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The Top 3 Plants Even You Can't Kill

I'm a homicidal maniac. Technically it's plant-slaughter, because there is no premeditation. In fact, my motive is always the opposite. Like a true sociopath, I rationalized that the problem was not me, it was them. I was buying the wrong plants.

Are you the grim reaper of gardening? Get these three tried and true no-fail plants for the green thumb challenged and stop wasting your money on seed packets and plants that only look good in the picture and in the store. Like Mr. Death himself, you just showed up with tools. You didn't do it.

Rose Bushes

Top 3 plants for plant killers.

The rose bush: so easy to care for, a coonhound could do it. Image by Elisa Self on Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.

Give yourself a head start, killer, and get your hands on a potted plant. A rose bush is one of the best looking almost indestructible spring staples. Plant a rose bush in the ground or in a large pot with a drain (hole in the bottom), add some miracle grow, and enjoy the effortless buds in the spring and blooms every summer. This Morden Blush Rose Bush can be delivered to your door for $15. One reviewer said that this "tough as nails" bush has even survived Wisconsin winters.


Succulents can live indoors and outdoors, even with a neglectful garden guardian. They store water in their leaves, so if you forget to water them, they don't need you anyway. A big reason why these independent cactus-like leafy greens have become increasingly popular in event and wedding design is because they can be left out of water for a long period of time and still look fresh. They won't leave your wallet out to dry, either. For around $16, you can get three small succulents or a 6 incher like this Hanging Basket Donkey Tails Plant at HomeDepot.com.

Cast Iron Plants

Like rose bushes and succulents, cast iron plants thrive both indoors and outdoors with minimal commitment required of their owners. They need little water or sunlight so they're perfect for shady spaces like under a deck or an herb murderer's living room. Get one for $9 shipped from TheGardenGates.

Also easy:

  • Air Plants
  • Aloe
  • Lucky bamboo
  • Jade
  • Sago Palm
  • Strawberry Begonia
  • Moth Orchid

Steer clear of this tough-to-care for foliage, forgetful friends:

  • Vegetables: Anything edible requires constant attention.
  • Hydrangeas: They dry out very easily, so they will probably die of thirst.
  • Ficus: It must be misted constantly during the first few weeks with you. What a diva.

What is your favorite plant that just won't quit? Tell us in the comment section below!

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About the Author: Brittni Brown

Brittni creates, publishes, and curates editorial content for BradsDeals.com. She lives in Manhattan with her husband Bryan and their beloved puggle doghter, Bella June.

42 Responses to “The Top 3 Plants Even You Can't Kill”

  1. Gail says:


    • Good one, Gail! Those are great looking, too.

    • jjinfl says:

      Yep, I have a philodendron on my dining room table that hardly gets any attention and it’s lush green and very healthy. Water it when you think of it and cut back any stem that looks like it’s getting too long. I keep a glass of water on my bedside table and usually don’t drink all of it. So in the morning, on my way to the kitchen to put the glass in the sink, I might pour the remainder on the plant. If you want to get really fancy, let it sit outside on a nice rainy day or give it a good soak with the sink sprayer. You really don’t have to do either of those things, tho. It’ll grow by itself. Hint: I had a little piece of framed stained glass; my plant sits on it so that if I do water, I don’t worry about watermarking the wood table.

  2. Variable Depth says:

    Mimosa Trees–I’ve been trying to kill one for the past three years that keeps trying to grow in my front flower bed. I’ve coped it down to the ground and it comes right back up again. cant put root killer on it because it decided to entangle it’s self with my azalea bush :/

    Also Wisteria is very hardy as well, and despite multiple dousings with herbacide it continues to keep climbing.

    I don’t really recomend either for use, outside of their native habitats, due to the fact that they literally grow like weeds you cant kill them and they are invasive species.

    • Alice says:

      mulberry bushes! can’t get rid of them!

    • Ed says:

      Use a drill and drill a hole in the middle of the stauk. Fill with brush B Gon and the cover stauk with plastic wrap and rubber band it on. It will kill the tree in a few weeks

  3. Alice says:

    and snake plants (mother-in-laws tongue).

    • Dea says:

      You are right about the “snake plants”. I’ve had one for going on 30 years now that has been alternately taken good care of, over watered, under watered, fed a few times and it still with us! My husband even tried to throw it out and I retrieved it as it was a gift from our oldest daughter as a gift for me helping take care of her at the birth of her second child.

  4. Erin says:

    Cannot get to the Cast Iron plants!? Goes to the website, but you cant search….

  5. Ralph Tomlinson says:

    Roses might be hard to kill, but deer love to dine on them.

  6. Jackie says:

    philodendrons!!!I’ve had them up on a ledge in the middle of my home for 12 years,hardly paying attention except to the comments that they are beautiful!

    • That’s awesome, Jackie! I am the same way with my rose bush. I always get “wow nice job on those.” No one knows I’m an awful plant parent. Well, I guess they do now…

      • jjinfl says:

        I’ve had pretty good luck growing lucky bamboo in a pretty pottery canister I wasn’t using. Just keep the stalks in about a half-full container of water. When I think of it, I cut off a few dead leaves, dump out the old water, and put in some fresh water and one aspirin. My stalks have become taller and fuller this year and I do nothing much to help them. Nice green color on my kitchen counter where the plant gets regular daylight.

  7. Rhapsody says:

    Amaryllis. I have not killed mine yet and I’ve had it since 1993. In fact it has split and then each of those bulbs split. I only have to water it once a week. Only inside plant I’ve never killed. The outside ones are on their own.

