known for their gorgeous, flower-like leaves. But these same leaves are also the reason plants like Sylvie are high maintenance. Their leaves grow quickly, resulting in a leggy look that can make even the healthiest plant look sick. This can easily be avoided though by regularly pinching or trimming their new buds. And besides needing a regular haircut, Sylvie is actually quite easy to care for and doesn't have many other needs.
Alocasia (Elephant Ear–African Mask)
They may not be as hard to care for as a real elephant, but Elephant Ear's like Tiki and Aku Aku can still be high maintenance plants. Just like Goldie Locks, Alocasia plants want their soil juuuuust right and like it moist but not too soggy. They're also big fans of humidity and need regular misting to thrive. But if you cater to their watering needs, Alocasia plants grow stunning, colourful leaves that make them worth the extra work.
Fun fact: taro, the delicious purple food, comes from the roots of elephant ear plants. But only some species produce edible roots, so don't try to make a taro cake out of your plant just yet!
Ficus Benjamina (Weeping Fig)
Most Ficus can be tricky to care for (we're looking at you, Eileen). But from this family, Ficus Benjamina or Weeping Fig takes the prize. Weeping figs like Wilson are drama queens that don't cope well with stress. And their reaction to stressful situations like under watering or pests is to drop their leaves. The good news is that their leaves will quickly re-grow once they're no longer stressed. And with proper care, Wilson can end up looking like he's straight out of a fairy tale book. How beautiful!
Ferns like our friends Carl (Boston Fern) and Sheri (Bird's Nest Fern) absolutely love humidity. They really can't get enough of it, which means they need lots of misting. All. The. Time. Ferns also need regular watering to ensure their root ball does not dry out and prefer lower levels of light. A solution? Place your fern in a bathroom, where it can get all the humidity and low light it needs, without the hassle. How easy!
With a name that sounds like something from Star Trek, it's no wonder Crotons like Lee-Ann are seen as high maintenance plants! But in reality, they're not hard to care for. The reason they're not recommended for newbies is that they don't like change. Similar to Wilson, moving Crotons to a new location, such as a new home, can make them lose their leaves from stress. But while this can be scary for any plant parent, Crotons will soon start to re-grow their leaves once they've adjusted to their new home. Really not so bad, after all.
Aphelandra Squarrossa (Zebra Plant)
Just like other tropical plants on this list, Aphelandra Squarrossa or Zebra Plants can be hard to care for. They need the same warm and humid environments as their native home in Brazil, which makes greenhouses their ideal spot. But don't worry if you don't have a greenhouse lying around. Zebra plants can also thrive in any home, as long as their light and watering needs are met. Do a good job of giving Zebra plants like Zahra enough heat and water, and they will reward you with spectacular yellow flowers that can last up to 6 weeks!
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