5 Plants That Will Liven Up Your Apartment
There’s a simple way to brighten up a gloomy apartment: just add plants. Studies have shown that adding plants to indoor areas – both homes and offices – is a way to reduce stress and improve air quality. You could also consider plants to be on the pathway to parenthood, as they’re a thing that’s simple to care for. Plant mums and dads unite.
That said, apartment plants do need tending to in order to 1) stay alive and 2) thrive. You should carefully choose your houseplants to match not only what you’re looking for, but what they prefer, too. Yes, plants have preferences.
Some plants need more sunlight than others, and some like more humidity in the air (such as in a bathroom). Some need to live outdoors and will suffer in the confines of your house. You have to pick the right plant. Luckily, some plants are pretty easy all-rounders. Try these five plant varieties to liven up your home.
#1 Zanzibar gem
“I tried to kill a Zanzibar gem once and I couldn’t do it. I decided I didn’t want it anymore so I neglected it and it THRIVED.” This is an actual quote from a friend about his Zanzibar gem. This plant also goes by the name “Eternity Plant”, acknowledging that indestructibility.
The Zanzibar gem thrives best as an indoor apartment plant (or in the office or house) and its enemies are cold and overwatering. You should let your Zanzibaby’s water dry out between waterings, and give just a little water at a time. In time, it will put out little nodules, which will sprout into new fronds. These can be separated and replanted for more ZZs!
#2 Fiddle-leaf fig
These beautiful plants are all over Instagram, a definite plant of the moment. Their large, crinkled, bright green leaves are bringing joy to apartments everywhere.
They’re impressive and also easy to grow. They need a decent amount of pot space, and like just a little water – let the soil dry out before dosing out more H20. Be sure to dust off the leaves regularly, as this can prevent the leaves from working properly. They also need to be repotted each year in Spring (make sure roots aren’t poking out of the pot), or repotted with trimmed roots.
The bromeliad can thrive inside or outside. It’s versatile like that. Just make sure it has filtered or dappled sunlight to help it grow. This little green baby likes just a little water, and needs soil which can drain – so you’ll need a pot with a hole in it, and a dish beneath it if you’re keeping your bromeliad inside.
Bromeliads will flower only once, but they will put out little offshoots, like children. Once they’ve grown a bit, you can separate them from Mum and grow another plant. How’s that for a cheap addition to your conservatory?
They also make great plants for a kokedama project (those plants you’ve seen on Insta planted within a ball, and hung from the ceiling).
#4 Devil’s Ivy
This one’s perfect for beginners. It’s a hardy little thing that will grow anywhere – in pots, in gardens or even as cuttings in a vase. It’s also forgive you if you forget to water it every now and then.
You should only water once soil has begun to dry out, and fertilise fortnightly. Devil’s ivy has a tendency to put out ropey vines – either cut them back to maintain a bushy shape, or allow them to trail down from a high position, such as atop a bookshelf. You can also train the vines along a trellis to have the ivy grow upwards.
The monstera is also an Instagram star, and you may even have seen their pretty leaves in prints on clothing or cushions. There are several popular species, marked by their glossy leaves featuring large, naturally forming holes (thus its moniker “Swiss cheese plant”). Some grow in a similar shape to a fern, with a central point and fronds extending around it. Some grow like a vine, with trailing lengths of leaves which can be trained.
Monstera plants like a bright spot indoors out of the sunlight, and should be watered when their soil starts to dry out.
Some extra apartment plant care tips:
- Ask for help when you don’t know what’s up with your plant – maybe a friend, colleague or parent has been there, done that
- Plants need water and light, but also plant food. Research what’s best for plant
- Nurseries can give you a lot of information when you buy your plant, or even afterwards if you go back
- If your plant isn’t thriving in the place you’ve chosen for it, try moving it to other positions
- All plants come from the outdoors – even indoor plants need some outside time, even for an hour or so every few months (just remember they don’t all love direct sunlight).
Once you’ve added some greenery to your home you’ll surely see the benefit of bringing the great outdoors inside. After all, science says nature is good for us.
Mitch is Editor of The Cusp, and loves his fiddle-leaf fig, heart-leaf ivy and the plant he’s had for 10 years with no clue as to what it actually is.