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High Maintenance House Plants

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

Some people want to have plants, but don’t want to spend a lot of time or effort to care for them. However, others enjoy the challenges that come with nurturing and caring for plants that aren’t as hardy and independent. For those people, here are some of the most challenging indoor plants you can own.


Although azalea can thrive outdoors in the right conditions, when you bring a florist azalea into the house, expect it to only last longer than a cut bouquet. Of course, if you are up to the task, you can see how long you can keep one of these notoriously high-maintenance house plants alive. They require a challenging combination of cool temperatures, high dampness and humidity, as well as acidic soil. But, even so, don’t get too attached to those colourful blooms – even the most adept green thumbs can only keep them flowering for so long.

Boston Fern

Ferns have spent plenty of time feeling like ubiquitous indoor plants, so it can seem surprising that some ferns are incredibly high maintenance. But that’s exactly what the Boston fern is!. It requires lots of humidity, warm temperatures (although a 10 degree drop at night will help keep mold at bay), and lots of filtered sunlight in order to keep its full leafy glory. Keep a humidifier nearby (or spritz the leaves with water every day), and try to make its living space as close to a tropical rainforest as you can. With these tips, it will stay lush and abundant.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants

Although this trendy plant looks sturdy, it can be very fickle, especially when moved to a new location. Like the Boston fern, the Fiddle Leaf Fig thrives in tropical, rainforest conditions, which are hard to replicate and maintain in an Edmonton home. You’ll need to keep it by an east or west-facing window to make sure it gets a healthy amount of indirect light. And, while you want to make sure it has a high-humidity environment in which to live, it also suffers from overwatering. So make sure the soil isn’t damp when you go to give it water.


This leafy, tropical plant draws people in with its variety of colours and glossy leaves, but it can be a difficult plant to maintain. Crotons require significant amounts of bright light, moisture, humidity, and are not well suited to the Alberta climate. They also don’t like change, so moving them to a new location in the house or a new house altogether can cause them to lose all of their leaves. If you are up to the challenge, place the plant where it can get at least four hours of strong sunlight a day, and water it frequently (while keeping it well drained). Keep the air humid, speak nicely to it, and you can have a lovely relationship with this colourful plant.

Are you up to the task of caring for one of these plants? Let me know!

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