Plants next to TV
Great plant styling except how do you watch TV?

So you want to impress your significant other with your impressive bachelor pad and collection of plants that have been thriving for years. Proving you can take care of something is better than a diamond ring on a romantic beach! I’m making two assumptions with this article, firstly you are time-poor …I mean, you like to be efficient and you have limited time to take care of your plants. Secondly, you don’t have time to read long blog posts on fancy plant styling and just want the best solution.

There are my two tricks:

  1. