Last Updated Jun 4, 2018 · Written by Rob Schneider
The most recent Census reported that 10% of the Australian population now live in an apartment. While apartment living does have its advantages such as convenience, affordability and location it does come with some downsides, like the lack of a garden or backyard.
It’s a well known fact that being close to the great outdoors and nature is linked with mental well-being, increased concentration, and clean fresh air. So we’ve put together a list of the best low maintenance plants that you can buy to help you bring the beauty of nature into your city apartment.
These simplistic plants are becoming increasingly popular, not only because they look great and work with almost any interior design, but they are very low maintenance and require very little care.
Air Plants, or Tillandsia, get their name from the fact that they get most of their nutrients from the air.
When you first get your Air Plant you need to soak it for around 30 minutes before allowing it to dry out completely overnight, upside down. In the morning simply flip your plant the right way around and it’s ready to be placed into it’s dedicated spot in your apartment.
From then on you only need to water this trendy indoor plant in accordance with the weather. This means that when it’s hot and dry in the summer you’ll need to give it a quick misting of water every so often, and less often in winter when it’s cold and dark. You’ll be able to tell whether this plant needs a drink when it’s leaves start to curl. Similarly the leaves will also tell you if this plant is getting too much sunlight as they will start to dry out at the tips.
Aloe Vera will not only look great in your apartment, but the gel inside an aloe vera plant is great for cuts and burns. Another bonus is that it’s featured on NASA’s list as a plant that purifies air.
When it comes to watering, an Aloe Vera plant is at more danger of being overwatered than under. Pot your Aloe plant in a soil that drains well, (either a cactus or sandy soil will work here), and while it does like sunlight remember that too much direct light can turn your Aloe plant brown. Two to three hours of bright sunlight a day will do the trick.
When it comes to watering your Aloe Vera you want to give it a thorough watering before leaving the soil to completely dry out before watering it again. In summer this could be between every 7 - 14 days, in winter it may be more lie once every 8 weeks.
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Bring a splash of bright colour into your apartment with this cheerful plant. Native to Tanzania and South Eastern Kenya these low maintenance plants thrive in moderate to bright indoor light. This makes them a great plant for the living room or bedroom.
These small but easy to grow houseplants need just enough water to keep the soil moist, but never soggy. When it comes to potting you can use all purpose soil that’s easy to pick up at a Garden Centre or your local Bunnings.
There are heaps of apartment friendly herb plants that you can pick up for your home in and around the city. These little plants will not only enhance up your home but they’ll also help to spruce up your cooking. Herbs will survive best when placed out on the balcony or on a sunny windowsill. If you’re looking to stick with more resilient herbs then pick out oregano, parsley, basil and chilli. You could also try mint, thyme or sage.
Herbs can be grown in small singular pots or grouped together in a larger pot, preferably clay but plastic is also fine. The sun and wind dry out pots quickly, so a balcony garden needs more frequent watering than a regular garden. Especially the balconies facing south.
Most herbs grow best in bright sunlight or partial sunlight for some of the day, this helps to produce the healthiest and most flavoursome herbs. If your balcony is shade then try to move the pot into sunlight for some of the day, even if that means bringing the pot inside to sit on a windowsill.
Not all plants need a lot of sunlight to survive. If your apartment is north facing then you might want to look into getting spider plants (Chlorophytum Comosum). These popular house plants, native to South Africa, do well in a low light environment and self propagate by sending off shoots. Spider plants are also known for their air purifying abilities and if you’re lucky might even flower with small white flowers during the summer months.
These easy to grow houseplants look great in hanging baskets or cascading down a tall bookshelf. Pot them in a soil based general potting mix, and don’t worry if the pot looks too small for the size of the plant, they grow best when their roots are crowded.
In the first year you’ll need to give your spider plan a moderate amount of water, this means keeping the soil moist. In the spring and summer months keep your eye on the soil as you don’t want to let it dry out. To help encourage healthy growth you may want to use a liquid plant fertiliser one or two times a month.
Even the toughest plant isn’t indestructible, but by picking the right plant for your apartment and keeping up basic with the maintenance it needs you can beat the odds!
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