10 Worst Plants to Grow: These Will Test Your Patience & Sanity

Over 66%, or more than 200 million Americans, became houseplant owners in 2020. And the number of plant parents continue to rise.¹

But, have you had terrible luck attempting to care for a plant? You’ve got company. After someone asked Reddit, “What is the worst plant you’ve ever had the displeasure of trying to raise?”

These are the top-voted answers for the worst plants to grow. 

1. Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma

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Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, also known as mini monstera, is the number-one-voted plant that’s wreaked havoc in homes. One expressed, “Rhaphidophora tetrasperma. I’ve had three, and every time it hates me. Yet, somehow my alocasia likes me more.”

Care tip: Provide bright, indirect light and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Avoid cold drafts and overwatering to prevent yellowing leaves.

2. Cilantro

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One gardener stated, “Cilantro is born to die. We don’t even bother growing it in our garden anymore. It immediately bolts before nosediving.” Many agreed that “You have to succession plant it.”

Care tip: Succession plant cilantro every 2-3 weeks for a continuous harvest. Provide full sun and well-draining soil. Cilantro bolts quickly in hot weather.

3. Succulents

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Someone confessed, “Any succulents. Replace them with anything with green leaves, and it is 10000x better. Succulents and I do not get along.” Another admitted, “I feel this in my soul. Succulents made me feel crazy in the head.”

Care tip: Plant succulents in well-draining soil and provide plenty of bright light. Water thoroughly but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

4. Parlor Palm

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“My parlor palm,” another explained—”pickiest plant I’ve ever. I miss him immensely. RIP Ricky Bobby, but the spider mites just kept at him. So I replaced him with a Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum, and holy whack. 

Easy going, not nearly as fickle as others, handled one accidental overwatering like a champ, no sun? – no problem! It loves my grow light ufo hanging from above. Ricky Bobby was never so chill.”

Care tip: Keep parlor palms in bright, indirect light and evenly moist soil. Avoid overwatering and watch for spider mites. Increase humidity around the plant.

5. Fittonia

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“Fittonia,” one said. “It hated life in my house. It lost all its leaves and got leggy. So I replaced it with a purple waffle plant which seems to be much more dramatic, but it’s doing great.”

Care tip: Fittonias need consistently moist soil and high humidity. Provide bright, indirect light and avoid cold drafts. Mist regularly or use a pebble tray.

6. Calathea

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“Calathea,” another stated. “I had an elderly man at Home Depot who told me they were the easiest plant to keep alive when I first got into houseplants. I’m convinced that man must live in a jungle because I can’t keep a Calathea alive no matter what I do. So I replaced it with a fiddle leaf and am having a much better time.”

Care tip: Calatheas require high humidity, indirect light, and consistently moist soil. Use filtered water and avoid cold drafts. Increase humidity with a pebble tray or humidifier.

7. Flowers

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“Flowers: zinnias, tithonia, cosmos, you name it,” confessed one. “The blooms always came out deformed. So I switched to indoor gardening and house plants full time, and I am having a MUCH better time!”

Care tip: Plant these flowers in full sun and well-draining soil. Deadhead regularly to encourage continuous blooming. Provide adequate water and fertilize monthly.

8. Peperomia

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Another gardener replied, “I have only had one peperomia die on me in my short six months as a plant parent, but I have rehomed a few just with not being fond of their growth habit (or simply too big too quick), though primarily ferns – they get so unruly.”

Care tip: Provide bright, indirect light and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Avoid overwatering and cold drafts. Peperomias are prone to root rot.

9. Corn Plant

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“My corn plant,” one shared. “I’ve had it for a few years, and it’s always something with this fool. Root rot, browning leaves, you name it! I’ve tried everything, trust me! So now I’m just wholly ignoring it besides watering here and there. I’m still not sure what I hope happens to it.”

Care tip: Provide bright, indirect light and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Avoid overwatering and use well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Remove brown leaves as needed.

10. Aloe Vera Plant

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Finally, another user who confessed to having a terrible time with cilantro confessed, “I replaced it with Ally the Aloe until my mom accidentally killed her from too much sunlight.” However, aloe vera is typically beginner friendly. And as a bonus, you can make your own aloe vera gel from its leaves!

Care tip: Plant aloe vera in well-draining soil and provide bright, direct light. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.

Sources

  1. https://worldmetrics.org/houseplant-industry-statistics/

We hope you enjoyed these Reddit stories people shared about the worst plants they had the displeasure of raising. 

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.