All gardening has its challenges but creating areas of green in a small space is very possible. An apartment will never become Great Britain’s Kew Gardens but tending real, growing plants is realistic for any size residence. Just because you live in a small place with not much room for furniture or storage, doesn’t mean you can’t create a beautiful garden area at home.
First, why should you do it?
Well, studies have shown that indoor plants can help make you feel much better and improve your mood on a daily basis. The folks at NASA have revealed that houseplants can also remove up to 87 percent of air toxins within 24 hours; how about those for benefits of creating a garden area in your small apartment?
Also, additional studies have shown that houseplants improve your concentration and productivity both at home and at work by up to 15%. These same plants can reduce stress levels and boost mood, as mentioned previously.
Know Your Space
Before buying houseplants, get to know your apartment, whether it’s a studio in Pittsburgh like one of these listed by ABODO or a 5-bedroom in New York City — make sure you know it well. Do you have floor space to spare for a large pot, or will you need a small plant placed on a table, windowsill, or will a wall-hung fixture be perfect? Take the time to watch how sunlight enters your home throughout the course of a day. Different plants need different amounts of light; you wouldn’t put an orchid on a blazing hot southerly exposed windowsill because the poor thing would fry. Likewise, there are plants that tolerate a wide range of light levels like Sansevieria.
If You Have Pets or Small Children
Some houseplants have different levels of toxicity in their leaves, stems, and roots while others are harmless. Pets love to investigate plants and often they use their sense of taste to do so. This can have dire consequences, so be sure to check the plants you like to make sure a nibble won’t harm Fluffy. Small children are also curious; usually, their explorations begin in the soil but can include a taste. Some plants have a sap which is dangerous when rubbed in an eye; pencil cactus comes to mind, so again, please check each variety of plants for toxicity before bringing it into your home.
Spend Time in Your Garden Center
This is an ideal way to discover the shapes and sizes of houseplants. You can visit a nursery or garden department of a big box store to learn which plants have a structure or shape you find pleasing. The varieties are almost endless. Read the labels to find out if the lighting or humidity in your home will allow a plant to thrive. Buying a plant only to watch it die through no fault of your own is not fun. Ask questions–the folks who work at nurseries and garden centers generally love to talk about plants.
An Inexpensive Way to Decorate
Not only are houseplants a good way to brighten up a dull spot in your apartment, they also help make your home healthier. Houseplants can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in a small home by up to 10%.
Potting Your Plants
Once you have a container and plant, you’ll need the correct type of soil. For instance, cacti require sandier soil than spider plants. Potting mediums are sold with a list of the plants they are designed for. A trick I use is to line my kitchen sink with an old sheet, put the container in the lined sink and pot up the plant. Afterward, take the finished product out of the sink, roll up the sheet and shake it outside. Just don’t turn the water on with the sheet still in the sink!
It is a Living Thing
No matter what type of container and plant you choose, it will need some maintenance; even a terrarium needs a little occasional care. Again, read the plant tags because they’re written by folks who know the plant’s requirements. In general, you should water once a week, but each plant has its own needs. After a while, you will know how your plant reacts to the sunlight, humidity, and temperature in your apartment.
Choosing the right plants for your home is a really important decision. Although plants release a lot of oxygen during the day, a huge benefit comes at night as well. Plants like orchids, succulents, snake plans and others emit oxygen, which makes them awesome for the bedroom and improved sleep for you and your loved ones. But remember, too much sun can sometimes be a bad thing for houseplants. Most indoor plants don’t need direct midday sun. Check if your plant is sitting too close to the window, or on the other hand, too close to a cold draft from outside. These are all important things to remember to keep your houseplants alive and well and to allow you to benefit from owning them.
And in case you’re wondering, here is a list of popular types of plants to purchase for your apartment garden area:
● Snake plant
- Norfolk Island Pine
- Kentia Palm
- Desert Rose
- Peace Lily
Your houseplants will make your surroundings look less sterile, rid the air of carbon dioxide and create a peaceful bit of green in a small space. So, remember, even if you’re concerned about your inability to keep houseplants alive, or if you think you have no space for a peaceful home for each plant, it’s still possible in the city and in your smaller apartment.
With just a bit of creativity in planning and purchasing the right plants, you can have an awesome at-home garden with more health and wellness benefits than many people are even aware of. We urge all apartment-dwellers to enlist the help of those little houseplants for a better, more peaceful and enjoyable life at home in your small place.