Over the past several years, houseplants have become such an integral part of our interior decor that it can be easy to forget that they’re actually living things that require certain conditions to grow. And while some plants can adapt to a variety of environments, others are a bit more rigid, and tend to die if they don’t get what they need. Here are a few examples of houseplants that can be difficult to keep alive—even for experienced gardeners.
Houseplants that are hard to keep alive
In the market for a new houseplant? You may want to avoid these:
Ferns seem like they should be low maintenance, but Boston ferns are pretty particular when it comes to their living conditions. More specifically, they need your home to mimic their native environment—a tropical or subtropical rainforest—which means high humidity, balmy temperatures, and plenty of filtered sunlight. And while there are tropical plants that are a bit more flexible about their growing environment, Boston ferns aren’t one of them.
Fiddle fig leaf tree
In theory, this tropical mini-tree would probably look great in your home—but that’s assuming you’re able to keep alive. Fiddle fig leaf trees are notoriously picky: They need direct sunlight, but not constantly; some humidity, but not too much; and soil that’s moist, but not overwatered. The trees also can’t handle drafts, require it to be between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit at all times, and aren’t remotely flexible in their demands.
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This plant has vibrant green leaves and uniquely shaped, bright-pink flowers that add a splash of color to any decor, but it’s also quite demanding. The biggest issue with a rose grape plant is that it needs to live somewhere with at least 90% humidity—which, for your sake, hopefully doesn’t apply to the conditions inside your home.
Additionally, the temperature must be between 64.4 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit during its flowering period, from May through August. It takes some pretty impressive climate control to keep it in that temperature range and at least 90% humidity during the summer months. You might want to consider a plant that’s a little lower maintenance.