When you live in a condo with views of another condo or building, things can get a little depressing. Add a little color to your space and breath (literally) new air by introducing houseplants. Plants add an instant wow factor, and they’re good at keeping the air fresh. If you live alone, having another living thing in the house to care for is a huge plus.
However, if you don’t have a green thumb or if you don’t know how to properly maintain a plant, you can’t just pick and choose whatever it is you find beautiful. Just like people, some plants are tough and hardy, while others are weak and sensitive to slight changes. You should go with the tough bunch if you’re horticulturally challenged.
Time for Some Plants
The EPA warns homeowners that indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. The use of chemical cleaners, insecticides, wood polish, disinfectant spray and others leave trace amounts on surfaces. Varnish, paint, building materials, the heating of oil for cooking and fumes from gas also contributes to the negative air quality.
According to NASA, houseplants can remove up to 87% of air toxins in a 24-hour period, and research from Washington State University found that people who have indoor plants have lower stress levels than those who don’t. Indoor plants have been proven to improve mood, well-being and increase the feelings of calm and serenity.
So not only do plants help improve air quality in a condo, but they can also help improve mood and reduce stress, which are two legit consequences of living in a small space. NASA suggests that to improve air quality in your home, there must be a plant for every 10 square feet.
Here are a few hardy plants you can place in your condo to instantly change the mood and improve air quality:
Chinese Evergreen – Also known as Silver Green, this indoor plant is very easy to take care of. It requires minimal water and can survive in low light conditions. Chinese Evergreens can potentially last you years, making it a great low-cost improvement to your condo.
Ficus – The ficus is another low maintenance plant that can survive with moderate watering and bright, indirect sunlight. Place this in a corner that gets a lot of sunlight and leave it to thrive. Ficus plants tend to grow tall, so keep that in mind if you have low a ceiling.
Cacti – Cacti can survive in extreme desert environments, with very little water and the sun bearing down on them. If it can take all that abuse, it’ll thrive in a condo. Just place it in a windowsill or a place that gets a lot of sunlight. As for water, the rule of thumb is every 4 weeks or when the soil is bone dry.
Aloe – Aloe plants are great at absorbing toxic air pollutants, so place a few in the kitchen. It’s also great for minor cuts, so keep some around if you have kids.
Succulent = Succulents are low maintenance plants that are built like tanks. They’re virtually indestructible. All you need is to water them once or twice a week and make sure they are exposed to bright sunlight.
Areca Palm – If you want your space to look a little more tropical, the Areca Palm is just what the doctor ordered. It requires little water and dry soil, making it one of the easiest indoor plants to take care of. These can grow up to seven feet tall, so choose a smaller pot to keep growth under control.
You Still Need Windows
Windows are a luxury in condos, especially if you’re stuck in a middle unit. Look for condo sites like Onessy that let you view unit floor plans, so you’ll know where the windows are situated. By investing in a little greenery, you can improve your mood and breathe healthier air that’s free of toxins.
Make sure that you choose the plants listed above, or any other plant species that require little maintenance. Just like any living thing, once you have plants in your home, it’s your responsibility to care for them. Always provide ample water and sunlight, change the soil every year and add a little organic fertilizer when needed.