24 Beautiful Indoor Plants That Are Perfect for Apartment Living
These plants don't need a whole lot in the way of space or light, making them perfect for smaller homes.
Apartments come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and while some have a great deal of windows and access to natural light and space, the majority of tiny rentals are seriously lacking in the way of sunshine. A reduced amount of sunlight during daytime hours may not mean much to you, but it can mean the difference between life and death for your indoor plants. Fortunately, there are plenty of plants that are well-suited to the reduced light and tighter quarters that can come along with apartment living.
"There are a range of plants that are well adapted to the rigors of apartment conditions," explains Chad Husby, Ph.D. and chief explorer at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. "Aroids have become justly popular indoors because many species have thick waxy leaves and are adapted to life in or under the trees of tropical forests where light is often dim as it typically is indoors." Since window light in apartments can be extremely limited at times, especially during the winter in higher latitudes, they've become the perfect pick for indoor growers. "For example, many of the smaller Philodendron species make good apartment plants," he says. "Other outstanding apartment plants include smaller-growing fig species such as the mistletoe fig, Ficus deltoidea." Husby suggests this species because it loves to be confined to a pot and stays small. "It comes in an amazing diversity of forms and even produces small figs that are quite ornamental (but not edible)."
We spoke with several garden experts to get suggestions for the perfect plants for your small space, then went ahead and found retailers where you can order them today.
The Birkin Philodendron is a newer variety of the traditional Philodendron, with dark green leaves that are variegated with creamy-white pinstripes according to Justin Hancock, a horticulturist with Costa Farms. "It's also easy to grow in the average home, thriving in natural or artificial light and forgiving you if you forget to water it from time to time."
Shop Now: Birkin Philodendron, $46.54, homedepot.com.
Golden Pothos is quite possibly one of the easiest houseplants to care for, according to Holly Minneman, houseplant merchandiser with Breck's—she even has one that lives above her refrigerator at home. "These plants are also great because if the vines get longer than you like, you can trim them shorter and stick the cutting into some water to grow roots," she says. "Then you can plant the cutting and you have a whole other plant you can keep or give to a friend."
Shop Now: Breck's Golden Pothos, $23.99, brecks.com.
Red Prayer Plant
If you're looking for a bit of color, Minneman suggests the Red Prayer Plant—its subtle pops of red make it truly eye-catching. "It is also pet friendly, so you don't have to worry about your cat or dog eating it and getting sick."
Shop Now: Breck's Red Prayer Plant, $29.99, brecks.com.
Hancock says that the Chinese evergreen is a great addition to any apartment because they're delightfully durable, holding up well even after forgotten watering and in low-light spaces. "You can buy them as smaller tabletop plants or larger floor plants, so they're perfect for giving your space a touch of life and beauty," he adds.
Shop Now: National Plant Network "Maria" Chinese Evergreen, $32.99, target.com.
Sterling Silver Scindapsus
Sterling Silver Scindapsus is a vine that is both incredibly trendy and tolerant of tough indoor conditions, which is why Hancock recommends it for apartment life. "While it appreciates high to medium light, it survives low light and the occasional missed watering," he says, adding that it's silver-sheen foliage is absolutely fabulous trailing from a basket or climbing up a totem.
Shop Now: California Tropicals Sterling Silver Scindapsus, $23.99, amazon.com.
"ZZ Plants thrive in low to bright, indirect light and only need [to be] watered when they are completely dried out," explains Minneman. "This makes them perfect for your home-office desk or side table next to the couch." ZZ Plants have a compact, upright nature, so they are easy to place almost anywhere.
Shop Now: Costa Farms ZZ Plant, $27.34, homedepot.com.
The new and improved Raven ZZ has all of the best features of an old-school ZZ (it grows practically anywhere and can go a couple of weeks without water), but with hip, purple-black foliage that starts out lime green before it matures, according to Hancock.
Shop Now: The Home Depot Raven ZZ, $38.36, homedepot.com.
Cast Iron Plant
True to its name, Cast Iron plants are indestructible and can grow and thrive with next to no light, according to Nicolas Bartoli, founder of Leon and George. "They're also lush and leafy without the bushiness, and don't mind frequent haircuts if things go too well!"
Shop Now: Leon and George Cast Iron Plant and Planter with Stand in Black, $329, leonandgeorge.com.
"Snake Plants are great because they can thrive, even with a little neglect," says Minneman of the tall, thin spiked leaves. "They mostly grow upward, instead of outward, so they are great for smaller spaces."
Shop Now: The Sill Snake Plant, from $40, thesill.com.
If you're looking for a statement plant that adds height in narrow spaces like hallways or small living rooms, Bartoli suggests the Dragon tree. The skinny trunk and long, thin leaves add depth and height to any space.
Shop Now: Bloomscape "Dracaena Marginata Open Weave" Dragon Tree, $195, bloomscape.com.
