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Go green: Adding life to your apartment through plants

One of the downsides to living in an apartment building is the lack of a private yard and garden. While some buildings may have a community garden for residents, most do not. That said, you can still flex your green thumb and keep plants indoors all year round or outdoors on your balcony (if you have one) during the warmer months.

A touch of green can add a nice pop of colour to your apartment, plus having houseplants can help improve the air quality.

Here are some ideas on how you can incorporate plants around your rental apartment!

Choose apartment-friendly plants

apartment-friendly plants

When choosing indoor plants for your apartment, you want to look for species that thrive in containers. Different types of plants work in different lighting situations. If you want a plant that’s easy to care for and will work well in indirect sunlight, opt for a cactus. Cactus plants don’t need a lot of water. In fact, during the cooler months, they require water less than once a week. Cacti are trendy right now, so not only will they add some life to your apartment, but they will also become a piece of decor.

Another resilient houseplant is the snake plant. Part of the succulent family, the snake plant is tough and can survive in practically any environment. Like cacti, snake plants can live in dry soil and need minimal watering. They can also tolerate low light, so even if you live in an older building with small windows this will still work for you.

If you want a plant with natural healing properties, get a potted aloe vera. Keep it in your kitchen, and break off a piece to treat burns or cuts.

If you’ve noticed that shaggy leaf pattern everywhere — from phone cases to wallpaper — that’s a real plant. It’s called a split leaf philodendron (sometimes called a Swiss cheese plant), and it’s easy to take care of. As long as you put it in a large pot, it will thrive indoors. It grows in medium light, so place it in indirect light. If you want a tropical theme in your apartment, this is the plant for you!

Balcony garden

Balcony garden

Just like indoors, you can have balcony plants just as long as they’re in containers. People grow all sorts of plants on their balcony during the spring and summer — from flowers to herbs to vegetables.

You can plant tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and more on your balcony, as long as you use the right sized pots. You can start from seed indoors in the early spring or buy plants.

As for herbs, you can pot basil, oregano, mint, rosemary, parsley, lavender, thyme, sage, dill and more. Buy herbs that you frequently cook with so that you can enjoy fresh herbs all summer long. When the season comes to an end, you can harvest the remainder and hang them upside down to dry.

Even just having some potted flowers on your balcony will add colour and atmosphere to your outdoor space. Add a little bistro set out there, and you can enjoy your morning coffee surrounded by beauty — even in the busiest urban centres.