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Hardest Flowers to Grow & Maintain

pink-purple orchids surrounded by greenery

Sure, the world would be beautiful if our favorite plants grew without us lifting a finger. But let’s be real – most good things require some effort…and flowers and plants are no different. While some plants seem to flourish as soon as you place them in the ground, others are a bit difficult.

Plant a Flower Day is March 12th. If you’re up for a challenge, we’ve got some options for you. We’ve put together a list of some of the hardest flowers and plants to grow and maintain. But don’t think we’ll leave you hanging! We’ve also included some tips to help determined gardeners and houseplant-lovers dive into the challenge of raising a feisty flower or particular plant.

Hardest Flowers to Grow

Do you think beauty increases after you’ve overcome a bit of a challenge? Then plant one of these flowers on March 12.

Miniature Rose

There’s no beating around the (rose) bush on this one: miniature roses are high maintenance. Despite being some of the hardest flowers to grow and maintain, their adorable looks are just as special as a roses delivery!

The truth is that indoor environments rarely provide adequate light (at least 4-5 hours of direct sunlight per day), proper humidity (moisture in the air but dryness around the roots), or air circulation. However, if you put in some extra effort you can create the ideal environment.

Growing miniature roses: If your home doesn’t have a well-circulated room with large, south-facing windows, consider investing in a light source, fans, and a humidifier. And if you’re not getting the results you want, don’t give up on these little heartbreakers – just pop them outside where they’ll do fine with the proper care!
Whether you’re growing them indoors or out, make sure to watch out for pests. Aphids, spider mites, and thrips love these bushes as well.


We’ll be the first to sing the praises of this gorgeous, fragrant flower. Sure, it’s fussy about temperature and sensitive to physical motion, but with the proper attention, you’ll be rewarded with a sweet scent and calming presence.

Growing gardenias: If you’re growing your gardenia indoors, do your best to keep it in one place, since moving it can stress the plant. Gardenias can also suffer if they’re exposed to heat from air vents or fireplaces, so keep them in an area with a stable temperature.

Like miniature roses, gardenias are popular with pests like spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs (guess we aren’t the only ones who love those fragrant blossoms!). Watch out for small webbing and spots on the leaves.


If the azalea were a person, it’d be a brooding, black-coffee-drinking yet effortlessly beautiful woman reading a Gothic novel on a rainy day. What’s that mean, you ask? Although these shrubs can be gorgeous, they’ll look pitiful if you just plop them in your garden without much thought.

Growing azaleas: If you’re growing azaleas outside, one thing is key: acidic soil. While many plants are happy with a soil pH near 7.0, the azalea thrives with a pH near 5.5. Another thing to watch out for is bright sun. While many flowers thrive with afternoons spent basking in the sun’s rays, azaleas can become damaged by the intense light. To keep them happy, plant them in an area with morning sun and afternoon shade.

One more tip. There are thousands of different varieties of azaleas out there. To make your life easier, look for a variety that is resistant to common yet potentially detrimental diseases like root rot and crown rot. If you need help deciding on the best azalea for you, check out some resources for azaleas.


Ah, the orchid: notoriously one of the hardest plants to grow. But we’ll never give up on you, orchid! And neither should our readers. We promise growing orchids doesn’t have to be painful. With a little education and a lot of love, you can enjoy orchids all over your home – in fact, you can order orchid delivery right now!

Growing orchids: While most plants grow in soil, orchids take a step away from the ordinary. Depending on the exact species, orchids either grow on objects like trees (epiphyte) or rocks (lithophyte). That means you’ll need to plant them in a special mix made from bark and other chunky elements.

Another tropical plant, orchids love some humidity – but be careful not to over-water them. That said, orchids enjoy a good misting now and then, making them great plants for a steamy bathroom with a little indirect sunlight.

If you’ve kept your plant happy enough to produce blooms, don’t forget about flower care for orchids! These beautiful flowers often require a bit of support as well as additional care. However, if you provide them with the proper love, they’ll keep blooming year after year!

