You Might be Surprised which Houseplants Survived 10 weeks without Watering

Which of the Garden Director's houseplants survived in her office?

Chinese Evergreen
Chinese Evergreen

Oops – I forgot to bring my office plants home. When you are sent home in a rush in mid-March to work remotely, you would think any horticulturist would think of bringing their plants home with them.  In my naivete, thinking we would only be going home for a few weeks to work remotely and thinking that I could still go into the office any time I wanted to, I chose to leave my plants at work.  I wasn’t allowed back into the building until almost 10 weeks later (to just pick up mail and grab some much-needed office supplies).  Upon checking my plants, I was quite surprised which ones survived. 

Of course, the Jade plant (Crassula ovata or C. argentea) and Thimble cactus (Mammillaria gracilis fragilis) were fine given their succulent nature.  The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) was also fine given the round rhizomes they possess that function to store water.  I knew that the Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum spp.) wouldn’t make it – and it didn’t (pictured bottom left).

But, the Prayer plant (Marnata leuconeura) survived (pictured below, second from left), which is surprising given it is native to tropical South America and this particular Marnata species does not have tuberous roots as a water storage organ.  Also surprising me was Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum; pictured below, third from left) as most sources indicate that this species shouldn’t be allowed to dry down for more than a few days.  And finally, lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana; picture below right) also survived.  Given its need for consistently moist soils, and even being entirely adapted to growing in water, this surprised me most of all.


Peace Lily
Prayer Plant
Chinese Evergreen
Lucky Bamboo

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