10 ways for adding more plants in your NYC apartment

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May 15, 2020
new york city plants for apartments

If you’re looking for simple ways to redecorate your home into a more relaxing place with plants, look no further because we have all the best tips and tricks for you.

Especially now, you and everyone else have no choice but to spend an extended amount of time indoors at home. So how can you spruce up your space and make your time at home more enjoyable? A simple way would be to add greenery and plants into your apartment.

Why are plants so important to have at home? This is because nature in general makes us feel calmer, happier, and more relaxed. Having plants in your home can help reduce stress and create a feeling of well-being, which is especially important during these uncertain times. By adding plants into your NYC apartment, it can not only help create a happy and tranquil environment, but they also help to improve your air quality.

This is because it can help reduce carbon dioxide levels, reduce airborne dust levels, and reduce levels of certain pollutants. Plants even have the ability to reduce background noise. This can be great for those living near a busy street or even if you have louder neighbors. 

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If you’re looking into buying plants for your space for the first time, you may be wondering how many plants should I have in my apartment? And is there such a thing as having too many plants? Well the number of plants you decide to have in your space is a personal choice and all up to you! There are many who believe that a home can never have too many plants.

However, the number of plants you decide to get can be influenced by the amount of available space you have in your apartment and if you’re getting them for aesthetic purposes or for more practical uses like noise reduction. For instance, if you’re looking to reduce noise in your space, more plants, larger plants, and plants with larger leaves will more effectively reduce noise. 

How can I add plants to my apartment?

The 10 best plants for apartment dwellers

If you’re looking for indoor plants, there are plenty of houseplants available that could fit your space. So what plants are good for apartments? Here are just a few starter options you can try out. Best of all, if you don’t quite have much of a green thumb yet, these plants are relatively easy to take care of and keep alive! Bonus, find the right furnitures to go along with your new green apartment.

1. Calatheas

The calatheas is a plant with beautiful wide, vibrant green leaves and is from tropical regions where they grow on the floor of jungles and forests. It needs indirect light to thrive so it’s great for apartments without direct sunlight. In fact, direct sunlight can burn its leaves and cause it to lose its bright green color. 

2. Chinese Evergreen

The Chinese Evergreen plants are a great option as an indoor plant since its different varieties have slightly different light needs so it’s a plant that can potentially grow in low to bright indirect light. Those with darker leaves and more stalk tend to be tolerant to low lights. For this plant, it’s good to avoid direct sunlight as it can burn the leaves.

3. Pothos

If you’re looking for plants for apartments with low light, the Pothos is a great option for you! It’s also known as Devil’s Ivy because it’s almost impossible to kill and the leaves stay green even when grown in low light. This plant would be great for those who are beginners at plant care, live in a space with limited amount of natural light, or just don’t have time for a high maintenance plant.

4. Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia Obtusifolia)

The Baby Rubber Plant is a small plant great to place on a shelf, nook, or table in your apartment. It has thick rounded leaves and is tolerant to low light. It’s also pet-friendly! It’s best not to have this plant in direct sunlight as it can hurt the plant.

5. Red Aglaonema

The Red Aglaonema is a beautiful plant with pink stems and has pink and green on its leaves. It’s an easy plant to take care of and can grow in low, moderate, and bright light. However, if grown in brighter light, you could potentially get more vibrant colors from the leaves.

6. Iron Plant

The Iron Plant, just like its name suggests, is a durable houseplant that doesn’t require much. It has oval shaped pointed dark green leaves and is a medium sized plant. It doesn well in low to medium light and if it get too much bright or intense light, the leaves could turn brown.


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7. ZZ Plant

The ZZ Plant can be a great plant for those who tend to forget to water their greenery (oops!) as it requires a lot less water than other plants. It does best in bright indirect light but can also adapt to low light spots.

8. Oyster Plant

This is another colorful, fun plant to add into your apartment. While its leaves are green on top, the underside has a purple hue. While in brighter light, the purple color will be more vibrant, it can also be grown in lower light spaces.

9. Fiddle Leaf Fig

The Fiddle Leaf Fig can be great for those who want a larger plant to place in a corner of their apartment. Compared to other plants on this list, it’s a plant that takes up more space but is easy to take care of. It requires bright indirect light and watered when the tops of the soil is dry.

10. Chinese Money Plant (Pilea Peperomioides)

The Chinese Money Plant, also known as Pilea, is a plant native to Southern China and has flat coin-shaped leaves. It’s a great addition to your apartment since this particular plant is great at purifying the air. It’s also relatively easy to take care of as it needs indirect sunlight and water once a week.

If you’re looking to purchase one of these plants or any plant in general, there are plenty of options you can use to browse and buy without leaving your home. There are many websites that deliver plants in NYC right to your door such as Plant Shed, Greenery Unlimited, My City Plants, and The Sill.

