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Best Houseplants For Your NYC Apartment


Some people are great with plants. All things green flourish in their presence. Other people aren’t quite as gifted, despite the best of intentions. If plants could experience emotions, they would cower in their presence, knowing that to be entrusted to their care is pretty much a death sentence.

And whether or not you have a green thumb, or you’re just simply awful with plants, your apartment could also be a factor. Is it dark? Do you have good natural light? Do you leave the curtains drawn? Is it humid? Is there access to direct light, or filtered light? Knowing that plants can be fickle, we set about creating a list of the best low maintenance and hard-to-kill plants that we could. Here it is:

  • Mother-in-Law’s Tongue: aptly named depending on your personal experience, this sharp-edged plant grows tall, required little water, is low maintenance, and looks great in all kinds of pots. It prefers bright light, but has been know to survive in lower light conditions. Also known as the snake plant.
  • Philodendron: popular decades ago, maybe this fast-growing houseplant is making a comeback because it’s pretty low maintenance and does pretty well in darker apartments.
  • Aloe: with plump leaves and it’s interesting shape, this plant requires a fair amount of sunlight, but not a ton of water. An added benefit is that if you cut yourself of get a sunburn, the gel-like substance in the leaves has a soothing effect.
  • African Violet: taking up very little space and providing a beautiful bloom for up to nine months, these plants are inexpensive and relatively easy to maintain. Keep them in indirect sunlight, and don’t overwater.
  • Jade Plant: thick succulent leaves and interesting branches make this slow-growing plant a popular one. Better yet, as long as you don’t over- or under-water it, it can lives for decades.

One more thing: lots of lists mention ficus trees. This writer has never had one last more than a month without losing all the leaves, and then dying a slow, ugly death. And they’re not cheap. But take that with a grain of salt, since I fall into the “harbinger-of-death-for-plants” category.

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