I live in a studio apartment, but I always dream about having my very own yard to do my plant experiments, whether it’s testing out texture and color combinations, or finding the right balance of plants that do well in the conditions it was planted in. But until that day arrives, I have my own little apartment garden sanctuary to tend.
Every time I visit a nursery I can’t help picking up a new plant. I enjoy researching and experimenting different varieties, observing whether each plant thrives indoors with only a few hours of bright light next to my southeast facing window. Currently my dining table is filled with a mix of succulents and indoor plants, an apartment botanical laboratory where I can conduct plant growing experiments.
When grown indoors succulents tend to grow a lot slower, leaves are not as plump, and will lose some of their accent color. The slower growth habit works well for container gardening and terrariums, especially suited for small spaces. The key factors to success growing plants indoors is not to overwater the succulents; while indoors these plants requires less water since they are transpiring less in an indoor environment with low humidity. And definitely use pots with drainage holes. I’ve grown varieties where I mistakenly overwatered the plant, eventually resulting in leaves bursting in liquid death, shriveling, and eventually rotting away.
These are the few varieties that will tolerate bright light/filtered sun*:
- Haworthia spp.
- Haworthia fasciata (Zebra Plant) – Beautiful white stripes on its leaves
- Haworthia reinwardtii
- Gasteraloe spp.
- Senecio stapeliiformis – This succulent adds a nice vertical structure to your arrangement and will grow very fast.
- Senecio rowleyanus (String of Pearls) – Loves to drape over pots.
- Senecio cylindricus
- Aloe ‘Delta Lights’
- Cotyledon tomentosa (Bear Paw) – This variety is especially sensitive to overwatering.
- Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ (Gollum Jade) – This variety adds great contrasting textures within your garden. The leaves won’t be as plump and the red tips aren’t as vibrant when grown with low light.
- Spathiphyllum spp. (Peace Lily) – Very hardy, tolerates low light and easy to grow. Plus it helps improve air quality within your home.
- Ficus lyrata (Fiddle Leaf Fig) – Beautiful large leaves. Tip: Ikea sells a pretty good size of this plant for only $13.
- Polyscias fruitcosa – (Ming Aralia) – This variety can be kept small and is used often as a Bonsai Tree. It also likes humidity and filtered sun.
- Epipremum aureum ‘Neon Portos’ – This variety has a beautiful lime green color. They tend to lose their brilliant neon color if they don’t receive enough light.
- Sansevieria spp. (Snake Plant) – Very hardy and seems to thrive with negligence.
- Aglaonema spp.
*Tip: Varieties with dark green leaves tend to do well indoors.