You'll love Dieffenbachia Compacta for its tropical-looking leaves. "While they like bright light, they do tolerate low-light situations pretty well," says Minneman. "They are the perfect plant for a bathroom, as they love humidity."
Shop Now: Breck's Diffenbachia Compacta, $18.39, brecks.com.
This old-school favorite has been a top pick among many generations of houseplant lovers, says Hancock. "It has an easy-to-grow nature (growing in low, medium, or bright light), tolerates drying out, and produces offshoots that are fun to share with friends and neighbors," he says. "They make a fabulous housewarming gift!"
Shop Now: The Home Depot Spider Plant, $35.24, homedepot.com.
The Arrowhead plant, like its relatives pothos and philodendron, is totally tolerant of practically any indoor space. "And as a bonus, most varieties are variegated with shades of white, cream, chartreuse, or pink," explains Hancock.
Shop Now: Hirt's Gardens Arrowhead Plant, $4.99, walmart.com.
If you're looking for a tidy plant that will fit just about anywhere in your home, the Nerve plant is the perfect choice. "Small in stature, it's big on color, showing off leaves flamboyantly veined in pink, white, or red," says Hancock. "Water it regularly and keep it in a humid spot (like a kitchen or bathroom) for best results."
Shop Now: Hirts: House Plants Nerve Plant, $15, amazon.com.
If you're looking for a plant with a quirky, sculptural shape and the ability to fit perfectly in any tight corner, you can't go wrong with the Dracaena Compacta, also known as the Dracaena Janet Craig. "This plant prefers medium light and is a relatively slow grower," says Bartoli.
Shop Now: Leon and George Dracaena Compacta Extra Large with Planter and Stand, $399, leonandgeorge.com.
If you have an area that gets medium to low light and you're looking for a plant that can bring a vacation vibe to your space, Bartoli suggests the Parlor Palm. This leafy green plant will have you thinking of the beach and the tropics from the comfort of your apartment.
Shop Now: Bloomscape Parlor Palm, $65, bloomscape.com.
Perfect for your apartment, the Philodendron Brasil, adds colorful, trailing foliage to your space, making it a welcome addition to dimmer areas in your home, says Bartoli.
Shop Now: Leon and George Philodendron Brasil Plant, $74, leonandgeorge.com.
If you're looking for a pet-safe houseplant, Kara Ziegler, a horticulturist with Pike Nurseries, suggests the peace lily. While they can tolerate low to medium light, they need bright indirect light to produce their signature white flower. "By looking at the leaves, gardeners can quickly learn the amount of moisture it desires: drooping leaves often indicate a need for water, while brown leaf tips point to inconsistent watering."
Shop Now: Pottery Barn Fresh Peace Lily Plant, $39.50, potterybarn.com.
The Staghorn Fern is a unique member of the fern family, according to Bartoli, and it loves shady areas and is an adorable addition to any desktop or shelf.
Shop Now: Leon and George Staghorn Fern, $74, leonandgeorge.com.
Calathea, also known as Rattle Snake plant, is a low-to-medium light houseplant is an attractive choice, offering striking variegated foliage with splashes of pink, white, and light green, plus dark purple undersides for added interest. "Weekly watering is enough for this low-care beauty, and its preference for humidity makes it a good choice for kitchens and bathrooms," says Ziegler. As an added bonus, it's also pet-safe.
Shop Now: The Sill Calathea Plant, $59, thesill.com.
While this trailing plant can be aggressive outside, Ziegler says it can be a lovely addition to any indoor space, especially in hanging baskets in areas where they will see medium light. "Be sure to water judiciously and ensure proper drainage," she says. "Ivy likes humidity, so it's a great choice for a bathroom or kitchen."
Shop Now: The Home Depot English Ivy, $44.52, homedepot.com.
The Mistletoe Fig can make a great addition to your indoor space, especially if you lack the room or sunlight necessary to support the growth of a bigger version of a fig plant. The small fruits that grow on the tree add a pop of color when they're in bloom.
Shop Now: Tropical Design Co. Mistletoe Fig, $42, etsy.com.
The low-growing trendy tropical Nanouk Tradescantia features green leaves streaked with cream and soft pink, with hot pink undersides. "Ideal near a windowsill or lamp you leave on for extended periods, it just needs regular watering to look fab and purify the air," says Hancock.
Shop Now: Bloomscape Tradescantia Zebrina, $35, bloomscape.com.
Braided Money Tree
"The Braided Money Tree, which comes in many different sizes, is a great option for someone looking for a compact and unfussy indoor tree," says Bartoli. "They are also known to be a great symbol of good luck and are highly recommended as indoor plants in the teachings of feng shui." Add one of these tall slender trees to your home today.
Shop Now: Leon and George Braided Money Tree, $129, leonandgeorge.com.