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Apartment Plants?

St Andrews Lynx

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Much to my excitement, I'm moving to a new apartment - one I've got all to myself!


I wanted to add some greenery to my space, but I'm fairly clueless when it comes to plants & flowers. What plants would you recommend for (i) a well-intentioned but busy grad student (ii) someone based on the Eastern Seaboard climate (iii) both indoors and on a balcony? 

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This is the best houseplant care blog that I know of: http://houseplants-care.blogspot.com/. The amount of light in your apartment is by far the most important criterion. If you click on the lighting guide link on the left, you can see the types of plants that are likely to do well in your place. My favourites are zz plants and aloe veras, both of which were low-fuss and thrived in my Toronto apartment.

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We have a bunch of cacti in the house including an aloe vera and they are fine. Orchids seem to do well indoors and bloom nonstop which add a fun pop of colour (you have to give it some ice cubes from time to time though, but otherwise very low maintenance).

Edited by felinebookworm
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I love tillandsias (commonly called air plants) for indoors and they are pretty hardy if they get light.  In particular, I've never even seen my xerographicas (giant air plants) so much as flinch, even when I have to travel for work a few weeks at a time and forget to have someone water them.  Plus, they are strangely adorable.

Edited by Queen of Kale
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I've always been a fan of spider plants. They look nice in a hanging basket, they don't seem to be finicky about light, and can take a lot of abuse. When I was 16, I didn't water mine for 6 months while we were in the process of moving into a new house my parents were building. It didn't look pretty at the end of those 6 months, but one I returned to watering it, it flourished and gave me many years of enjoyment and several babies.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a few types of ivy, an orchid, some sunflowers, and a couple catnip plants. The picture is one of my 2 plant windows with my room mate and one of my cats.


If you tend to forget about plants or tend to keep your apartment dark-ish (shades drawn etc) I suggest an ivy of some type. They can handle neglect to a pretty good degree, and if you water them regularly and give them a good amount of sun they make great window decoration. They ivy in the picture was given to me about 2 years ago and over the past year has done about 5 more passes across my window.


Orchids are hard to kill if you forget about them, but you can over-water them and if you don't give them lots of sun they won't flower... they do flower about once a year unless you trim them at the right time then you can get 2 or 3 flowerings a year.

Catnip is great and hardy if you are in a warm environment and can give it regular watering and high levels of sunlight... it will grow like a weed actually. I have to trim it back and shape it every 4 to 6 months before it takes over my kitchen window (shown in the picture). They are useful if you have cats or like catnip tea (similar to mint).


My sunflowers have been the most challenging to grow, they require a LOT of water... I've had to give them a good dousing about twice a day, but they're about to flower and are beautiful.


Ultimately it depends on your needs and how thoughtful you are with watering and the like.




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  • 4 weeks later...

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