Plants are the fulfilling medium between having a pet and existing in a space void of life. Although some plants appear to be self-explanatory in maintenance, there are usually several factors to consider when taking care of plant friends. Fortunately, there are also plants that are happy to provide company, in return for very little service. While living in a cramped apartment or a place that lacks sunlight might feel limiting as far as plant options go, there are more out there than you think!
If you’ve never had a green thumb and worry that your home has a disturbing vortex that creates plant cemeteries, you might want to try a few of these green friends before you give up entirely. These plants are low maintenance and won’t beg for your constant attention. Many of them require minimal sunlight and watering and will survive your weekend getaways. However, they would probably appreciate it if you sing to them from time to time, so don’t forget to engage your eco-friendly roommates. A few of these plants are also useful during times of sickness, work as an added flavor in your favorite recipes, and might even freshen up the air in your stuffy room.
10 Air Plants
These plants are also known by a less memorable name: tillandsias. You’ve probably seen them in grocery stores living in glass globes, and they can enjoy a happy life that way! Maintaining these plants requires minimal care, and they won’t die if you forget to mist them for a few days. When you first bring your air plant home, you should soak it in water for 20-30 minutes and allow it to dry before replacing it in the globe. They should be set in indirect light and misted every 4-5 days. If the air in your home is fairly dry, you can soak them for a few hours twice a month to ensure their wellbeing.
Four-leaf clovers are vibrant, easy to grow, and will fill your garden with luck! They are easy to maintain because they grow similarly to weeds, and if they are not bound to a container. They will continue to flourish into other areas. Even if they begin to look ill, trimming the withering ones and offering them some water should revive them. They are difficult to get rid of, which means you won’t have to feel upset if you mess up the first time. You’ll only have to water them two to three times per month! The hardest part might be finding the four-leaf clovers in a sea of three-leaf ones.
8 Christmas Cactus
It’s never too early or late to celebrate Christmas! This low maintenance plant is perfect for every season and will add a refreshing pop of color to your home. The Christmas cactus enjoys varied light conditions, so don’t worry about keeping them in shade and the occasional direct light. The soil and plant only need to be damp and actually enjoys a humus soil mixture, if you’d like to treat your friend. As you may have guessed, this plant prefers warmer environments and will offer deeper hues when it feels its best. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit is best for them!
7 Asparagus Fern
This is an ideal plant for someone who needs multiple chances to get plant care down. Even when it appears dead, it can be revitalized with the right (and easy to manage) conditions! You’ll know that the asparagus fern is happy when you see it begin to flower and produce small berries. If you can’t get enough of your thorny plant friend, you can use the berries to propagate it and fill up your space! Pebble trays and regular misting are great ways to keep this plant in shape, and the occasional pruning is good for its overall health and aesthetics.
The gel found inside aloe plants is used to treat a variety of skin ailments, such as burns and cold sores. It can also help with fever and inflammation, which makes this plant an overall necessity for the home! Aloe plants can be grown indoors, and only require watering every three weeks or less. The water should be fairly deep into the soil, but be sure to allow the soil to dry significantly before you start watering them again, or you might risk the chance of rotting. Aloe plants need plenty of sunlight, but avoid placing them in a window that will cause overheating. Gardeners suggest south or west-facing windows.
5 Ponytail Palm
This member of the Agave family is an adorable succulent that can thrive even if you only place it in sunlight for half of the year. It’s actually not a palm tree, but it does resemble a tiny version of the unofficial symbol of vacation. Since succulents are great plants during droughts, it does best in semi-dry environments. They will not appreciate being overwatered and should only be fertilized two to three times a year. The plant is native to Mexico. This is a great houseplant for minimalists or those who opt for more subtlety when choosing plants.
It’s the solution for those of us that want the fake plant look in a real plant’s body, the Hoya has waxy leaves that almost look unreal! Each Hoya plant will slightly differ in its preferences, because plants are living things, too. However, they generally prefer indirect sunlight and have the ability to handle a couple hours of direct sunlight each day. If your window lets in too much light, try using a sheer curtain as a compromise. Keeping the soil moist is key, and misting is nice except for times when the plant is budding or in flower. Hoyas also attract very few pests, which is always nice.
The basil plant will add color and flavor to your life, plus it will save you the trip to the grocery store when you’re looking to add a fresh herb to dinner. You can grow this plant indoors, or set it on a balcony and keep the soil moist. Basil plants enjoy warmer weather, but if it’s too hot outside you can use mulch around them to lock in the moisture. When branches have six to eight leaves, cut them back to their first set. In terms of edible plants, this one is bound to be consistently useful, especially if you love homemade pesto!
2 Snake Plant
The snake plant’s unique, bold form matches a variety of decorating styles. It is highly recommended for improving air quality in your room, converting CO2 to oxygen as you sleep. While plants, in general, are helpful in improving your environment, some of them actually take oxygen away at night. Snake plants can grow in various light conditions, so you don’t have to worry too much about placement. However, they do prefer indirect light. Similarly to most plants, you should wait until the soil is dry to start watering again. The most that you’ll have to consider with this plant is that you should avoid wetting its leaves.
Every part of the chive plant is edible, and it actually flowers! This means you can add a pop of color to your dishes! Toss the leaves into a variety of salads and sauces, and treat the bulbs like less intense onions. Chives enjoy full sun and moist soil, with the best tasting chives growing from well-composted organic matter. Raising them will require a bit of care, but fully grown chives need very little to survive. Overall, chives can handle an inexperienced gardener well, and the essence they add to your cooking will make for the perfect symbiotic relationship.