Bring the Outside In: Apartment-friendly Plants

in Decorating, Gardening on by


Bringing some greenery into your home is a quick and easy way to turn a dull apartment into a relaxing glen of natural beauty. Unfortunately, not all apartments or lifestyles make it easy to keep plants alive. Here are some recommendations for the best plants to match your needs and bring some nature into your home.

Low Light Plants

Is sunlight a rare commodity in your space? Many plants actually thrive without much light. Try these in your low-light spaces:

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum) – These are very popular and extremely easy to grow because they’ll survive in almost any condition. They’re also easy to propagate through little “plantlets” that form along mature stems. Just clip them off, plant them, and watch them grow.

Photo of the Anthesicum Vittatum on white background

Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata) – Snake plants have tall stiff leaves that can grow up to several feet. They are very forgiving plants. Really the only way to hurt them is by over-watering.

snake plant

Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena Sanderiana) – Lucky bamboo is popular in Feng Shui and a gift that is supposed to bring luck and fortune. If you’re very patient and crafty, you can rotate the plant in front of light and, as it stretches to grow toward the light, slowly shape it into braids and twists. Watering Tip: Lucky bamboo doesn’t like chlorine, so use untreated water or leave tap water out for at least 24 hours to let the chlorine evaporate before giving it to the plant.

lucky bamboo

Golden Pothos Vine (Epipremnum pinnatum) – I associate these plants with offices and dark spots. They are easy to grow and propagate; just plant small cuttings into a rooting disc or even in water. They’re great for hanging pots or can be “trained” onto climbing mounts or sticks.

Golden green Pothos texture.

Low Maintenance Plants

Working 60+ hours a week? Frequent traveler? Or just forgetful and brown-thumbed? You can still enjoy some green! Try these plants that don’t need a lot of attention.

Aloe – These succulents like lots of sun, but don’t need frequent watering. They can get pretty big, and when mature, can be clipped and the inside “juice” squeezed out to soothe sunburn.

Aloe Vera Plant

Jade – Jade plants can last a very long time, and thrive in typical room temperatures. They like sunlight, and prefer not to be watered too frequently. Let the soil dry out completely between waterings, and don’t worry if you forget about it for a bit!

Crassula portulacea houseplant close up

Ficus – These small trees can spice up any space. They like to dry out between waterings and live best in spaces under 85 degrees, so they do great in most typical room temperatures.

Succulents – There are countless varieties of succulents. Native to deserts, they prefer soils that dry out and bright sun. They can be planted in mixed pots for a variable look.

Plants for Food

You don’t need a yard to grow some of your own food. There are several kinds of plants that can grow and thrive indoors to boost your pantry. These aren’t always the easiest, but it can be very satisfying when you’re eating things you grew yourself.

Strawberries – These are great to grow with kids, and fresh-picked strawberries are so much tastier than the ones from the grocery store. They can survive in any container, as long as they get enough sun (6+ hours per day) and the soil is at a pH of 5.6-6.3. They also need a controlled-release fertilizer administered about once per month.

Salad Greens – Any size pot can support a few greens that can grow for months. Salad greens are great because you just pick a few from the outside and let the rest keep growing until your next salad.

salad greens

Herbs – Gather a few small pots and place them in your kitchen window. Or, you can get a hanging rack and let them dangle from the ceiling. Most herbs do well indoors; my favorites are basil, rosemary, and parsley. Just trim off what you need for dinner and let the rest keep growing.

Herbs growing in post on a windowsill

Many more plants will do great indoors if you want to experiment! However, be sure to read up on them if you have kids or pets; a few houseplants, even common ones, have mildly toxic leaves.

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