When I started furnishing my studio apartment, I became OBSESSED with filling it with plants! There’s something special about bringing nature indoors, having some life in your home. Plants are proven to improve air quality and boost your mood. Plus, they look pretty darn cute!
Below, I’ll go over seven of the best indoor plants for beginners that will make your apartment look AMAZING. All of the plants below are ones I have actually owned, so I can tell you about my personal experience with them.
1. ZZ Plant
Ah, the lovely ZZ plant! I got this one as a Christmas gift from a friend, hence the colorful lights on it. Hailing from eastern Africa, it’s also known as the Zanzibar Gem or Zamioculcas. I love the look of the ZZ plant because its leaves are a deep emerald green and are shiny as though they are waxed. They’re also extremely hardy plants that can go a month without water and still be alive and well. These plants prefer indirect sunlight, so don’t put them in front of a window. I usually watered mine once every two weeks or once a month.
2. Snake Plant (Sansevieria or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue)
The Snake Plant, also known as Sansevieria or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, is a popular indoor plant that’s also native to Africa. There is a wide variety of Snake Plants out there, but my favorite is the Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’ variety: It has the whitish stripes on its leaves and the leaves are bordered with a bright yellow. I think it’s stunning!
The biggest issue when picking out a snake plant is that because they are tall leaves, they tend to start drooping and falling over. Be sure to find a snake plant that stands up straight without help. For mine, I had to buy twine and tie it around the leaves to keep them from falling over.
I watered mine about once a week, but I always made sure to feel the soil. If the soil is still damp, don’t water it. You risk overwatering it. Snake plants also do well in lowlight conditions, so don’t put it in front of a window.
I wish I knew the exact name of this cactus, but any small cactus plant will do well indoors, as they’re pretty hardy. This particular cactus was a gift from a friend who got it from Lowe’s. The rocks around it are glued together, so the cactus is, unfortunately, trapped inside the pot. If it ever outgrew its pot, I would need to break the plant free from the glued rocks.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is great because it has a dual purpose: It decorates your home and it has medicinal value. Break off a piece of aloe and rub its gel on your rash or burns, and it will soothe your skin. It’s also a pretty hardy plant. I actually had an unusual amount of trouble with my aloe. I had it sitting in a corner with no sunlight, and it started getting pale and droopy. I couldn’t figure out why, so I ended up putting outside in direct sunlight, and it started to thrive.
5. Golden Pothos
The Golden Pothos is your typical office plant. I’m sure you’ve seen its green leaves with yellow specks all over your workplace. There’s a reason for that! Pothos plants do extremely well indoors and in lowlight conditions. They grow rapidly and are difficult to kill, making them among the best plants for beginners. In the wild, they grow as a vine (they’re also known as Devil’s Ivy). I love when Pothos plants get very long and you have a trailing vine; you can hang the pot and have the rest of it trail down like a waterfall.
6. Haworthia (Zebra Plant)
For apartment dwellers who always kill their plants, succulents are the way to go! I especially like the Haworthia or Zebra plant because its white stripes make it look really intriguing. I could go a month without watering this, and it still thrived.
7. Fiddle Leaf Fig
Okay, I might get some flack for this one, but I think the fiddle leaf fig is one of the best plants for beginners AND looks SO FREAKING GORGEOUS. The fiddle leaf is the quintessential “hipster plant” because it’s in almost every IKEA photo or Instagram photo of home decor because, again, it is such a beautiful plant. When I bought my fiddle leaf fig, the woman at the plant store claimed that it is “fickle” and “not a good plant for a beginner.” Then another employee there kept fussing over the lighting in my apartment and which direction the living room window faced and whatnot. In the end, the fiddle leaf did just fine. I didn’t have any real issues with it except that its soil came infested with springtails, a common garden pest. Even so, the plant did well in my apartment.