10 Best Apartment Plants To Turn Your Small Space Into An Oasis

The best apartment plants can lend an ambience of the tropics, brighten up a space, or add a touch of drama, and turn an apartment into a relaxing oasis.

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What are the best apartment houseplants? Our homes are our refuges; a little oasis from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. Plants are integral to creating a comforting retreat. Even the tiniest apartments often located within the chaos of big cities benefit from apartment plants. So, what are the best plants for apartments? The best apartment plants will depend on light exposure and of course size of the unit. Not everyone has room for a giant Monstera but fear not, there are other cool plants for apartments. Here are our 10 best plants for apartments.

Best Types of Plants for Apartments

Whether you’re looking to add color or texture, keep up on the latest plant trends, seeking space- saving house plants or even retro inspired plants of days gone by, we’ve got the perfect apartment plant for you.

1. Easy Air Plants

air plants

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Tillandsia or air plant is an epiphyte, a plant that grows on other plants or substrates. These low maintenance plants are perfect for those new to houseplants. Air plants do not require any soil and instead take up water from the air. There are over 500 species of Tillandsia of varying shapes and sizes, most of which are quite small. They can be tucked into seashells, grown on driftwood, or hung from pretty much anything including other plants. Be sure to provide them with bright, indirect light in a typically warm home (your bathroom is great!). Mist the plant every other day or soak it in room temperature water for 10-20 minutes per week to keep your little buddy happy and healthy.

2. Trendy Tropical Plants

A good chunk of the houseplants available are tropical to semi-tropical. Many tropical houseplants offer plenty of color (Croton and Peperomia), texture (Anthurium or ZZ plant) or mildly awe- inspiring size (Philodendron, elephant’s ear, Schefflera, palms or even Bird of Paradise!). Most of us don’t live in a climate that can support tropical plants but we can bring these beauties of the exotic tropics right into our homes and apartments.

3. Fabulous Ferns

A potted southern maidenhair fern

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When I think of ferns I think of old Victorian mansions or Southern porches adorned with hanging ferns. Retro they may be, but with 12,000 (plus or minus) species available, there’s sure to be one suited for your home. The ubiquitous Southern patio fern, the Boston fern, may be too large for most homes, but Bird’s Nest, Rabbit’s Foot, the tiny Button fern or wispy Asparagus ferns will do nicely in most apartments as long as they receive indirect light, well-draining yet moist soil, and plenty of humidity. For something a little different, try growing a Staghorn fern, a unique epiphyte that can do double duty as wall hung artwork.

4. 1970s Inspired Houseplants

Inspired by the groovy 1970s? Incorporate some of that era's trends into your home. Tiny plants (mini begonia and prostate peperomia) and their accompanying terrariums were all the rage back then. Macrame everything including planters were hip house dressing back in the 70s. Make them yourself or purchase a macrame hanger for houseplants like philodendron, spider plant, English ivy, or string of pearls. Can you dig it?

5. Gourmet Herbs

indoor potted herb garden

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Glorious herbs, preferably fresh, can make or break a meal. For the gourmand reading this, consider growing an herb garden indoors. If you're new to gardening, start with just one or two herbs or go for the gusto and grow Simon and Garfunkel's quartet or your favorite combinations. The good thing is that most herbs have similar growing conditions. Most like well-draining soil, full sun, moderate water, and warm temperatures. Do consider size when planting an indoor herb garden. The towering height of the delicious fennel plant is probably not a great idea for most apartment dwellers.

6. Therapeutic Plants

Aloe vera is one of those medicinal plants that is useful both on the outside and inside of the body. Not all therapeutic plants are so multifaceted, but there are plenty to include in your indoor apartment garden. Chamomile and lavender not only produce cheerful blooms but are endlessly useful as teas, tonics, aromatics, oils, balms, etc. Mint is an herb with a calming digestive effect. This herb actually should be container grown lest it infiltrate the outside garden. Both the jade plant and peace lily are known to be nature’s air purifiers, cleansing the air in your home while doing double duty looking gorgeous. Finally, a fabulous stress reliever is growing a bonsai. Bonsai requires slow, meticulous pruning to shape it over time. Newbies should start with Ficus, a more resilient plant.

7. Plants That Don't Mind Dry Air

succulent plants growing in glass terrariums

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Indoor homes are often lacking in humidity. If that’s the case in your home and you don’t want a humidifier running or the extra chore of atomizing your plants, there are a number of plants that don’t mind drier air. First on the list are cacti and succulents both of which come in an amazing array of textures and sizes. Bamboo palm, Chinese evergreen, philodendron, rubber plant, snake plant, and zebra plant are all also ideal houseplants for low humidity.

8. Space-Saving Hanging Houseplants

There’s no better space saving solution than hanging houseplants. They can also brighten up dim, out of the way areas. Make sure you have a sturdy hanger, a container with drainage holes and saucer, and use a lightweight, well-draining, fertile potting soil. Then try your hand at growing some of these beauties: arrowhead, burro’s tail, English ivy, lipstick plant, pothos, red tail cactus, purple heart or wax plant (Hoya).

9. Low Light Lovers

If you think you can’t grow plants because your apartment has no light, think again. Dumbcane, grape ivy, spider plant, pothos, English and Swedish ivy, parlor and fishtail palm, peperomia, artillery plant, and aluminum plant easily thrive in low light conditions. Peace lily thrives in low light conditions although it prefers a blast of morning sunlight. Snake plant and arrowhead vine are also perfect low light plants.

10. Plants That Add A Pop Of Color

A phalaenopsis orchid

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Many of the tropical plant options have bright foliage, but how about a colorful blooming houseplant for your apartment? Nothing cheers me up like a flower and if you feel the same way, try growing orchids, kalanchoes, cyclamen, primrose, African violets, mums, hydrangea or anthurium. These pretty posies brighten up not only dull spaces but perk up your mental status as well. And let’s not forget the bulbs! You can force bulbs like tulips, hyacinth, daffodils and crocus in the middle of winter! No room for a Christmas tree? Setting the scene with holiday bloomers like poinsettia, paper white or amaryllis is sure to add that festive touch.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.