7 gorgeous, mood-boosting plants that can survive in your tiny apartment

Snake Plant-2 Living in a small, urban apartment, you start to crave contact with nature—or at least a little greenery. And research has shown you really do need it for good health and happiness.

But cramped spaces, lack of sunlight, and over-zealous radiators that you can’t shut off can make keeping plants alive seem next to impossible. “It can be really discouraging if your first few plants don’t make it,” says Kristin Monji, the director of horticultural operations at The Sill, a super cool New York City-based indoor plant company. “But it’s just a matter of trial and error, and making sure you’re picking the right plant for the right place.”

You also have to be careful not to choose trendy plants that require a lot of light (like fiddle leaf fig trees), Mojni says, and try not to over-water.”People see that their plant isn’t looking great so they keep watering, and it just drowns right there in the pot,” she explains.

The best place to start? Take Monji’s expert advice and pick up one of these seven pretty indoor plants that can thrive in even the most inauspicious conditions—AKA a cramped city apartment or with someone who doesn’t exactly have a green thumb. —Jamie McKillop

(Photo: The Sill)


Get Started
Jules_Gloss_White_Jade Jade

The jade plant is prominent in southern California, where it’s commonly used as a front yard hedge. Monji suggests placing a one in an area with high light, like your brightest window sill, and watering it sparingly one time per week (since the biggest danger with this plant is over-watering). In optimal conditions, it can grow up to two feet tall, and it’s also simple to turn your one plant into a few more. “It’s very easy to propagate,” Monji says. “Cuttings can be left out for a few days to callous over, and then planted cut-side down in potting soil.”

(Photo: The Sill)


TheSill_Haworthia Haworthia

Haworthias are succulents but require less light than most, making them great for a less-than-sunny living situation. “Buy one of these in bloom if you can find one. It’s a beautiful sight,” Monji says. She recommends placing it in a room with light but away from the window and watering it sparingly one time per week. They grow slowly but can reach about six inches in diameter after a few years.

(Photo: The Sill)


PencilPlant_The_Sill004 Pencil Cactus

“The name of this plant is a bit of a misnomer, as it is not a member of the cactus family,” Monji explains. “I love the red color on the tips, which comes as it ages.” She recommends placing it on your brightest window sill, and says that southern light exposure is ideal. Water it sparingly once per week, and wear gloves because the sap from the pencil cactus is an irritant. In ideal conditions, it will get several feet tall inside, so make sure it has some room to grow (or skip this one if you’ve got a studio).

(Photo: The Sill)


Olmsted_Orange_Philodendron Philodendron

Monji says the philodendron can be trained to grow either up or down, so you could potentially easily create a living plant wall in your apartment. In terms of care tips, “pinch off leaves that yellow or get discolored—as long as there are only a few at a time, you’re doing a good job,” she says. It needs medium to low light, so ideally place it on a north-facing window sill or a few feet away from a window that gets west- or east-facing light. Water it moderately once per week, and as the philodendron ages, it will grow vines of beautiful cascading leaves.

(Photo: The Sill)


Snake Plant Snake Plant

Snake plants are super low maintenance and can grow in places where other plants can’t. “It has beautiful long leaves that are striped green and white, and really pops in front of a wall,” Monji gushes. It needs very little light, so this is a go-to for darker areas of your apartment (especially if that’s all you have). Water sparingly once per week, and it could be two to three feet tall in a few years.

(Photo: The Sill)


song of india_the sill Song Of India

“I love that it has a lot of color for an indoor plant,” Monji says. “The bright yellow is a great mood lifter.” The Song of India requires medium light and should sit on or near the sill of a north-facing window, or a few feet away from a window that gets east- or west-facing light. Water it moderately once per week, but more sparingly during the winter months. Indoors, the Song of India can get two to three feet tall after a few years.

(Photo: The Sill)


BirdsNestFern copy Bird’s Nest Fern

Fun fact about the bird’s nest fern: according to Monji, it’s called that because as it grows, there’s a space in the center that’s the right diameter for a bird’s nest. She likes it for its graceful, elegant look, and ideally it should go in a moderately lit bathroom (and far away from any heaters) because it thrives off moisture. Water once per week and mist once per week on a different day, and place it in a pot that doesn’t have draining holes. Birds nest ferns double in size about every one to two years. And as it grows, trim the older leaves to keep it looking fresh and clean.

(Photo: The Sill)

For more information, visit www.thesill.com


Sage-Clearing More Reading 

3 ways to make your home a spiritual space
5 ways to turn your home into a stress-reducing, Zen paradise
3 simple ways to make your home healthier


Loading More Posts...