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Image of woman holding a mini cactus plant
May 4, 2016

Naturally spring — Decorating your apartment with plants


You can put the parkas away. You can store the hats and gloves for the season and (hooray!) you can break out the sandals and shorts. Spring is in full bloom, and once you’re finished transforming your closet space for the season, you can turn your attention to your living space.

We swung by Indigo to get some ideas for sprucing up an apartment for the season. The two best books we found were Indoor Kitchen Gardening by Elizabeth Millard and Indoor Gardening by Lisa Amstutz. Here are some tips we picked up:

Blooms and Blossoms

Not all flowers are suited for apartment living, but there are more than a few that will thrive on the windowsills and sunny nooks around your space.

The Geranium is super easy to grow, and can often survive even the most absent-minded gardener. They come in a range of deep, rich colours ranging from blues to violets and pinks. You’ll want to keep them in bright light and fairly dry soil, around 15 to 23 degrees.

A Hibiscus will add a bit of tropical flare to your space, with a rapid-fire burst of blossoms that last a day or two before being replaced with new ones. Generally warm hues of red, orange and pink, their giant blooms make a fantastic kitchen table centrepiece. Try to keep them in intense light with evenly moist soil at about 12 to 20 degrees.

More than just a Disney princess, Jasmine is one of the most fragrant plants you can get for your apartment. This relative of the olive tree bears pink or white blossoms, and just like the others on this list, needs bright light, evenly moist soil and temperatures of around 15 to 23 degrees.

Sprightly Succulents

If you’re not the most attentive when it comes to plants, these are for you. They’re inexpensive, thrive on neglect and can fit in any little cranny you can find.

Every apartment should have an Aloe Vera plant, especially in the summer. Their bright green adds a warm burst to any corner and, of course, they’ll come in super handy when you get a bit too much sun.

Just snip the tips of their broad leaves and apply the gel that comes out to any burn. Don’t worry, the plant won’t be harmed.

Fruits and Veggies

Avocados are great for indoor growing! Pick up a dwarf avocado plant and throw it in a large pot with drainage holes. You’ll want a bottom layer of sand underneath the potting soil. Find a nice sunny spot, and be sure not to over water it as the roots can get waterlogged. Oh, and you’ll want some overhead clearance – despite their name, these guys can grow.

You don’t need an outdoor garden to grow tomatoes – they only need a six-inch pot to thrive. There are a few breeds particularly suited to the apartment life: Tiny Tims, Pixies, Small Fries and Toy Boys. Yes, despite sounding like pretty great band names, those are all real. Plant them in a starter mix first, then transplant to potting soil when the seedlings are about three inches tall.

If you’re particularly adventurous, you can plant a mandarin orange tree in your place. You’ll need a hefty pot – 30 gallons should just about do it. Find it a sunny spot, give it plenty of water twice a week and feed it delicious citrus fertilizer once a month. Before you know it, you’ll have juicy mandarin oranges to enjoy all year long. Don’t be intimidated! They’re surprisingly easy to care for, and look incredible with just about any décor.

Of course, this just scratches the surface when it comes to plant possibilities. It’s time to hit the garden stores, see what catches your eye and then bring a little springtime to your apartment. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have about 18 succulents that need to be watered…