Hardest Plants to Grow

While we wish we could place any plant in our home and watch it thrive, let’s face the truth: some plants like to test our skills and patience.


Also known as prayer plants, calatheas are notoriously tricky. It seems these plants either push out lots of gorgeous leaves or seriously flop. However, their stunning leaves make dealing with their fickle nature worth the work.

Growing calathea: One of the key parts of keeping your calathea happy is humidity. And lots of it! If you live in a dry environment or are running the heat or AC, chances are good your home’s humidity is too low for the calathea. While misting will provide some moisture, these plants will thrive with a humidifier nearby.

Another thing to watch out for is minerals in your tap water. These fickle plants like the pure stuff, so water them with filtered water, distilled water, or rainwater. And make sure to keep the soil moist but never soggy!

Zebra Plant

This spectacular plant demands a high price for its coveted tropical vibe. Like many tropical plants, it craves a warm, wet environment –.just like the tropical Brazilian forests it’s native to.

Don’t let the tough-looking waxy leaves fool you – these difficult flowers aren’t as hardy as they look. If growing outside, you’ll want to be careful you don’t fry your plant with too much direct sunlight – or dry it out. (Sorry, Southern California!) On the other hand, indoor plants risk perishing due to improper lighting or watering.

Growing zebra plants: Whether growing inside or out, zebra plants thrive in a humid environment with temperatures above 65°F. If your indoor humidity is low, you’ll need to boost the humidity to at least 60% to keep these guys happy.

And it’s not enough just to maintain moisture in the air – you’ll need to water these stunners any time you notice the soil drying out. Finally, make sure your zebra plant gets plenty of even sunlight, but never place it directly in the sun’s rays.

Fiddle Leaf Fig

If you’re one of the people that can grow a fiddle leaf fig without a hitch, consider yourself lucky. These plants have quite the reputation of throwing fits at the slightest hint of discontent, making them tricky plants to care for. That said, it’s hard to resist their jaw-dropping large leaves.

Growing fiddle leaf figs: If you want this ficus to thrive, you’ll need to meet its many needs. Fiddle leaf figs like lots of light, but not too much light, and the right type of light…do you get why some people consider them high maintenance? To keep them happy, place them in an area that receives lots of bright, indirect light.

While these trees don’t like their soil to dry out, they also like it to become saturated. Your job is to find the Goldilocks moisture level.

Maidenhair Fern

Walk through a wooded area in the Eastern United States, and you may see these delicate ferns blanketing the forest floor. However, don’t think that means these plants are easy to grow at home! When you pluck a maidenhair fern out of its native habitat and place it indoors, it often puts up a bit of a fight.

Growing maidenhair ferns: If you want to grow a maidenhair fern indoors, you’ll need to try your best to mimic the conditions found in its native environment. That means indirect light, humid air, and moist soil. To keep the soil moist, use well-drained soil and water when the top inch of soil is dry.

Stromanthe Triostar

With green and pink leaves that look like they’re straight out of a modernist painting, we don’t blame you for falling for this stunning plant. But much like its calathea cousin, the stromanthe triostar can be difficult to keep in tip-top shape. Crispy leaf edges, yellowing leaves, and fading colors are all common problems.

Growing stromanthe triostar: These plants like it humid – if the air is comfortable for you, it’s probably too dry for them! Along with keeping the air humid, you’ll also want to keep the plant’s soil moist but not saturated. Just make sure to avoid minerals by watering with distilled water or rainwater!

Keep Blooming with Plants and Flowers

Like it or not, some of the hardest flowers to grow are also some of the most breathtaking. And we here at The Bouqs Co. are all about putting high-quality care into our product – that’s what makes our farm-fresh Bouqs unique.

So if you can’t be bothered with the intricate details of growing orchids or zebra plants, just order some flowers to your door. And if you find you’re having trouble caring for a Bouq, just check out tips like flower care for tropical flowers.

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