1. Mother-in-law’s tongue is one of the easiest of plants to grow. It is a vertical accent plant for a pot indoors or to grow massed in a dry narrow spot against a wall where nothing else grows. It is weedy in warm climates so avoid planting it outdoors in the subtropics and tropics.
2. Fiddle leaf fig has spectacular leaves that are shaped like a violin (or a fiddle if you prefer). This is a tree for a large pot indoors in a bright spot or in a courtyard. Allow the potting mix to dry out between waterings.
3. Aloes are reliable, tough and undemanding succulents the produce candles of orange and red flowers from autumn to winter. Birds love them! Grow aloes in full sun in well-drained soil. They’ll also grow in a pot. Water to establish but then only occasionally.
4. Peace lily is one of the world’s favourite indoor plants as it flowers in low light and is hard to kill, but it can also be grown outdoors in a warm, shaded garden or in a vertical garden.
5. Gazania is a low-grower for a really hot, dry spot or a low-care pot. Look for named, sterile (seedless) varieties as this plant grows so well it has become an environmental weed in some temperate areas.
6. Canna ‘Tropicanna’ is grown for its boldly striped leaves, orange flowers and tough attitude. It likes full sun, tolerates wet soil and can be grown in a large pot. It grows to around 1.2-2m high but dies down over winter.
7. Agapanthus is a survivor and can be used as a fire retardant planting. It forms clumps of evergreen leaves with heads of blue, white and occasionally pink flowers from late spring to summer. Cut down flowered stems before seeds form as this lovely plant can spread into bushland as a weed. Sterile hybrids such as ‘Black Pantha’ don’t get weedy. Grows in sun or shade but flowers best in sun.
8. Crepe myrtle is a pretty summer-flowering deciduous tree or tall shrub that’s tougher than its crepe-like pink, mauve or white flowers suggest. Select hybrids from the Indian Summer or Magic Series for trouble-free growth. Small varieties suit sunny courtyards or large containers.
9. Nasturtium is an easy-to-grow trailing annual with orange, yellow or bicolour flowers. It grows in sun or shade but flowers best in sun. It won’t last forever but when it dies, new plants grow from the seeds left behind. Pick the edible flowers for a vase or to add to a salad! This is a great plant for kids to grow.
10. Star jasmine is both tough and versatile. It can grow as a no-fuss groundcover or a climber in sun or shade. The star-like flowers are heavily perfumed and cover the plant in mid-spring. It’s evergreen and flowers best in full sun trained against a wall. It has milky sap like some of these other tough plants