Man in wheelchair reading a book in his apartment surrounded by plants.

The 5 Best Apartment Plants

by James Han

While it may seem like you need a big space with ample sunlight to keep a thriving collection of plants, there are plenty of indoor varieties that are well-suited to the small (and sometimes dark) floor plans of a small apartment. Whether it’s adding a bit of color and life to your corners, purifying the air or improving your mood, there’s no shortage of good reasons to bring home a bit of greenery from your local nursery.  Here, we’ve put together a quick list of our five favorite houseplants that are easy to maintain and attractive for any apartment.

 

1. Aloe Plant

These spiky succulents have a range of benefits and uses, in addition to being attractive in any space. It has potential air-purifying propertiesand the heavily researched gel in its leaves can be used for any number of topical home remedies.

  • Sunlight: bright, indirect sunlight or artificial light (avoid direct sunlight)
  • Temperature: between 55° to 80° Fahrenheit 
  • Water: water every two or three weeks, especially in the spring and summer (but wait until the top third of your soil dries out before rewatering)
  • Keep away from pets (the gel may cause nausea or indigestion)

  • Arm placing an aloe vera plant in a white pot on a floating shelf.


    2. Monstera

    Monsteras, or “Swiss Cheese Plants,” are a popular home plant. Because they need a lot of room (they can grow to be dozens of feet tall in the wild!), monsteras are perfect as a statement piece in your living room rather than a corner accessory.

  • Sunlight: bright, indirect sunlight
  • Temperature: between 68° to 86° Fahrenheit 
  • Water: water about once a week (wait for the soil to dry before rewatering); monstera plants prefer humidity, so keep a humidifier nearby when the air is dry or periodically place in the kitchen/bathroom while you’re cooking or taking a shower

  • Large monstera plant in a terracotta pot, in a neutral colored living room next to two armchairs.


    3. Zebra Plant

    Native to Brazil, zebra plants are known for their thick and dark green leaves and the white veins that run through them. Indoors, they can grow up to two feet tall and make a beautiful addition to any space.

  • Sunlight: bright, indirect sunlight
  • Temperature: between 60° to 70° Fahrenheit 
  • Water: water about every two weeks with lukewarm water; zebra plants prefer humidity, so keep a humidifier nearby when the air is dry or periodically place in the kitchen/bathroom while you’re cooking or taking a shower

  • A close up of a small zebra plant in a white round pot.

    4. Rubber Plant

    This tree-like plant has dark, large leaves that make for a beautiful medium-sized houseplant. It gets its name from the white latex sap it produces (though it’s not the primary source for rubber). 

  • Sunlight: bright, indirect sunlight with a few hours of direct sunlight (maximum) per day
  • Temperature: between 75° to 80° Fahrenheit 
  • Water: water every one or two weeks (wait until the soil dries out)
  • Keep away from pets
  •  Close up of rubber plant leaves and branches against a white wall.


    5. Corn Plant

    The corn plant is one of the best low-maintenance plants you can have. With their long, narrow leaves (like those of a corn), the corn plant is also sometimes called the “false palm” because of its appearance. They reach up to four to six feet tall, and are incredibly resilient to poor treatment.

  • Sunlight: bright, indirect sunlight
  • Temperature: between 60° to 75° Fahrenheit 
  • Water: keep soil evenly moist (but not soggy) and avoid letting it completely dry out; mist leaves regularly in dry seasons
  • Keep away from pets

  • A corn plant (Dracaena) with the lighting casting a shadow of the plant on a white wall behind it.

     

    Residing in a small apartment or living a busy lifestyle don’t have to keep you from adding plants to your home. If you’re new to plant ownership and in need of some basic tips to care for them, check out our blog on How to Keep Your Houseplants Healthy and Thriving.


    James Han is a writer, editor and content strategist based in Los Angeles. When he’s not deep in a Google Doc, you can find him reading, watching films and taking long walks.

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