Low-maintenance plants: 11 easy indoor plants

Written by: Kerstin Lakits, May 11, 2023

One or two plants will liven up your (STUWO) student apartment. A little bit of added green will not only be a lovely decoration, but also provide clean and fresh air at all times. During exam periods or vacation, it might happen that you forget about your plant babies and they have to survive without water. However, that is not going to be a problem because these low maintenance indoor plants are easy to handle. Here are the 11 best indoor plants for your student apartment!

1. Advantages of indoor plants

The so-called Urban Jungle living trend has been spreading its roots in the past few years. On social media platforms, you can find tons of posts of urban apartments turned into jungles. However, you don’t have to go for the jungle right away, but introducing a few plants into your home has many advantages:

  • A few indoor plants are beautiful decorations that brighten up your rooms.
  • Indoor plants improve the atmosphere in your apartments because they provide fresh air at all times and reduce CO2 levels. This boosts your overall wellbeing.
  • Some plants are natural remedies, for example aloe vera, and can be useful additions to your personal repertoire of remedies.
  • Plants reduce stress and blood pressure. The colour green has calming effects.
  • Indoor plants make sure you get a restful night of sleep because of the improved quality of air.
  • Especially interesting to students: Indoor plants improve your concentration! Green house plants on your desk help you to remain focused, awake and productive.
  • You can learn a lot from plants, for example patience. Every plant grows differently and cannot be bothered by external circumstances. By taking care of your plants, you can learn a lot about botanic, yourself and maybe even the relationships in your life.

2. Easy care tall indoor plants: Large house plants as eye-catcher

These three big indoor plants are not only easy to take care of, but are gorgeous decorating elements for your apartment. These easy plants will be a fantastic green eye catcher in your room.

Ficus Benjamina (Weeping fig)

Watering: regularly/moderately (when soil is dry)

Spot: bright, but no direct sunlight

A ficus is a big low-maintenance plant that originally came from a subtropical climate. Therefore, it loves high humidity and a lot of light! You should water your ficus regularly and keep it in a bright spot. The weeping fig grows especially quickly, has relatively small leaves in different colours.

Coffea Arabica (Arabic coffee plant)

Watering: regularly

Spot: bright, but no direct sunlight

Is coffee your wonder drug? Then this easy house plant is perfect for you. Coffea Arabica can reach a height of 1.5 metres as an indoor plant. The leaves are shiny, dark green, oval and pointy at the ends. The Arabic coffee plant needs a bright spot, but doesn’t do well with direct sunlight. Make sure that the soil is always slightly moist and never completely dry!

Sansevieria Trifasciata (Snake plant)

Watering: regularly (when soil is dry)

Spot: bright and sunny

The snake plant is a very low-maintenance flatmate. You should only water it when the soil seems to be quite dry. That’s why this plant is perfect for beginners because it’s not the end of the world when you happen to forget to water it. Originally, the snake plant comes from tropical regions in Africa and therefore prefers a sunny spot! There are many different leaf patterns.

3. Low light indoor plants: Large house plants that don’t need (much) light

Not only your windowsill will turn into beautiful green oases, but you can spread the green areas in your whole apartment with plants that don’t need much light. These easy plants also prosper in other corners of your flat.

Monstera Deliciosa (Window leaf/Swiss cheese plant)

Watering: regularly (keep moist)

Spot: bright, but no direct sunlight

The window leaf has big beautiful leaves and gracefully handles mistakes you might make. This plant is perfect for everyone who is only starting to grow their urban jungle. The window leaf prefers indirect light! Try to keep it moist all the time. You can just spray some water on it with a spray bottle. Because of its size, she needs a lot of space and doesn’t want to be squeezed in-between furniture.

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (Zuzu plant)

Watering: water moderately

Spot: bright to semi-bright

The Zuzu plant is low-maintenance and easy to handle. There is not much you could do wrong. It doesn’t need a lot of water or light. Very important: Don’t water too much and avoid waterlogging! If the leaves turn yellow, you watered it too much.

