Anyone who has traded in evergreens for skyscrapers and fall foliage for subways knows that the urban jungle doesn’t quite hack it when it comes to real nature. And while city life has it perks – coffee shops on every corner, ethnic food, public transportation – there is a part of everyone’s soul that craves rolling hills and fresh air.
A rooftop garden would be a good substitution to a National Forest, but you and I both know that something like this
is not always in the budget.
However, creating an indoor jungle inside an urban jungle is easy – and best of all, green thumbs are not a pre-requisite. There are plenty of leafy greens that live year-round, thrive in low lighting, and are next to impossible to kill. Even better news: there are a handful of potted plants that go a long way in purifying the air from car exhaust and industrial smog (I’m looking at you Los Angeles) so your home can become a haven of good health.
It doesn’t matter if your next apartment for rent is in downtown Cincinnati. Bring nature to you.
5 Luscious Houseplants
1. Snake Plant
Snake Plants (known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue by my grandma and other old people) are exotic, eye-catching and can get big. Really big. Snake Plants are at home in the desert, so the more you leave them alone (i.e. the less frequently you water them), the more they’ll thrive. Expect the leaves to grow up to three feet before you know it.
2. Areca Palm Tree
The Areca is a wonder tree. I love it, NASA loves it, you are going to love it. The billowing, lacy fronds have the best air purifying capabilities of them all (according to NASA studies) and are effective at keeping your apartment at the ideal level of humidity. Native to Madagascar, the Areca is at home in the humidity, so keep the soil moist and give this guy access to sun. You’ll be rewarded with a tropical island feel no matter how landlocked your apartment is.
3. Peace Lily
If you’re looking for more than just green in your indoor garden, it’s tough to beat the elegant, willowy Peace Lily. The giant, white, boat-shaped buds stretching above dark green leaves say “funeral” to some, “fancy” to others. This plant holds its own in a dusty room and chips in by helping clean your air. It doesn’t require any sunlight to flourish; just keep the soil damp and the leaves out of reach of curious children who have the tendency to taste test – this plant is mildly toxic.
A lucky little plant, bamboo doesn’t even require soil to fill your closet of an apartment with cheery, fresh greenery. It just requires shade and water. You read that right: no sun and no soil necessary. You can keep bamboo in your closet; it will continue to grow if you move to Alaska and spend 6 months without a single ray of natural light. Enjoy bamboo as a solitary stalk or a bold bunch.
5. Jade Plant
Plop a jade plant in a terra cotta pot and water it once in a while. That’s it. If you’re lucky little pink flowers will bloom, but even if just remains its trademark waxy, plump green leaves, a jade plant will make any room look like a million bucks. Perhaps that’s why it’s also known as the Money Tree.