Home-Friendly Plants: A Beginners Guide to Urban Houseplants

Introducing plants into your home is a great way to boost your mood, reduce stress levels, and purify air conditions. According to FLATS, apartment dwellers in big cities like Chicago and New York are often limited by space and sunlight. Luckily, there are many widely available species that don’t require much sunlight, space, or watering.”

If you’re new to the world of caretaking for living plants you can visit your local garden center or nursery for tips and tricks. If you’re a pet owner or have small children you should research which species are non-toxic. The world of houseplants can be overwhelming so we’ve highlighted 8 plants perfect for busy gardening beginners. 

Read on for the top plants that will not only thrive but survive in your apartment. 

Cacti and Succulents

Succulents are used to desert conditions and will be a perfect match for the person that can never remember to water plants. All they need is a nice watering every other month and a little bit of sun. Basically, if you have a window– you’re all set to house these varieties. Keep an eye on how your newest additions react to the sun, as you might have to move them around your space. There are many different shapes and colors to choose from whether you want an all-green scheme or throw in pink/purple/berry tones into your collection. You won’t have to go very far to pick up a new succulent, most grocery stores have a selection in their floral department. 

Snake Plant

Look no further than the snake plant for easy care without sacrificing volume and height. Their vertical nature is perfectly suited for an apartment lacking floor space. The sturdiness and graphic quality of the sansevieria species have become increasingly popular in recent years because of how low-maintenance they are, living happily in environments with scarce sunlight and infrequent watering. When a snake plant is happy they grow rapidly and will need to be divided– which means more plants for you! Snake plants come in varieties that can grow quite tall, making them a perfect floor plant to sit on either side a sofa. 


If you’re trying to find an easy to grow cascading plant that looks amazing dangling off a kitchen shelf or hanging planter, look no further! Pothos are widely agreed upon as a great starter plant for those just discovering their green thumb. They do well in many different environments ranging from low light to bright indirect sunlight. Pothos are not picky when it comes to soil or planting either since they can survive in rich soil, poor soil, and even water–  just make sure to stay consistent as the clippings of a pathos brought up in soil will not enjoy the water. Not only do pathos look great, but they’re also one of the mightiest air purifiers when it comes to houseplants. They help rid your space of chemicals, making them perfectly suited for people living in large cities with lots of pollution.

Spider Plant

A spider plant is one of the most flexible varieties and will adapt to most environments its dropped in as long as they have well-drained soil and bright indirect light. Other than the occasional brown tip, it suffers virtually no problems. These plants are perfect for someone who gets careless with watering but has a bright sunny window, as a spider plant actually prefers its soil to dry out between waterings. If you are experiencing browning on the leaves considering testing on distilled water as opposed to tap water, sometimes the fluoride from our water causes leaves to lose their lush color. 


Congratulations! You’ve mastered the houseplant basics, so now you’re looking for something more eye-catching? A monstera is both perfectly striking while fairly easy to care for. They have large tropical leaves and will bring a tropical vibe to any space. Monsteras might be native to tropical forests in southern Mexico, but they will be perfectly suited in your apartment no matter the light level. They become more dramatic and grow faster with more sun, just be watchful of your plant getting too much bright sun or the leaves will start to burn. Monsteras are not very needy when it comes to water but make sure the plant has enough water so the soil doesn’t completely dry out. 

Cast Iron Plant

You probably guessed by the name, and you’re correct, this plant is tough as nails and can grow in the shadiest corners. Iron plants are sturdy and will remain green for the busiest plan owner. While its design might be plain, this classic plant is truly indestructible as long as you don’t put it in direct sunlight. If you want to give your iron plant a little extra love you can opt to wipe down the leaves once a week with a damp cloth so it can easily take in its nutrients from the sun. 

ZZ Plant

ZZ is another plant falling on the low maintenance spectrum of care. This lush plant is known for its waxy leaves and easy care routine, making a perfect choice for the city dweller on the run. ZZ’s are not very sensitive to light so set it up in any corner of the apartment! Just make sure that you’re keeping the soil damp enough 2 inches below the surface layer of soil. ZZ’s can withstand periods of drought, so don’t beat yourself up for forgetting to water every now and then. Although if you start to see leaflets fallings this means your ZZ is going into survival mode and needs a drink!

Chinese Evergreen

This plant has many different varieties and can survive in different levels of indirect light. Unlike other plants on this list, Chinese Evergreens will be okay if you get a little heavy-handed with the watering. It’s especially important to keep up with the watering if you live in a colder and drier climate. Young plants will work great on desks or nightstands while larger ones are perfect to fill in larger gaps in your space. As your plant matures it might even produce flowers in the spring or summer that are similar to a peace lily.