The Best Plants for Apartment Living
Calling all apartment dwellers
Read time: 5m
“Hey Google, what are some of the best plants for apartment living?”
It was so random but Google's response got me curious as I was looking for new plants (real ones this time) to buy for my place. If you live in an apartment - especially a basement, you know that not all plants would survive as some need more light and regular maintenance than others.
Plants aren’t just there to beautify your space. Some plants work as air purifiers while others remove toxins found in carpet, paint, plastics, and insulation. Whether you’re looking for a great first-time houseplant or gift for anyone who wants to enjoy the natural beauty of plants without a lot of maintenance, you’ve come to the right place.
With some online research and speaking with plant experts, here are some of my favorite plants for people who live in apartments:
This very easy plant is perfect for new plant moms or dads. It serves as an air cleaner by removing formaldehyde (often found in area rugs and carpets) from the air.
The leaves are heart shaped and are normally hung up on the ceiling or wall so it can ‘spill’ or ‘climb’ and grow.
The Philodendron brasil is a very forgiving plant and will tolerate the most intense environments like low light and poor soil to grow in.
Note that low light environments may reduce the leaves’ variegation.
Bird’s Nest Fern
The Bird’s Nest Fern is native to rainforests in Asia, Africa, and Australia and is an epiphytic fern, meaning it usually grows on other things, like trees trunks.
As a result, you can put it on planks or hang on a wall as a piece of living art. These plants have very few problems, are cheap to buy and readily available.
They're especially good indoor plants for bathrooms or a regularly used kitchen because these places tend to have more humidity than other parts of the apartment.
To care for the Bird’s Nest Fern, ensure there is enough humidity and the leaves are protected from direct sunlight, else they become scorched.
This beautiful plant features long dark green leaves and elegant white flowers. The Peace Lily is great for small spaces and requires little sun for survival (direct sunlight can actually damage the plant’s foliage, hence the nickname “Closet Plant.”)
The plant doesn’t require a lot of watering, but when it does, it’s easy to tell as the leaves begin to drop.
Peace Lilies symbolize peace, prosperity, tranquility, solitude and purification. They do not require a great deal of attention and with little effort, they will grow beautifully and live for several years.
Also known as mother-in-law's tongue. These plants are some of the most tolerant plants out there.
They can withstand weeks of neglect without loosing their shape and fresh look.
Like Philodendron brasil, they help purify the air by removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzene.
Since they produce oxygen mainly at night, Sansevieria make excellent bedroom companions.
This plant’s stiff, upright leaves make it a perfect addition to modern or contemporary spaces.
Fiddle Leaf Fig
The fiddle leaf fig is great for apartments with high ceilings and minimal floor space.
It’s tall and features dark green, very large, heavily veined, violin-shaped leaves that grow upright, making it a beautiful addition to a brightly lit corner or cozy nook in your home.
Fiddle Leaf Fig thrives in very warm, bright, and humid conditions and native to the tropics of West Africa.
A potted fiddle-leaf fig tree can grow as tall as 10 feet indoors. These plants are finicky such that they don’t like drafts, soil that is too wet, soil that is too dry, too much sun, not enough sun or dry air.
It takes time for these plants to grow so you need to be VERY patient with them.
Cacti are available in all sorts of shapes and sizes. These easy to care for plants can survive in the desert, meaning surviving in your apartment, even if not regularly take care of would be a breeze.
Check out Architectural Digests article on some of the best indoor cacti.
As a result of their prickly nature, you need to handle them carefully - either with very thick gloves or use folded newspaper to loop around the top.
Succulents are a group of plants that store water in their leaves. Succulents tend to do well in dry climates and don’t like a lot of humidity.
Like any other plant, proper watering will ensure the best growth and flowering.
While they do need water to survive, they can withstand extended periods of drought, relying on the stored water and nutrients in their leaves.
If their roots are sitting in water for too long they will start to rot and die.
Succulents come in a variety of shapes and sizes but for this post, I’ll share my favourite one - the hedgehog aloe.
Aloe humilis ‘Hedgehog’
Not ideal for darker apartments but if you have a space that lets in a lot of sunlight (large windows), then this plant is a good contender.
In the summertime, you can take them outside to your balcony to get the best sunlight and they’ll appreciate you by showing off its beautiful flowers.
You can use this plant to treat skin irritation and burns, just like the regular aloe vera plant.