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Low maintenance Green Thumb Ideas for Your Rental that Won’t Upset Your Landlord

Published: May 20th, 2015

Are you renting and need some low maintenance green thumb ideas that won’t upset your landlord? Perhaps you don’t have a big backyard or your space is limited. Not a problem!

Below you will find some green thumb solutions to brighten up your home, without consuming your time. Before you start anything, ensure you check with your landlord first. Chances are, you might be lucky enough to be offered help or discount on plants.

Low-Maintenance Garden Plants

The best plants to shop for are the sort that suit your location. Visit your local nursery and make sure you ask the appropriate questions. Will it suit your soil type and what sort of elements may affect it (i.e. will you put it under shade, in direct sunlight or will it be inside). Avoid the temptation of buying pretty flowering plants that are exotic, as they often have high up-keep and therefore consume a lot of your  time. What you want is hard-wearing, long-lasting plants that can prosper through the elements on occasion.

What you need is tough plants, such as grass and strap-leaf plants. Think cordyline, lomandra, bird of paradise and Japanese sacred bamboo. For a bit of colour, go with oleander. Be mindful that some plants do contain toxins that could be dangerous (and sometimes lethal) to pets, animals and children. Always do your research beforehand.

Remember – Before you do anything with your rental property – always consult your landlord.

Spider plants


Chlorophytum Comosum Variegatum

Often called the ‘spider plant’, this flowering perennial herb is easy to grow as a houseplant with variegated forms being the most popular. You will have a hard time killing this resilient plant with lots of rich foliage and tiny white flowers. As an added bonus, it is also considered a safe houseplant to pets.


Aloe Vera



Widely known as a medicinal plant as well as used in cosmetics and alternative medicine industries, it’s also marketed for its healing and soothing properties.  It is a very short stemmed succulent plant that grows from 60-100 cm (24-39 inches). The leaves are thick and fleshy, green to grey-green with some showing white flecks. For less-than-savvy gardeners, place this plant in a warm, sunny window and water it occasionally. That’s it, no more effort required.




Bamboos are some of the fastest growing plants in the world. Known for their high compressive strength (higher than wood, brick or concrete) they are used for building materials, as a food source and as a versatile raw product. Bamboo has often been an integral part of Feng Shui and is said to bring fortune and good luck. They are one of the easiest house plants to grow because they do well in just about any garden space in sun or shade. Bamboo comes in many different shapes which makes them even more quirky.


Snake Plant


Sansevieria spp.

Also known as the mother-in-law’s tongue, this plant is the best for filtering out formaldehyde (which is found in cleaning products, toilet paper and personal care products). Put one in your bathroom, it can thrive with low light and steamy humid conditions while filtering out bad air pollutants in the home. This plant likes its soil to dry out between waterings and enjoys lots of natural light.




Golden Pothos Vine

Another powerful plant for tackling the air-pollutant formaldehyde is the golden pothos. This is a fast growing vine that looks great hanging from a basket. You could put one in your garage since the car exhaust is filled with formaldehyde. Added bonus of this plant: it stays green even if kept in the total dark. Allow soil to dry slightly between waterings and set in low to bright light but no direct sun for best results.


We can all be a little time-poor at times, but it’s always worth investing in some time to make your home more welcoming and relaxing for yourself and visiting guests.


Hat Tip to Domain

Featured Image: The Aspect Display Home by Aussie Living Homes

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