Creative ways to decorate your apartment with plants

Now that we’ve talked about beginner friendly indoor plants you can add to your space, you must be wondering: how can I add plants to my apartment? And how do I decorate my small apartment with plants? We’re here to show you some creative ways you can add plants to your NYC space even if it’s small or limited.

1. Utilize your window sill

If your apartment has a window with a window sill ledge, this can be a simple space for you to add a few small plants along it! Not only do you not have to purchase any new shelving for them, but it also doesn’t take up any extra floor space.

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2. Brighten up an empty counter space

If you have an empty kitchen counter, desk space, or maybe even on your drawer unit, this could be a great spot for a small plant or two. Utilize your already empty counter spaces to add in small to medium sized plants as decorations.

best small indoor plants

3. Fill in an empty corner

Whether your empty corner is in your living room next to your couch or in your bedroom area, this could potentially be a spot for a larger standing plant. It could bring plenty of greenery into a space as well as help reduce noise in those areas. 

small indoor plants low light

4. Try out hanging plants

No floor space or counter spaces available in your small NYC apartment? Well no worries, because you’re bound to have plenty of ceiling space. Hanging plants can be a great option to incorporate plants into your space without having them take up any floor space. Simply just hang them from the ceiling and you’re done.

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5. Bathroom counter plants

If you haven’t thought of it before, plants are not just great in the living room or bedroom, but can also be beautiful in the bathroom. If you have a large bathroom you can either choose to have a larger plant in the corner of the room or even smaller plants to place onto the sink countertop. By having greenery in this space, it can create a tranquil environment when you’re unwinding from the day.

What are the best plants to grow indoors?

6. Use the extra storage space you have

If you already have shelves where you put your books or other decorating pieces, you can try incorporating a small plant or two into the empty spots. This will help you efficiently use the empty space you already have while also brightening up the area.

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7. Incorporate it into your apartment design

Rather than thinking of plants as something separate from your furniture and decorating pieces for your apartment, think of them as pieces of art that can be incorporated into your apartment’s layout. For instance, if you have a decorative hanging piece on the wall, try adding hanging plants to it. Or if you have a fireplace with a mantle, use the mantle for all your small plants.

best indoor plants for nyc apartments

8. Mount extra shelves

If you have a large window space that isn’t being utilized, try mounting extra floating shelves around the window so you can place plants there. It’ll create a beautiful wall of plants while also using space you didn’t need before.

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9. Window seat

If you’re looking to fill a space in your apartment with plants and lucky enough to have a window seat that you don’t use, a fun way would be to use this seat as a place for plants. Not only does it get plenty of sunlight, but you’ll use a space that was once wasted.

should you get small plants for your apartment

10. Nightstand addition

Having trouble finding a way to bring a plant into your small bedroom? If you have a nightstand, you can easily place a small plant there for you to enjoy.

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NYC buildings with an outdoor space

If your current New York City apartment isn’t capable of handling your love for greenery and plants, there are plenty of listings on the market that have an outdoor space in the building for you to enjoy!

161 12 Street

Location: Gowanus, Brooklyn

According to Localize insights, the building has no violations, no building complaints, and no elevator issues. While the neighborhood it is located in has below average crime rate, there is a construction site within half a block of the building that is estimated to end in 2022.

In addition to the shared outdoor space, some units also include a private balcony

175 West 95 Street

Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan

According to Localize insights, the building has no violations, no recent complaints, and no elevator issues. Some of the apartments we surveys in this building are bright and sundrenched with an average of 8.5 hours of sun. They also get about 7 hours of direct sunlight from the south and 7 hours from the west during the summer, which will be perfect for your indoor plant. Some units even have private terraces with views of the Hudson River. While the neighborhood it’s located in has below average crime rates, there is a construction site within half a block that is estimated to end in 2022.

A look inside 175 West 95 Street

235 East 18 Street

Location: Gramercy, Manhattan

This two-family home in Manhattan has a private garden and is located on a quiet and picturesque block in Gramercy Park. The home has high ceilings, large dining room, spacious living room, and a recently renovated kitchen with windows overlooking the private garden. This space is available furnished for a short term summer rental starting in June. According to Localize insights, the building has no violations and no recent building complaints. It also gets moderate natural light with an average of 10 hours. It gets about 2 hours of direct sunlight from the north and 8 hours from the south during the summer. The neighborhood it is located in has slightly below average crime rate and the nearby school rates very high on school quality measures.

235 East 18 Street

Whether you’re looking to add more greenery into your apartment during this quarantine period or even start looking for a few spaces in NYC with a private terrace, we hope this article was helpful in picking out your first plants. Happy plant and apartment hunting!

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