Scandi Six: Plants That Will Survive in Your Apartment

There’s nothing that makes an apartment feel more like a home (for me) than plants. I’ve been slowly building up my indoor garden for the last two years and consider each new plant addition a member of the family with its own space and needs.

In a minimalist and/or neutral-colored apartment, plants are a great way to bring color and a natural touch to your interior.

But it’s much more than aesthetic. The benefits of having plants around you include increased humidity and purified air – benefits that are particularly useful in winter, when you may not be keeping your windows open during the day or going outside too frequently.

You don’t have to have a green thumb to add some fauna to your life. During winter, the decrease in sunlight and increase in heater-use can be difficult for the more delicate of plant-life, but many plants are low-maintenance throughout the year.

Here are a few hearty sprouts and shrubs to get you young botanists started:

Needs Some TLC


List Marker: Number 1Orchid

If you can just occasionally remember to check in on your orchids, they will reward you many-fold. A well-kept orchid will continue to flower for years. Don’t be discouraged when they’re bare; they’re just gearing up for the next bloom. Orchids are among the group of plants that take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, keeping your air fresh (and therefore making them a great choice for your bedroom). These plants do need weekly watering and direct sunlight. Even if you don’t get a ton of light in your apartment, keep your orchids on a windowsill and they’ll soak up what they can.

Orchids Botanical Drawing


List Marker: Number 2Philodendron

Yes, your philodendron will need some care, but they’re fairly easy to figure out once you know what to look for. They do best in indirect sunlight, so consider keeping them in light-ish rooms, but not necessarily on a windowsill. You’ll be able to tell if they’re getting too much sunlight if several of the leaves turn yellow at once (this is, however, normal for older leaves and is likely to happen one at a time). Watering should take place every few days (less during winter) and the top layer of soil needs to dry out between waterings.


Recommended pot: Handmade stoneware by PotsByNives on Etsy


Low Maintenance


List Marker: Number 3Rhipsalis Paradoxa (Chain Cactus)

What a beautiful, unusual flowering cactus! Keep this in your house and people will ask you about it. It’s a good thing, then, that it’s so easy to propagate – give all your friends cuttings to keep the good vibes going. It’s pretty moderate in its needs; minimal watering, indirect light. It will grow, grow, and grow some more – so re-potting may be necessary after a while.

Rhipsalis Paradoxa (Chain Cactus)

List Marker: Number 4Ficus Robusta (Rubber Plant)

Rubber plants, with their shiny, deep green leaves, look great in almost any space. Indirect sunlight is best, plus intermittent watering. Pay attention to the leaves; if they’re drooping but not falling off, try more water. If they’re turning brown and falling off, try less water. If you’re looking for something large, try the Ficus Elastica, which grows more like a tree, but needs care similar to its smaller cousin. Ficus Robusta removes formaldehyde from the air, found pollutants such as car exhaust.

Ficus Robusta (Rubber Plant) Illustration

Recommended pot: Kardemumma from Ikea


Give ’em Less Attention than Your Ex

List Marker: Number 5Sansevieria Trifasciata (Snake Plant)

This is also sometimes called Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, which just seems mean. It is generally known as one of the easiest houseplants to grow, needing almost no care. It doesn’t need much sun and prefers to stay quite dry, so you can stick it in a corner and water it every few weeks. While you’re doing literally nothing, your Snake Plant will remove benzene, xylene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air. The light-green striping on the leaves and the unusual upright position makes it an eye-catching addition to your room.

Image via Etsy: Mother-in-law tongue print


List Marker: Number 6Scindapsus Aureus (Golden Pothos)

What could be easier than a plant that actually stays green and healthy in the dark? This one is hard to kill as long as you keep the soil moist. It’s a great choice to hang or put on a shelf, as it grows fast and cascades beautifully. Like many other plants, Golden Pothos also removes formaldehyde from the air.

Scindapsus Aureus (Golden Pothos)

Recommended pot: Hexagon Pot and Plant Stand from Ferm Living


Looking for some plantspiration? Check out our Pinterest boards here:

Scandinavia Standard Plants on Pinterest


Plant Leaves


Do you have a favorite houseplant? Tell us about it (and share your pics) in the comments!

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Rebecca Thandi Norman

Rebecca Thandi Norman is a co-founder and Editor-in-Chief at Scandinavia Standard.