If you’re looking for ways to decorate your new apartment, and you’re stumped, why not turn to the age old staple favored by interior designers everywhere: APARTMENT PLANTS! The addition of a few carefully selected indoor plants is one of the greatest ways to enliven your apartment. It may sound silly, but it’s true; the right apartment plant in the right spot can really transform a house into a home by providing a nice natural touch. Psychology tells us that the color green and time spent in nature reduces stress and calms our minds, which is crucial for an apartment’s atmosphere. But more than aesthetics and effects on your mood, apartment plants have a ton of practical applications which can help to make your space a bit more homely.
Here are six of the best indoor plants and the reasons they’d each make a welcome addition to your new apartment:
Succulents are currently all the rage among west coast interior designers and DIY-ers, and it’s easy to see why. There’s even a video game solely dedicated to cultivating them. Apartment dwellers typically opt for succulents to enliven their indoor space because they look great, they’re quite clean, and incredibly easy to maintain. Watering once a month is about all that a succulent needs. That, and about 6 hours of sunlight a day, so make sure you place in a sunny spot! If you’re looking for an easy, decorative DIY project that’s equally easy on your wallet, the internet is currently alight with all sorts of projects involving succulents – perfect for occupying a Sunday Arts & Crafts session.
2. Ponytail Palm
The Ponytail Palm isn’t actually a palm tree but a semi-succulent. Think of an odd combination between a Bonsai Tree, a traditional palm, and a succulent, and you’ll likely picture something quite similar to a Pony Tail Palm. The Ponytail Palm is a good choice of apartment plant if your space has a little less natural light than you think a plant may need. The Ponytail palm is a robust apartment plant that does quite well in low, indirect, and direct sunlight. Plus, the lower part of the trunk of the Ponytail Palm bulbs out, which allows it to store water for extended periods of time. This indoor plant is slow growing and requires little maintenance, making it an ideal choice if this is your first foray into the world of apartment plants.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is the real workhorse of indoor plants. You’ve probably heard of all it’s healing properties; the gel from the inside of the plant works wonders on burns and cuts, especially sunburns! But, did you know it’s also great for purifying the air in your apartment! It’s true! Aloe can help filter out a lot of the harmful pollutants found in household cleaners. The only downside is that Aloe usually needs a lot of sun, so place in direct sunlight! It doesn’t need a lot of water though, as long as it’s in the right place you can leave it be for a while. Careful – this apartment plant can cause an upset stomach in dogs if consumed.
4. Hardy Garden Mum (Chrysanthemum)
The Hardy Garden Mum, also commonly known as the Chrysanthemum, is another popular plant for apartments and for outdoor gardens. Traditionally known as November’s favorite flower, selective breeding and hormones have now created varieties of Mums that bloom all year round, making them an obvious choice if you want to quickly brighten up your apartment by adding some color. Garden Mums also help purify the air by absorbing various chemicals, including formaldehyde, which is why NASA selected it as a contender for one of the best indoor air-purifying plants. This plant requires a bit more maintenance and is less tolerant of varying light conditions; keep in steady light during the day and in the dark at night, no streetlights. Finally, while these plants look great and fantastic for indoor air quality, they can be toxic to pets, so if you have a four-legged friend living with you, it’s best to opt for another plant.
5. Peace Lily
The Peace Lily is another houseplant that was recognized by NASA for its purifying properties – it’s one of the best plants for removing formaldehyde, and other chemicals that originate from house household cleaners, from the air. The Peace Lily is among the few houseplants that actually bloom indoors, and it also works well to humidify the air in your apartment, although it tolerates underwatering quite well. Careful though, it’s not the same with overwatering, it’s best to error on the side of too little water with the peace lily. It does best in low light, just like the chrysanthemum, it too is toxic to pets, so watch out!
Everybody loves orchids! Not only are they incredibly beautiful, but modern varieties of orchids have incredibly long bloom cycles, sometimes 3-4 months. These longer-blooming varieties definitely provide the best bang for your buck if decorating is your primary concern in your choice of apartment plant. ADDED BONUS: unlike many of the plants on our list, orchids are entirely pet-friendly! Careful though – they are very high maintenance apartment plants. They require frequent watering but need to dry out between waterings, so it’s best always to check if it needs water rather than just assuming. They also require a good deal of light (6 hours a day) and are quite susceptible to fluctuations in day and nighttime temperatures. Tip: Lowering the temperature of your apartment by ten or so degrees each night will enhance an orchid’s flowering potential.
Choosing the right apartment plant for decorating your new space will depend on a few different factors: your current layout, your floor plan, pets, the amount of natural light in your space…the list goes on and on. There are a few considerations to make, but when compared with other interior decorations, plants are a pretty simple way to go. Indoor Plants are fairly plug and play; it’s pretty hard to make a plant look bad in your apartment, it’s all about placement!
Indoor plants can certainly help transform a space into a home by improving air quality, adding color, providing practical uses, and providing a sense of natural homeliness. But beyond that, it serves as a reminder to guests, and to yourself, that you care about your space and that you want it to be a living, breathing, thoughtful place in which you can excuse yourself from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Opting for an indoor plant in your apartment is a sign that you’re living thoughtfully, and Thoughtful Living is our bedrock philosophy here at Eleanor Apartments. Thoughtful Living means that everything is designed with form, function, comfort, and convenience in mind.
If you’re looking for a brand new Seattle apartment, in which you can Live Thoughtfully, check out Eleanor Apartments in The Roosevelt Neighborhood. You and your apartment plants won’t regret it!