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I suspect the "hard to kill" angle was tacked on after the fact; I was asked for a set of unusual, useful, pretty, and easy-care plants, and that's what I gave. I'm assuming that's what the other interviewees were asked for too. (I think I was the last one interviewed, and I didn't hear what the other people had said; had there been more coordination, probably someone would have covered the more obvious choices.) [shrug] I stand by the choice of Saxifraga stolonifera as my easy-care plant (even my mom can grow them, so how hard can they be?), and I don't consider the other four of mine especially difficult (even the Asplundia and Anthurium are only barely more difficult than the average houseplant).

There's really no way to recommend a plant that'll work for everybody: I have a troubled history with Sansevieria trifasciata (snake plant) and Saintpaulia (African violets), and am intimidated to this day by Cyclamen, but think Hoyas are a piece of cake, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend one to a beginner. Sometimes you just have to buy one and see how it goes.

A more useful article might have been "Plants You're Liable to Kill No Matter How Hard You Try Not To." Though even there, my commenters said I was being too hard on some of the plants.

I just gotta figure out what a cat doesn't think is tasty - any lists for that? Something a weird cat who turns down sashimi tuna but leaps up, running and screaming for yard clippings, will ignore?

I again am impressed with how well meaning writers simply ignore the reality that most Americans have never grown any houseplant. Most Americans with a window would probably love to have a houseplant but they are terrified; they tried it once and it died therefore I have a black thumb; end of story - never to try again.
On the other hand in most cases when a beginner is successful in keeping a houseplant alive for a year he or she will never go back; they will try another one - in five years they are into orchids.
It is that first experience that is make or break. There are ten dungeon plants out there that may not be very exciting to us, but to the beginner they don't even care about the common or Latin name; they just want it to survive. If it does we've got em.

Problems with common place plants, people, is THAT precisely, ad nauseaum..

I rather have no plants than those ridiculous FICUS so many in New York and USA, keep indoors for the hell of it. They look corny, sappy, particularly when phototropism attacks, and the fool gardener never turns the plant around to balance the twisted trunk or when it reaches the ceiling. God DAMN IT.

Anyone who mentions Hoyas.........is fabulous.

Christmas cactus are my foolproof houseplant. So far, 3 years, the cats have ignored them.

In a previous life I was manager of a houseplant department.........Should I diverge and tell a few stories?

A woodland raises the white blood cell count in humans. Do houseplants?

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

My vote is for pothos as the hardiest. I've had one pothos for over 6 years now, and I don't do anything to it but give it water. It's still as healthy as ever.

My cat loves the Christmas cactus -- sorry!

Plants enjoy music. Classical is best but any will do, opera, country, easy rock, blues etc I leave the radio on all day for them. They enjoy humans moving about a room, I often touch them as I go by. Best in the kitchen: humidity from cooking pasta. Plants are living things, they thrive if loved and fussed over like anything else.

I have just realized that Christmas cactus are hard-wearing plants - threw one outside onto the front porch at the start of the spring and forgot it, and just brought it inside a few weeks ago because it was about to bust into bloom. I've started keeping my garden journal as a blog, and wrote about my Christmas cactus the other day - http://gardenerslot.blogspot.com/2010/11/houseplant-redemption.html

My cats prefer monocots: spider plants, cyperus, palms, soft leaved orchids. Hoya carnosa is definitely on my list of plants with iron-constitutions! As long as it gets enough light and not too much water, it's the gift that keeps on giving.

My vote goes to Aglaonema or Chinese evergreen. I have a solid green one that I have had for 26 years now and it is still going strong. Thrive on neglect, low light conditions and barely any water.

Very collectible too with lots of variegated silver and creme markings on the leaves and lately vibrant red ones.

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