Ficus Elastica (Rubber fig)

Watering: water moderately (only when soil is slightly dry)

Spot: semi-bright

The rubber fig is one of the most easy-going plants. In a semi-bright spot, it will grow peacefully and show off its deep green colour. In the process, it improves air quality. From time to time, you should use a wet towel to remove dust from the leaves. Water this plant only when the soil seems dry.

Important: If you are allergic to latex, you should be careful with this plant because it exudes a milky substance when it’s hurt, which can cause skin irritations.

4. Small house plants: Easy care green indoor plants for decorative finishing

If you don’t want your apartment to turn into a green jungle immediately, then you might want to choose these smaller indoor plants as a few green additions. These green plants look phenomenal, but don’t take up too much space.

Aloe Vera

Watering: moderately (when soil is dry)

Spot: sunny and bright

Aloe Vera is not only a beautiful piece of decoration, but also versatile crop. The gel of this plant has healing, hydrating and cooling properties, which makes it a great lotion for your skin. You can even make juice from organic aloe vera plants. Never cut more than one third of leaves off, since it’s a big strain on the plant. Aloe vera prefers a bright and warm spot and needs little water. Only water this plant when the soil seems dry.

Mentha Suaveolens (Mint)

Watering: regularly

Spot: bright to semi-bright

Mint is very easy to handle and not only pretty to look at, but also very useful. Fresh mint is perfect for cocktails, tea, lemonade and more! Especially in summer, it’s super refreshing. You should water mint more than other easy house plants. Make sure to water it sufficiently during summer. Direct sunlight is definitely too strong for this cute little plant. A bright to semi-bright spot works well!

Tillandsia Capitata (Air plant)

Watering: spray with water a few times per week

Spot: bright, but no direct sunlight

The Tilliandsia capitate is an air plant, which means that it’s not planted in soil. It absorbs water and other nutrients through its leaves. So, you don’t have to water this plant, but rather spray it with some water a few times a week. If you forget to do that from time to time, it will survive this dry spell. The air plant needs a bright spot without direct sunlight.

5. Easy care hanging indoor plants: Climbing indoor plants for your room

These hanging and climbing indoor plants will be a special eye catcher in your apartment. These easy indoor plants are low-maintenance and look phenomenal. Hanging indoor plants are perfect for your bathroom, hallway or bedroom.

Epipremnum Pinnatum (devil’s vine)

Watering: regularly (keep slightly moist)

Spot: bright to semi-bright

The devil’s vine can either be used as a hanging plant in a hanging basket or as a climbing indoor plant on shelves, room dividers or something similar. It has heart shaped green leaves. This plant prefers a bright to semi-bright spot without direct sunlight and wind. Multi-coloured types need more light than dark green ones. So, think about where you want to put your plant (near a window in a bright room or in a hallway without much light) before you go to the garden market. This indoor plant needs moderate amounts of water and can survive short dry spells. It doesn’t handle waterlogging well. So less is more!

Tradescantia zebrina (silver inch plant)

Watering: regularly (keep soil moist)

Spot: bright, but no direct sunlight

The silver inch plant is a beautiful piece of decoration that looks best in a hanging basket (hanging). This indoor hanging plant loves a bright spot without direct sunlight. The Tradescantia zebrina got its name because of its six centimetre long leaves with white stripes (like a zebra). You should water the silver inch plant regularly, so that the roots are always moist. If it’s hot, you should also spray some water.

6. Plant purchase tips: which houseplant suits me?

Before you make your way to the closest flower shop, hardware store or gardening centre, you should think about which indoor plants fit into your apartment and how much time you want to invest. Think about these questions:

  • Time investment: Some plants only need water from time to time; other plants need to be fertilized, watered and cleaned regularly.
  • Type of plants: Do you want a blossoming flower, a green plant or a climbing plant?
  • Spot: Where do you want to place your plants? Living room, bedroom or bathroom? Near a window or in the room?
  • Quality: Make sure to buy high-quality plants and soil. That’s a bit more expensive, but they allow for your plants to grow quickly, look beautiful and stay healthy.

7. Location factors: the proper placement of houseplants

Your plants need a location that meets their needs, so that they can grow and blossom. Every plant has different requirements, so gather information beforehand.

