The best plants for apartments that deliver ultimate style with minimal effort

No natural light? No problem!

plant on a windowsill on a pastel background
(Image credit: bgwalker/Getty Images)

Let your green thumb flourish! The best apartment plants not only deliver serious style, but they can weather the toughest conditions: lack of light, tight quarters, messy roommates, etc. 

Even if you're stationed in a tiny studio in Concrete Central, miles away from greenery, gardening in an apartment is still possible (yes, really). We spoke to professionals from The Sill and Lively Root to guide us toward the plants and succulents that make a big statement but require little upkeep, which in turn make a lovely addition to the communal bookshelf.

After you've chosen your green options — and by that we mean you bought everything possible — be sure to also take a look at the clever and cute plant accessories that will keep your babies kickin'.

Best apartment plants

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As they say, life's short: buy the plants. These particular types do particularly well in apartment settings, for a variety of reasons. Do you have cute planters handy?

Snake Plant

Snake plants are certainly resilient. It takes about two weeks for their soil to completely dry out, especially in low-light spaces, which means you're off duty until then. Plus, there's no need for extensive repotting, which saves you the clean-up.

"They can last several years in the same container with only occasional soil changes until they have outgrown their original homes," says Paris Lalicata, plant expert at The Sill. 

ZZ Plant

ZZ Plants don't need your undivided attention. Just let 'em do their thing!

"They're low-maintenance, very versatile, and can tolerate low light to bright light conditions," Lalicata notes. "They're tolerant of normal room humidity in the home and are even drought tolerant so you don’t have to monitor them as frequently as other plants."

We'll take two six.

Alocasia Polly

Product operations specialist at Lively Root, Matt Slaymaker makes the case for Alocasia Polly, and it didn't take much convincing for us to fill up our shopping carts. The plant does well out of direct sunlight, which opens up our placement opportunities and gives us more decorating flexibility. Oh, and did we mention it's adorable?

"They’ll bring a whole bunch of style while not using up a whole lot of space," Slaymaker says. "These are perfect for an apartment with good natural light and can fit easily into any aesthetic. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch their precious leaves [and] keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged."

He also notes that you'll want to feed a balanced liquid fertilizer about every month during the growing season.

Golden Pothos

One thing we can't resist about a Golden Pothos? It knows how to make a statement. 

"You can train the plant to trail where you want it," Slaymaker says. "Over time, just one plant can slowly cover your apartment by training the vines up walls, overhead, or anywhere they can be propped up."

To keep this bad boy healthy, place it in bright, indirect light, keep the soil slightly moist, and feed it with a balanced liquid fertilizer about every month throughout the growing season, like the Alocasia Polly.


"The Philodendron may grow a bit faster under bright light conditions, but it won’t mind being pot-bound for a period of time until you are ready to repot," Lalicata notes. 

Like its friends, the ZZ Plant and Snake Plant, the flexible Philodendron is low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and humidity-tolerant. 

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a go-to in many a gardener's collection.

"This plant is perfect for plant parents of all levels as long as they have a sunny window sill to keep it in," Lalicata says. "You only need to water the plant about every 1-2 weeks in the spring/summer months and every 2-3 weeks in the fall/winter months."

Plus, it'll come in handy for beauty buffs among us. 

"Their leaves contain the soothing medicinal gel so you have DIY skincare projects on-hand at all times," Slaymaker adds.

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.