When it comes to livening up an apartment, there’s nothing quite like live plants to help bring a fresh feel to a space. Whether you have a green thumb and a full-blown indoor garden or you’re a newbie looking to invest in your first houseplant, we can all benefit from the addition of a little greenery in our homes. Here are some things to keep in mind when venturing into the world of indoor gardening.
Aside from being a visually appealing addition to your decor, according to the American Society of Horticultural Science, certain plants including the snake and spider plants may have a detoxifying effect on indoor air. To learn more about which plants may help clean the air in your home, consider speaking to some of the experts at your local gardening store or nursery.
When choosing a houseplant that is best for your household, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. While some plants may help detox the air, there are a number of plants that can be toxic to pets and children if consumed. If your apartment is home to pets or kids, you may want to take this into consideration when choosing a plant. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals maintains comprehensive lists of plants that are toxic to cats and dogs, like amaryllis and aloe. The National Capital Poison Center also provides a list of plants that are potentially toxic to children, like philodendron and oleander.
Other factors to think about when picking the right plant for your household include light, space and your schedule. Take inventory of your apartment and decide how much room you have and where you might have space for the plant to live. If you have lots of space by a sunny window, you’ll have plenty of plants to choose from. But if you only have space in a darker corner of a room, there are still options for you. HGTV recommends some shade-loving low-light houseplants, like ivy and ferns, that may thrive without sunlight.
Be sure to also take inventory of the amount of space you have available and select a plant that can fit the space without crowding your apartment. Finally, consider your work and travel schedule when deciding on the right plant for you. If you’re away from home often, seek out a plant that does not need to be watered frequently. If your daily schedule is more routine, you may be better able to care for a plant that is a littler higher-maintenance, like hosta or lavender.
When you want your indoor plants to do more than just brighten up a room and help purify the air, consider starting a tabletop herb garden. Fresh herbs smell great and may provide a fresh element to home-cooked meals. Rodale’s Organic Life suggests some herbs that are easy to grow indoors year-round and are safe for pets and kids, like basil and parsley. Select one or two of your favorite cooking herbs to get started, then continue to add to your garden over time as you become more comfortable with the process.
There are a number of different ways to plant and grow your herbs. Simply follow the instructions on the seed packet for simple single-pot growing or invest in a more sophisticated growing system complete with lights, self-watering systems and climate-controlled environments. There are a number of kits available that may help make indoor gardening easier than ever before.
Whether your goal is to grow some fresh herbs to add to your home-cooked meals or simply incorporate some greenery into your apartment decor, bringing plants into your home can be a simple way to help improve your living space. Get started with a low-maintenance houseplant such as a bamboo or a ponytail palm and your green thumb may be showing in no time!