10 Popular Plants You Shouldn’t Buy

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Many plant enthusiasts have their fair share of struggles with certain types of plants. In this article, the focus will be on some of the more challenging plants to care for, as shared by a seasoned plant owner. From the Philodendron Birkin to the Calathea Zebrina, each plant has its own set of unique difficulties that can make them a hassle to maintain.

Despite the challenges, it is important to note that these plants are still beloved by many and can be rewarding to care for with the right knowledge and techniques. In the following paragraphs, we will delve into some of the difficulties that come with owning these plants and what can be done to overcome them.

Key Takeaways

  • Certain plants can be challenging to care for, but with the right knowledge and techniques, they can still be rewarding to own.
  • From the Philodendron Birkin to the Calathea Zebrina, each plant has its own set of unique difficulties that can make them a hassle to maintain.
  • By understanding the specific needs of each plant and implementing proper care techniques, plant owners can overcome these challenges and enjoy their beloved greenery.
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Philodendron Birkin

The Philodendron Birkin is a popular plant among enthusiasts due to its unique pinstriped leaves. However, it can be a challenging plant to care for. The leaves of the Philodendron Birkin often turn brown and mushy before falling off, which can be frustrating for plant owners.

There are several common theories on why this happens, including lack of sunlight or overwatering. Some have tried moving the plant to a brighter spot or repotting it into a terracotta pot, but these solutions have not always been successful.

Despite its challenges, the Philodendron Birkin remains a sought-after addition to any plant collection. It is recommended to research and understand its specific care requirements before adding it to your home.

Tradescantia Tricolor

The Tradescantia Tricolor is a plant with lovely pink and cream variegation that can be a great addition to any home. However, it is known to be a bit of a nightmare to take care of. The stems of the plant tend to get longer and die off at the base, giving the plant an unkempt appearance.

To restart the plant, one must cut off the dead stems and allow fresh growth to emerge. However, this process can be tedious and time-consuming. The plant also tends to turn green, which can be a sign that it is not receiving enough light.

To prevent the green leaves from taking over, the plant should be placed in a bright location. This will give the variegated leaves a fighting chance to be seen. The Tradescantia Tricolor is also known to be a dust magnet, so regular cleaning is required to avoid it looking unkempt.

Overall, the Tradescantia Tricolor can be a beautiful addition to any home, but it requires a lot of patience and care to keep it looking its best.

Philodendron New Red

The Philodendron New Red is a unique plant with green leaves that have a red tint, giving it an appearance of always looking sunburnt. Its leaves are also dust magnets, requiring regular wiping to avoid looking unkempt. This plant has an awkward shape, but it is endearing to some.

The Philodendron New Red requires a lot of light, but its leaves are in an awkward shape that makes it challenging to find a suitable spot for it. It is essential to ensure that the plant receives enough light to avoid the leaves turning green.

Overall, the Philodendron New Red is a beautiful plant, but it requires a lot of attention to keep it healthy and looking its best. It is an excellent addition to any plant collection, but it is not for those who are not willing to put in the effort.

Chinese Money Plant

The Chinese money plant, also known as Pilea peperomioides, is a popular houseplant that is native to China. It is known for its round, coin-shaped leaves and its ease of care. Here are some key points to keep in mind if you are considering adding this plant to your collection:

  • Light: The Chinese money plant prefers bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can burn its leaves, so it is best to place it near a window that receives filtered light.
  • Watering: This plant prefers to be kept evenly moist, but it is important not to overwater it. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again.
  • Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix that is rich in organic matter.
  • Temperature: The Chinese money plant prefers temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C).
  • Propagation: This plant is easy to propagate by taking stem cuttings and rooting them in water or soil.
  • Common problems: The Chinese money plant is susceptible to root rot if overwatered, and it may develop brown spots on its leaves if exposed to direct sunlight. It is also important to keep an eye out for pests such as spider mites and mealybugs.

Overall, the Chinese money plant is a great addition to any plant collection due to its unique appearance and easy care requirements.

Alocasia Amazonica

Alocasia Amazonica, also known as Elephant Ear or African Mask, is a popular houseplant known for its striking foliage. The plant features large, arrow-shaped leaves that are dark green with prominent white veins. The leaves can grow up to 2 feet long and 1 foot wide, making it a statement plant in any room.