  • Light: Plants that need a lot of light should be placed near windows facing south, east or west. Plants that don’t need much light prefer a window spot facing north. If your plants need a lot of warmth, you should keep the curtains open. On the contrary, closing the curtains is helpful for heat sensitive plants.
  • Temperature: If your plants are near a window, you should pay attention to the window glazing (single, double, thrice). The thinner the glass, the colder it gets in winter and hotter in summer.
  • Humidity: If the radiator is directly under the windowsill, then the air is usually a lot drier. Plants that need high levels of humidity don’t like that. Think about watering regularly and sufficiently. Bathrooms and kitchens, however, are rooms with high humidity.
  • Room: Tropical plants are perfect for bathrooms and kitchens. In your bedroom, you should avoid blossoming and strongly fragranced plants. Green house plants are the better alternative here.
  • Type of plants: Make sure you know whether your plants prefer a sunny, bright/semi-bright or shaded spot.

8. House plant care tips: how to make your indoor plants happy

These 11 essay indoor plants are low-maintenance. With these simple tricks you will make your indoor plants happy:

  • Humidity: Most indoor plants need 60-70% humidity. Tropical plants need up to 80%. To keep humidity levels high, spray your plants with water regularly, especially in winter.
  • Watering: Water is the most important aspect of taking care of plants. Research beforehand how much water your plants need. Rule of thumb: When the soil is dry to touch, then you should water your plant.
  • Soil: Use peat-reduced soul and maybe add clay granulates. You can get special soil (e.g. flower, orchid or plant potting soil) that is specially made for different types of friends in flower shops or gardening centres.
  • Repotting: It’s best to repot your plants in spring. You should repot small plants every two years and big plants every four years. New soil and bigger pots are essential to your plants’ growth.
  • Fertiliser: Every plant needs different nutrients. So get some special fertiliser for your plants. You can add liquid fertiliser to your watering can. You need to put the fertiliser sticks directly into the soil.

STUWO tip: Here is a plant care guide with all the important points!

9. Warning signals: signs your house plant isn’t healthy

Even though these indoor plants are easy to take care of, it can happen that they aren’t doing well. Here are some common warning signs for bad plant care or pest infestation and solutions:

Warning signProblemSolution
Bright spots on the leavesSpider mites: These mites infest your plants and drain them. This problem is common with rubber figs and devil’s vine.Take off infested leaves and parts of the plant. Wash plant thoroughly and put it into a sealed foil bag for two weeks. Alternatively you can also use plant protection products.
Yellow or brown leavesIf your plant is near a window, this spot is not ideal. In summer, the direct sunlight is too much and in winter, the cold can damage your plant.Move your plant to a different spot and see if this improves your plant’s health.
Hanging leaves, brown ends and/or rotten rootsToo much water accumulated to waterlogging, which is detrimental to your plant.If there’s water in your pot, throw that water out. Reduce the amount of watering for the next time and look up how much water your plant needs.
Flabby leavesDust and dirt cover the leaves, which prevents your plant from doing photosynthesis.Clean your leaves from dust and dirt with a wet and smooth cloth or brush every four to six weeks.
Swarms of gnatsTiny black fungus gnats surround your plants. The larvae are laid in the soil and eat roots.Remove infected plants from other indoor plants. Waive on watering your plants for a while to dry out the soil. Then remove the plant from its pot, remove old soil and put it into a clean pot with fresh soil.

10. How to propagate your houseplants

If you already have some plants at home, you can easily make new ones from those. Instead of buying new plants, you can take stem cuttings that will grow into new full-blown plants. This way you can save a lot of money!

It’s best to take stem cuttings in spring because the growth rate is highest this time of year. Cut a roughly 10 cm long piece of stem off and put it into a glass of water. In two to three weeks, roots will form. As soon as this new plant has enough roots, you can put it into a pot with soil. Be careful when handling the new plant, so that you don’t break or injure the fragile roots.

Some plants are a great addition to your student apartment. Even without a green thumb, you can take care of these plants. This not only makes your rooms more colourful and lively, but these plants have many other benefits.

We wish you a lot of fun gardening in your new urban jungle!


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