24 Beautiful Houseplants That Are Perfect for Apartment Living

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woman potting houseplants
Photo: Getty / MmeEmil

While some apartments have many windows and access to natural light and space, the majority of tiny rentals are seriously lacking in the way of sunshine. Less 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 often accompany 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, especially during the winter in higher latitudes, this plant family has become the ideal 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 asked several garden experts to share their recommendations for the best (and prettiest!) plants for small spaces. See their suggestions ahead, along with where to shop them online.

01 of 24

Philodendron Birkin

Birkin Philodendron
Getty / tbgrant

The Philodendron Birkin is a newer variety of philodendron, with dark green leaves that are variegated with creamy-white pinstripes according to horticulturist Justin Hancock of 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: Philodendron Birkin in white ribbed pot, $46.54, homedepot.com.

02 of 24

Golden Pothos

Golden Pothos
Courtesy of Brecks

The Golden Pothos is quite possibly one of the easiest houseplants to care for, according to Holly Minneman, a 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, from $19.99, brecks.com.

03 of 24

Red Prayer Plant

red prayer plant - maranta - in yellow pot

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," Minneman says.

Shop Now: Hirt's Red Prayer Plant, $7.99, hirts.com.

04 of 24

Chinese Evergreen

bunch of green houseplant cuttings, Aglaonema, rooting and growing in a large glass vase
Getty / dropStock

Hancock says that the Chinese Evergreen is a great addition to any apartment because it is delightfully durable, even if it misses a watering or lives in a low-light space. "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: Costa Farms Chinese Evergreen in Décor Planter, $38.40, amazon.com.

05 of 24

Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight

Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight plant
Courtesy of Amazon

Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight 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 its silver-sheen foliage is absolutely fabulous trailing from a basket or climbing up a totem.

Shop Now: Costa Farms Scindapsus Treubii Midnight in Décor Pot, $38.99, amazon.com.

06 of 24

ZZ Plant

zz plant in wicker pot on floor

"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 fit easily almost anywhere.

Shop Now: Costa Farms ZZ Plant, $17.49, homedepot.com.

07 of 24

Raven ZZ

Raven ZZ plant
Courtesy of Home Depot

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 it sports hip, purple-black foliage that starts out lime green before it matures, according to Hancock.

Shop Now: Costa Farms Raven ZZ in Ceramic Pot, $38.30, homedepot.com.

08 of 24

Cast Iron Plant

Leon and George Cast Iron Plant and Planter with Stand in Black
Courtesy of Leon and George

True to their name, Cast Iron Plants are indestructible and can grow and thrive with next to no light, according to Nicolas Bartoli, founder of Léon & George. "They're also lush and leafy without the bushiness, and don't mind frequent haircuts if things go too well!"

Shop Now: Léon & George Cast Iron Plant and Planter with Stand in Black, $329, leonandgeorge.com.

09 of 24

Snake Plant

The Sill Snake Plant
Courtesy of The Sill

"Snake Plants are great because they can thrive, even with a little neglect," Minneman says of the hardy plant with 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 $38, thesill.com.

10 of 24

Dragon Tree

Bloomscape "Dracaena Marginata Open Weave" Dragon Tree
Courtesy of Bloomscape

If you're seeking 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, $199, bloomscape.com.

11 of 24

Dieffenbachia Compacta

Breck's Diffenbachina Compacta
Courtesy of Breck's

You'll love Dieffenbachia Compacta for its fiery, 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 Dieffenbachia Compacta, from $22.99, brecks.com.

12 of 24

Spider Plant

Veena Nair/Getty

This classic 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: Spider Plant, $11.90, amazon.com.

13 of 24

Arrowhead Plant

Hirt's Gardens Arrowhead Plant
Courtesy of Walmart

The Arrowhead Plant, like its relatives pothos and philodendron, is surprisingly tolerant of practically any indoor space. "And as a bonus, most varieties are variegated with shades of white, cream, chartreuse, or pink," says Hancock.

Shop Now: Hirt's Gardens Golden Arrowhead Plant, $5.99, walmart.com.

14 of 24

Nerve Plant

Hirts Nerve Plant
Courtesy of Amazon

This tidy plant will fit just about anywhere in your home. "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: Hirt's Gardens Nerve Plant, $19.99, amazon.com.

15 of 24

Dracaena Compacta

Leon and George Dracaena Compacta Extra Large with Planter and Stand
Courtesy of Leon and George

The Dracaena Compacta, also known as the Dracaena Janet Craig, has a plant with a quirky, sculptural shape and fits smartly in any tight corner. "This plant prefers medium light and is a relatively slow grower," says Bartoli.

Shop Now: Léon & George Dracaena Compacta Extra Large with Planter and Stand, $399, leonandgeorge.com.

16 of 24

Parlor Palm

Bloomscape Parlor Palm
Courtesy of Bloomscape

The Parlor Palm brings a vacation vibe to your space, even in medium to low light, Bartoli says. 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, $69, bloomscape.com.

17 of 24

Philodendron Brasil

Leon and George Philodendron Brasil Plant
Courtesy of Leon and George

The Philodendron Brasil produces colorful, trailing foliage that can brighten dimmer areas in your home, says Bartoli.

Shop Now: Léon & George Philodendron Brasil, $79, leonandgeorge.com.

18 of 24

Peace Lily

Sensation Peace Lily
Getty / Yaroslav Mikheev

Searching for pet-safe plants? 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," Ziegler adds. "Drooping leaves often indicate a need for water, while brown leaf tips point to inconsistent watering."

Shop Now: Peace Lily, $16.98, homedepot.com.

19 of 24

Staghorn Fern

Leon and George Staghorn Fern
Courtesy of Leon and George

A unique member of the fern family, the Staghorn Fern loves shady areas, Bartoli says. It loves shady areas and is an adorable addition to any desktop or shelf.

Shop Now: Léon & George Staghorn Fern, $79, leonandgeorge.com.

20 of 24

Rattlesnake Plant

rattlesnake plant on box
Courtesy of BrighterBlooms.com

Calathea Lancifolia, also known as Rattlesnake plant, 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. It likes low to medium light and, as an added bonus, it's also pet-safe.

Shop Now: Rattlesnake Plant, $34.99, brighterblooms.com.

21 of 24

English Ivy

The Home Depot English Ivy
Courtesy of The Home Depot

While this trailing plant can be aggressive outside, Ziegler says it can enliven any indoor space, especially in hanging baskets where it 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: English Ivy, $42.93, homedepot.com.

22 of 24

Mistletoe Fig

Mistletoe Fig with berries

The Mistletoe Fig makes a great addition to your indoor space, especially if you lack the room or sunlight necessary to support the growth of a bigger fig plant. The small fruits that grow on the tree add a pop of color when they're in bloom.

Shop Now: Hirt's Gardens Mistletoe Fig, $9.99, hirts.com.

23 of 24

Nanouk Tradescantia

Nanouk Tradescantia plant
Courtesy of Hirt's Gardens

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: Hirt's Gardens Nanouk Tradescantia, $14.99, hirts.com.

24 of 24

Braided Money Tree

Leon and George Braided Money Tree
Courtesy of Leon and George

"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."

Shop Now: Léon & George Braided Money Tree, $129, leonandgeorge.com.

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