Indoor Plants That Are the Most Difficult to Keep Alive

Houseplants add a splash of greenery and vibrancy to indoor spaces, but keeping them alive can sometimes feel like a part-time job.

Although some plants are hardy enough to survive on haphazard watering and the occasional dose of fertiliser, others are a bit more demanding.

Here are a few of the most difficult houseplants to keep alive and what you need to know if you decide to bring one home.


Fiddle-leaf fig plants are surprisingly difficult to keep alive.

This wildly trendy indoor plant is actually pretty tricky to keep healthy. As Good Housekeeping pointed out, it prefers just the right amount of sun – too much exposure will brown its leaves, but too little will stunt its growth.

Think your fiddle-leaf fig would actually fare better in your bedroom rather than the living room? Be careful when moving this plant around, as it doesn’t tolerate changes to its environment well.

You should also be sure to mist your plant’s leaves to keep them moist if your home is on the drier side.


Gardenias smell amazing but are pretty temperamental plants.

Gardenias boast lovely white blooms and a heavenly scent. They’re also pretty finicky when it comes to temperature.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society, these houseplants need to be kept far away from heating vents or radiators, as too much hot air can kill gardenias.

They also prefer plenty of light and are prone to infestations of aphids and other pests.


Boston ferns have lush foliage and need lots of attention.

Boston ferns are a great option for people looking to brighten up their home with greenery, but they require quite a bit of care.

According to The Spruce, these guys don’t fare well in direct sunlight. Instead, they prefer filtered or indirect light.

It’s also crucial to keep their soil nice and moist as these plants can quickly wither if their root ball is allowed to dry out.

Boston ferns might also struggle in a home that’s frequently chilly since they prefer year-round temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.


Miniature roses often stymie novice indoor gardeners.

Miniature roses are a popular indoor plant and it’s easy to see the appeal of cultivating a tiny rose garden in your living room. However, newbie houseplant owners are often perplexed by how easily these plants seem wither.

According to Dengarden, miniature roses won’t bloom if they don’t get enough light. They should be placed by a sunny window and they need at least six hours of full sun every day.

Their soil also needs to be kept damp (but not sodden) in a pot with good drainage. The plants are also prone to getting black spots on their leaves if water droplets fall on them.


Orchids are striking plants with very particular needs.

Orchids are whimsical-looking plants that are known for their vibrant colours. Although they’re popular houseplants, many indoor gardeners fail to keep up with their strict watering schedule and specific light needs.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society, these plants should be placed in indirect light near a north- or east-facing window to shelter them from the intense afternoon sun.

They should only be watered about once a week and their roots shouldn’t be allowed to become waterlogged. It’s important to know what variety of orchid you have, as different types have slightly different needs.

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