While Alocasia Amazonica is a beautiful plant, it can be a challenging one to care for. It requires bright, indirect light and high humidity to thrive. The plant should be watered regularly, but not overwatered as it is susceptible to root rot. It is also important to avoid getting water on the leaves as this can cause them to turn brown and mushy.

Alocasia Amazonica is a tropical plant and prefers warm temperatures between 65-80°F (18-27°C). It is also important to keep the plant away from cold drafts and sudden temperature changes.

Propagation of Alocasia Amazonica can be done through division or stem cuttings. The plant is toxic to pets and humans if ingested, so it is important to keep it out of reach.

Overall, Alocasia Amazonica is a stunning plant that requires a bit of extra care and attention. With the proper care, it can thrive and add a touch of tropical beauty to any home.

String of Hearts

The String of Hearts plant, also known as Ceropegia woodii, is a popular trailing plant with heart-shaped leaves. While many plant enthusiasts find it charming, Sheffield Made Plants in the video expresses his frustration with the plant’s tangly vines, calling it a “string of nightmares.”

He explains that he got so sick of his String of Hearts that he decided to chop it all off and start again. He also mentions that he won’t be buying one again, but admits that he might fall for its “bewitching charms” if he sees it in his local nursery.

Overall, his experience with the String of Hearts has been negative, but it’s important to note that every plant enthusiast has their own preferences and experiences.


Orchids are a popular plant with a cult following on YouTube, known for their gorgeous flowers. However, they can be a bit awkward to care for and don’t seem to have evolved for modern homes. The leaves are in an incredibly awkward shape that doesn’t fit onto most window sills. Sheffield Made Plants has been shifting them around their house for a year now and still hasn’t found a settled spot for them.

While orchids want lots of light, the trouble is that the leaves are in an awkward shape that doesn’t fit onto most window sills. He finds orchids to be a bit finicky and struggles to find a suitable place for them in their home. Despite their beauty, he finds them to be a bit of a challenge to care for.

Chlorophytum Orchidastrum

Chlorophytum Orchidastrum, also known as the Green Orange Spider Plant, is a popular houseplant known for its attractive foliage and ease of care. This plant is native to South Africa and is a member of the Asparagaceae family.

The leaves of Chlorophytum Orchidastrum are long and narrow, with a bright green color and a slightly curved shape. The plant produces small white flowers on long stems that can reach up to 2 feet in length. These flowers are followed by small orange berries that give the plant its common name.

One of the benefits of Chlorophytum Orchidastrum is its ability to purify the air. This plant is known to remove toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the air, making it a great addition to any home or office.

Chlorophytum Orchidastrum is also a low-maintenance plant that is easy to care for. It prefers bright, indirect light and should be watered when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. Over-watering can lead to root rot, so it’s important to allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Propagation of Chlorophytum Orchidastrum is also easy, as the plant produces runners that can be used to create new plants. These runners can be planted in soil or water until they develop roots and can be transplanted into their own pots.

Overall, Chlorophytum Orchidastrum is a great choice for anyone looking for a low-maintenance, air-purifying houseplant with attractive foliage.

Calathea Zebrina

Calathea Zebrina is a popular houseplant known for its striking green and silver striped leaves. It is native to Brazil and grows well in humid environments. Here are some key features of this plant:

  • Leaves: The leaves of Calathea Zebrina are large, oval-shaped, and have a distinctive pattern of green and silver stripes. The underside of the leaves is a deep purple color.
  • Size: This plant can grow up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide.
  • Care: Calathea Zebrina requires bright, indirect light and regular watering to keep the soil moist. It is important to avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. This plant also benefits from a regular misting to increase humidity levels.
  • Propagation: Calathea Zebrina can be propagated through division or stem cuttings. Dividing the plant is the easiest method, as it allows for the creation of new plants while maintaining the original plant’s health.
  • Toxicity: Calathea Zebrina is non-toxic to humans and pets, making it a safe choice for households with children and animals.

Overall, Calathea Zebrina is a beautiful and relatively easy-to-care-for plant that can add a touch of tropical elegance to any indoor space.