Indoor houseplants are an easy way to add a splash of greenery to your apartment and boost your well-being, too. Whether you’ve got a graceful peace lily on your dresser or a hanging ivy by the window, plants help create a calm, soothing environment.
There’s also a certain joy in caring for a plant and helping it thrive. Many beautiful houseplants require minimal care and are perfectly suited to senior living apartments. Here are some of our favorites to get you started.
Formally known as Zamioculcas zamiifolia, the ZZ plant has shiny, dark green leaves. While it’s fairly resilient, it’s happiest in a room with indirect light. Intense sun may be too much — if your ZZ plant starts to lean away from light, move it to a shadier spot. Choose a pot with good drainage holes, as the roots can rot from overwatering. A good rule of thumb is to water every couple of weeks, checking that the soil dries out in between.
Also called the purple shamrock, the beautiful oxalis has triangular leaves in a deep violet hue and small flowers in the spring. Place it in a room that receives bright light and give it water every week when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. During the fall and winter, a dormant oxalis only needs watering every two to three weeks. This unique plant has its own circadian rhythms. You may enjoy seeing the leaves unfold when they sense light and curl up when it gets darker.
The snake plant has sharp, sword-like leaves that jut upright out of the soil. The leaves have green, yellow and white horizontal stripes surrounded by creamy yellow edges. Snake plants prefer bright, indirect light but tolerate less, which is why they get a spot on the list of easy-to-grow indoor plants. This type of houseplant should have loose soil with good drainage and only needs water every two to three weeks. Its upright leaves create a striking silhouette, making the snake plant a great option in a floor planter or tucked in the corner of a room.
Spider plants have thin, spindly leaves that spring out of the soil and arch outwards. Place this classic plant in an attractive container on your counter or let it dangle out of a hanging basket. The spider plant tolerates most light except direct sun and should be watered weekly when the soil feels dry. Thriving spider plants may sprout little plantlets. If you’re inclined, use the cuttings to propagate your plant and share the pleasures of your spider plant with neighbors.
The golden pothos has glossy, heart-shaped leaves, with vines that look nice trailing down a bookshelf. This plant grows quickly in bright, indirect light and may need occasional pruning. It tolerates less light, but the variegation in the leaves may disappear. Not to worry, as the pothos is just fine. If you want the patterns to return, simply give the plant more light. Water the plant when the top inch or two of soil feels dry. Your golden pothos will tell you how it’s doing: Drooping or brown leaves mean it needs a drink, and yellow leaves mean it’s had too much water.
For a graceful touch, you can’t go wrong with a peace lily. With lush green leaves topped by white blooms, peace lilies enjoy medium light. Try to avoid the hot midday sun — if the leaves begin to yellow or brown, they’re getting too much light. Ensure the soil has good drainage, and wait until it’s dry to the touch to avoid overwatering. Peace lilies like an occasional misting and diluted fertilizer a couple of times through the growing season.
For something different, try a plant that doesn’t need soil. Air plants get moisture through their leaves instead of roots. They look great inside a glass bowl or terrarium and make an interesting display on a table or shelf. Air plants do well with indirect, bright light, so try a south- or east-facing room. They do require more care than the hardy spider or snake plant. To water an air plant, take it out of its container and let it sit in a sink full of water for 20 minutes once a week. Gently turn the plant upside down so excess water drips off, and then let it dry on a towel before returning it to its container.