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Forget the Watering Can: 6 Drought-Resistant, Low-Maintenance Plants for Busy Lifestyles

Forget the Watering Can: 6 Drought-Resistant, Low-Maintenance Plants for Busy Lifestyles

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I’ve always been a passionate advocate of houseplants.

Everyone, including those with busy schedules, can find joy and fulfillment in caring for plants. They not only add a touch of nature to indoor spaces but also purify the air we breathe, leading to improved respiratory health and overall well-being.

If you’re an aspiring plant parent but worried about keeping up with plant care, I’ve got you covered. Dozens of low-maintenance houseplants do well even with occasional neglect.

6 Houseplants That Can Endure Drought Conditions

Here are some of my favorite drought-resistant houseplants that are ideal for busy plant parents:

1 – Sansevieria (Snake Plant)

Native to Africa and southern Asia, Sansevieria, commonly known as the Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, is a popular low-maintenance houseplant with striking features.

It has long, upright leaves, variegated in shades of green, silver, or yellow, and can grow up to several feet tall.

Among Sansevieria’s many notable attributes is its ability to thrive in low-light conditions. It’s incredibly drought-tolerant, too, requiring minimal watering and care. It can likewise withstand fluctuations in temperature and humidity.

Sansevieria only needs to be watered once every other week. During colder months, you can reduce watering to only once a month.

Let the soil dry out completely between waterings to prevent root rot. Water deeply until it starts to drain out from the bottom of the pot so the entire root ball receives moisture.

2 – Crassula Ovata (Jade Plant)

Crassula ovata, also known as Jade Plant, Money Plant, or Lucky Plant, is a succulent with small, fleshy leaves and thick stems.

These attributes contribute to its hard-to-kill nature; the leaves store water while the stems retain moisture and nutrients, allowing the plant to survive extended periods of drought.

This undemanding plant only needs watering once every two to three weeks. Let the top one to two inches of soil dry out between waterings.

It does best in bright, indirect light, so make sure to place it on a windowsill or near a brightly-lit area.

3 – Pothos

I’m a dedicated pothos lover. It’s almost always my first recommendation for beginners due to its resilience, ease of care, and adaptability.

To say it thrives on neglect would be a bit of an exaggeration, but it certainly tolerates abandonment better than other non-succulent houseplants.

As long as you place it in an area with bright, indirect light and water once every other week, it’ll reward you with trailing foliage that spans decades.

4 – Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is known for its low care requirements and drought-tolerant nature.

It only needs to be watered when the top three to four inches of its soil is dry, which can take anywhere between one to two weeks. During colder seasons, water once every month.

Though mostly grown for its medicinal properties, the aloe’s striking appearance undoubtedly adds to its appeal.

Its fleshy, succulent leaves produce a gel that treats sunburns, minor cuts, and skin irritations.

The gel contains over 200 beneficial compounds, including acemannan, which is thought to be responsible for aloe vera’s wound healing properties, as well as vitamins A, C, and E. It also contains enzymes like bradykinase that help reduce inflammation.

5 – ZZ Plant

Another household favorite, the ZZ plant, also known as Zanzibar Gem, is an extremely forgiving and drought-tolerant plant.

Like the Jade Plant, it has thick, fleshy leaves that store water. Therefore, it only needs to be watered once every two to three weeks, and even longer in low-light conditions.

Let the soil dry out completely between waterings.

6 – Marigold

With their vibrant blooms and lush foliage, marigolds don’t immediately strike as drought-resistant. But the truth is, they’re surprisingly hardy in dry conditions!

Marigolds’s extensive root systems allow them to access moisture stored deep in the soil during periods of drought or water scarcity.

They also have thick, fleshy leaves that reduce water loss through transpiration, strengthening their ability to withstand dry conditions even further.

Water once every 10 days or so, letting the soil dry out between watering.

Houseplant Watering Tips for Busy Plant Owners

No matter how drought-tolerant a plant is, it’ll wither away if left without water for extended periods. Therefore, busy homeowners should make time to water their plants regularly to ensure their well-being.

Here are some houseplant watering tips that can help busy owners maintain their plant’s health and vitality:

  • Establish a watering schedule. Set specific days each week for watering and stick to the schedule as much as possible. If you’re prone to forgetting, schedule a reminder on your phone or mark your calendar.
  • Invest in self-watering pots. These pots feature a built-in reservoir that steadily supplies water to the plant through a wick system. Refill the reservoir when the water level indicator shows it’s low and sit back as it hydrates your plants on your behalf.
  • Place your plant on top of a tray filled with pebbles. As the water evaporates, the pebbles create a humid microclimate that extends a plant’s moisture retention.

Final Thoughts

Drought-tolerant plants have evolved unique adaptations to thrive in arid conditions, making them ideal choices for busy homeowners and those living in regions prone to drought.

The plants on this list appreciate the occasional watering every other week or so, but wouldn’t mind a longer stint without a drink.

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