above picture from Frenchy Fancy
One of the toughest things about living in a big city high-rise apartment is the lack of outdoor space. Sometimes I feel completely nature deprived and miss being surrounded by trees and plants and wish that I could look out my window and see birds and flowers instead of concrete and dumpsters. My solution to that problem is to bring as many houseplants into my home as possible (I counted 19 this morning!). They are good for purifying the air (something that is horrible in Chicago), and they add life, beauty, and a natural element which is good for the soul.
I have tried a variety of plants, but I don’t have a particularly green thumb, so many have perished. The plants that I have found to be the most resilient and long-lasting are as follows:
The Snake Plant (also known as mother-in-law’s tongue) is the most resilient plant I have ever had. It thrives in hallways with almost no light and only requires minimal watering (I only water mine once a month with very little water). I find them at the Home Depot and have been told that it is the best plant for air purification.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig. I showed you mine in my living room reveal yesterday. I received this plant six or seven years ago from a neighbor who was moving away, and it is thriving despite little care. It seems to love the full light it receives in a south-facing window, and I simply water it every 10 days and dust the leaves periodically.
The Christmas Cactus. I buy them at Christmas time with beautiful blooms and then keep them the rest of the year because I like how they cascade down the side of a planter and add a touch of deep green. I water them once a week–but even when I forget they still don’t die! They seem to prefer a sunny spot, but will survive in low-light conditions too.
Pothos. Another very hardy favorite. They survive in all light conditions and let you know when you are over-watering them (their leaves turn yellow). These climbers are great on shelves.
English Ivy. This is a favorite, but can be a temperamental option. If I leave the ivy in a sunny window, then I am generally successful, but if I move it–watch out! I have one in the kitchen that I trained into a topiary, and it has survived for 8 or 9 years. I have found that they like a good weekly watering and their leaves misted lightly. The link above offers a tutorial from Martha Stewart on how to make your own topiary.
I hope you will give one of these varieties a try. The joy and beauty that something green and living brings to your home is worth the little effort and care that plants require. Enjoy!