Plants are recommended for just about every home. They are visually appealing, go well with all kinds of decorating schemes, and best of all, they actually help purify the air by removing chemicals and giving off oxygen. But if you’re renting a small house or apartment, you may not have much space in your home, which means you may not be able to put a plant where it will receive a lot of light. Fortunately, there are many types of plants that don’t actually require tons of sunlight, or even a lot of care! Here are the 10 best ones for your small space:
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1. Schlumbergera – Christmas Cactus
Ah the cactus, the quintessential plant for those who struggle to develop a green thumb, or simply don’t have the right environment for more complex plants. The schlumbergera, better known as the Thanksgiving cactus or Christmas cactus, is on this list specifically because unlike most other cacti it requires only moderate sunlight. It also doesn’t need much water and is much more “touch friendly” than most other cacti.
2. Chlorophytuum – Spider Plant
The “spider plant” is not a picky being. It doesn’t require excessive water or light, nor does it demand crazy temperatures. In fact, it is known for being really hard to kill. This plant grows very well in hanging baskets or sitting on top of columns, and it creates a very pretty effect with hanging leaves and stems. Healthy and mature spider plants begin producing flowers in springtime as daylight increases. Eventually, the flowers develop into babies or spiderettes.
3. Chamaedorea Elegans – Parlor Palm
Also known as the “table palm”, this plant gets its name from the fact that it is indeed a small palm with arching green leaflets giving its fronds the well-known canopy shape. It needs to be watered fairly regularly, but it is slow-growing and adapts very well to interior spaces with low lighting. And if you have pets, it will also interest you to know that the chamaedorea elegans is non-toxic and will do them no harm if they decide to munch on it.
4. Dracaena Braunii – Lucky Bamoo
You may not be familiar with its name, but you’ve probably seen this plant in many places—homes, offices, store counters, etc. “Lucky bamboo” is so popular not just because it is pleasant to look at, but also because it survives very well indoors. Direct sunlight can actually harm it, so you don’t have to worry too much about keeping it near a window. You can either plant it in soil or grow it in water, though the water will need to be changed every couple of weeks. Be forewarned that this plant is toxic to pets.
5. Dracaena Massangeana – Corn Plant
The “corn plant” is another that’s easy to recognize, and no, this popular houseplant doesn’t actually grow corn. It has long, smooth green leaves, usually with paler middle sections. The leaves droop downward, leading to a palm-like effect. This plant prefers low light and only requires moderate watering. In fact, they actually benefit from some “drying time” between waterings, making it ideal for many people.
This sturdy broad-leafed plant does need a bit more light than most of its counterparts on this list, but it is nevertheless included because it is compact, does very well in the climates of most homes and is non-toxic to pets. Because they come in a range of beautiful colors and textures — such as green, purple, red and silver — mixing a few varieties together can have a huge impact.
7. Sansevieria Trifasciata – Snake Plant
This stiff plant is commonly known as the “snake plant” or even “mother-in-law’s tongue”. It does very well as a houseplant because it doesn’t require high levels of light or even a regular watering schedule. It is also known for absorbing (and thus removing from the air) toxins like formaldehyde and various nitrogen oxides. This is a bonus for homes with more cramped spaces, where toxins can become more easily trapped.
8. Dracaena Deremensis – Lemon Lime
The “warneck dracaena” is a strong, sturdy plant that thrives indoors. It prefers brighter lighting, but a dimmer setting will work just fine. The soil it grows in should be kept moist, but this doesn’t mean you have to water it all the time. This plant also absorbs toxins from varnishes and oils commonly found in households.
9. Aloe Vera
The famous aloe vera plant makes for a fantastic houseplant. Despite its need for sunlight (if you do have space in front of a window, use it for this), the aloe plant grows quickly even in small, indoor spaces and serves actual functional purposes besides helping make the air cleaner. Break open a stem, and you can use the gel inside to soothe and help heal burns, or you could just use it for cosmetic purposes (hair gel and skin moisturizer).
10. Orchidaceae – aka Orchid
You know the orchidaceae better as the orchid, a beautiful flower. The orchid is found is almost every habitat around the world, and it is a popular houseplant as a result. They generally do need stronger light, but this is balanced out by the fact that they can go a while without water and can survive in a variety of temperatures.
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