Growing Plants in Your Apartment
One of the best things you can do for your apartment – whether you live in expansive apartments in Anaheim or you’re the proud resident of a posh smaller apartment loft – is to add plants to your décor. There are tons of varieties that are suitable for apartment living, and many that are actually ideal for that kind of environment. Plants indoors can not only add a pleasant vibe to any space, but they also will improve your indoor air quality.
That being said, it’s not a good idea to just go out and pick up a bunch of green without doing a bit of due diligence first. There are a few things you need to consider: How often will you be able to water your plants? How much light is available in your home for plants? How big will you want them to grow? What about feeding? Do you have pets? (Many plants are toxic to pets!) Following are some of the best plants for apartments and some information about the care and characteristics of each to help you choose the best plants to liven up your home:
- Consider the popular philodendron. This is a very easy houseplant to take care of, and it tolerates semi-shade and dry air quite well (though it will appreciate a light misting of water on its leaves during periods of very low humidity). You can add a bit of liquid fertilizer every few weeks, and be careful not to overwater – let the soil dry to within an inch of the surface before watering. Beware of this plant, though, if you are a pet owner; it is a toxic plant when ingested.
- If you’re looking for a great plant that is safe for pets, you’re looking for a Chamaedorea elegans, or parlor palm. Also known as a Neanthe bella palm or table palm, this pretty plant is a smaller palm that does just fine with little light. It can adapt well to just about any type of home interior, and enjoys having its leaves misted every once in a while. Water regularly, but let the top soil dry before its next watering. The palm is one of the few plants that are not toxic to animals.
- Ficus robusta, or rubber plant, offers a nice change from the typical green plant – it has dark burgundy foliage. It’s an excellent air purifier, and will remove odors and pollutants from the air, including formaldehyde. It’s not too picky about watering, as long as you water it when the soil is dry down about 1 inch from the surface. Protect the rubber plant from cold drafts. Although some types of this plant are not toxic to pets, some types are deadly when ingested, so you may want to be careful with this one if you have pets, just in case. (The Japanese rubber plant, or friendship tree, is toxic, while the American rubber plant, or pepper face, is not, for example.)
- The Chlorophytum comosum, or spider plant, is a popular pick for people who live in apartments. There are many varieties available, and the unique look of this plant makes it a nice addition to any home. It’s an excellent choice for those just starting out with house plants, and it can actually be divided into an endless supply of new plants! It doesn’t require much water, as long as you water it when the soil is dry 1” down from the surface. While the spider plant is not toxic to pets, be careful not to confuse it with the toxic spider lily!
- Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or eternity plant, is a fun choice for an apartment plant. Also affectionately dubbed the ZZ plant, it’s native to Zanzibar in east Africa and is considered “the houseplant of the future”. This one almost never attracts pests, and only needs water about three times a month. It doesn’t need much light at all, and even thrives on neglect! It’s a great plant for first-time plant owners or those who are not home too often, but not so great if your pet ingests it – it is quite toxic.
No matter which plants you choose for your apartment, remember to rotate your plants every once in a while, because they will tend to grow and “lean” towards the sunlight. In addition, look for signs of overwatering – one of which is the tips of leaves turning brown. Your plant will give you clues when it’s in dire need of water, so although you want to water it regularly, don’t overdo it.
There are dozens of additional plants that are great for apartments in addition to the five mentioned here, so do some research and have fun – you can even grow herbs and vegetables in your apartment, as well.