  8. bejay says:

    I love orchids! They really don’t take much care – decent lighting, a watering regularly and probably a little plant juice although I don’t do much. Every Dec. they start to bloom and last all spring. Unbelieveable. Such a nice decoration. I even like the earthy look of the roots spreading out.

    • bejay says:

      sorry – don’t remember names-lost tags. Just got them at Lowes and supermarket. One I’ve had five years-never fails to bloom

  9. Pat Maryniak says:

    Pothos (devil’s ivy)

    Tolerates all kind of light, watering and temperature.

    Bejay, what kind of orchids do you have?

  10. Judy says:

    Pothos comes from the area along the Amazon River that floods parts of the year and is super dry other times so it does not care if it is over watered or underwatered.

    I am a gardener who assists people with problems growing plants. I always recommend the Blanket Flower (politically correct name of the Indian Blanket Flower) because it tolerates all kinds of abuse and is a native plant. (Gallidaria is its fancy name.) It blooms all summer.

  11. Yucca says:

    Yucca: the state flower of New Mexico… is hearty in the high mountain desert of the Southwest, where we live. Several varieties exist. The white bloomed kind grow wild in NM, & there are popular variations that are used in xeri-scaping. Iris is hardy (some people say it can grow on a rock, or a wall.) Roses grow like weeds with all the heat & sunshine & are hard to kill… (thriving on neglect). Stonecrop can live through a good bit of driness, coming back when it’s watered & tended. Rock gardens do well. (The rocks hold moisture in the ground & a few plants, strategically placed among the rocks is striking. Cactus do great. They can also stand guard on yard borders, fending off all comers with their spine covered body & leaves. Sun flowers are happy in this environment. Salvia provides bursts of color in desert gardens. De3sert-scapes leave a lot of room for: “…junk art…”, “sculptures”, & other non-plant decorations.

  12. Pat Wagner says:

    I have had snake plants for the past 17 years. In the summer I keep them on a very sunny deck. In the winter they are in a cool dark basement. They get watered occaisionally during the summer when there hasn’t been rain. In the basement they get watered only a few times. They grow a stem which has sweet fragrant flowers which last a couple weeks. They are now about 3 to 4 feet tall and keep on starting new growth.

  13. Jackie Starns says:

    Here’s how I enjoy wisteria without any aggravation. Out in your yard where you would like a small tree (NOT in your garden area) cement a metal fence post (five feet or higher) into the ground and plant a wisteria plant next to it. Tie the plant to the post as the plant grows, and eventually you will have a wisteria “tree.” Since the tree is out in the yard you will be mowing down any errant runners it produces every time you cut the grass. The tree gets quite heavy, so you need to secure the tree to the post with the strongest rope you can find. The notches on the fence post will keep the rope from slipping down. To have a tree shape you will have to prune off any runners on the lower part of the plant; or you can just let the runners alone and have a bush instead of a tree. My wisteria is just BEAUTIFUL in the spring.

  14. annette bimmerle says:

    Christmas cactus are good livers, too

  15. jeanine says:

    Purple heart. Easy grower and spreads rapidly! Another is Mexican petunia. It self sows.

  16. Sherri says:

    I planted about 5 different seeds in a pot of dirt and a mystery plant came up…and grew THORNS! I was “feeding it” egg shells and coffee grinds. It thrived! I stumped all of my friends and relatives, who swear they know everything about plants. A friend took it off my hands and took a branch to a nursery and found out it’s a grapefruit tree and worth $80, but she wouldn’t give it back. It needs a mate before it can bear fruit though…cross pollination and all that…

  17. StaLuty says:

    I have lemons bomb in my garden to keep bugs away,it smells wonderful but spreads like crazy.It has taken over my whole garden…..

  18. Julie says:

    My daughter gave me a Money Tree a few years ago and it is one of the easiest plants I’ve ever had. It’s very nice looking, takes a little water every two or three weeks, and has a beautiful braided trunk. It is a houseplant. Mines a couple feet tall. A definite winner!

  19. Elinor says:

    I can’t even grow zucchini. I tried two years in a row. I could probably grow kudzu.

  20. Juanita says:

    I’ve been playing with Ivy plants & they appear to thrive with the glass watering bulbs & indoor sunlight.

  21. Laurie says:


  22. Kerry says:

    I have killed every single one of those plants. I love plants and continue to attempt to grow things every summer, but even my cut from a gorgeous jade tree died. I can’t have any green plants indoors any more because the cat eats them or knocks them over. I do alright with pansies and herbs in the summer… and my chives from last year came back on their own. Gramma is going to give me violas (johnny jump ups) because they come back on their own each year and spread themselves around.

  23. Holly says:

    Impatiens………i love a flower you can neglect to water, wilts and when you water it again…returns to original shape. Love, love, love them. Highly recommended for the busy woman :)

  24. Laura says:

    When I was a kid I found an almost dead spider plant in a dump, just had a few yellow leaves. I repotted it and it lasted another 20 years. Now that’s a hard to kill plant!

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  29. Jamie says:

    I got a little sprig of 4 o’clocks from the in -laws and planted it and it just took over the whole side of my house in the flower garden. I think OH no it died when the end of the summer came and before winter was even over it started growing again and gets really big . If ya want to grow it at another location just let the wind blow and the little pea size seeds from the flowers will plant themselves somewhere else . Talk about Harty, that’s it.

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