There are a lot of good reasons to have plants around, and living in an apartment shouldn’t derail your plans to green up your space. Plants add life and style, clean your air, and they are a nice way to show that you take some pride in your living space. That space however, can be limited in an apartment living situation so it’s best to focus on filling blank areas like windowsills and the corners of the rooms.
If you’re going for ease, the plants that require the least amount of upkeep are of course the ones who don’t require a lot of water. Know when you buy if it’s a variety that can go weeks without a drop or if it would be long gone by that point. Taking your available light into consideration is also key.
The ficus tree makes a lot of appearances in indoor spaces for good reason: it’s one of the best air purifiers. Ficus trees even remove formaldehyde from the air, which sounds pretty hard core. Ficus like light but also don’t mind a dark corner, and need minimal watering. Don’t be surprised if your ficus starts threatening to outgrow its space and needs some trimming. The ficus can also stand-in as a Christmas tree in an emergency.
If you’re a forever flower girl, try an adorable Gerber daisy that will filter chemicals out of the air that often come home in your dry cleaning. The chrysanthemum is an effective filter for benzene which is in plastics and detergent. Both can be potted in small containers and will thrive on a little windowsill.
Another great natural air cleaner is the English Ivy, which will filter out airborne particles of human fecal matter, if you can accept the horrible fact that’s actually a thing that might need fixing in your apartment. Put the ivy on top of a bookshelf in a vase or something where it has room to grow over the sides.
If you’re looking for a plant that will practically take care of itself, go for a thick-leaved Zamioculas zamifolia, or as it’s known on the street: the “ZZ”, the “Fat Boy” or “Eternity Plant.” We don’t know why this guy has so many nicknames, but we do know he will grow up to three-feet tall, even without much light. He prefers to be dry, only needs watering three times a month, and while we don’t suggest intentional neglect, he is considered nearly impossible to kill.
If you want to liven up your bathroom décor with some greens, find a cozy spot for a flowering “snake plant”/”mother in law’s tongue” which actually prefers a dark and steamy environment. We won’t tell anyone if you start pretending like your showers are magical journeys through the rain forest.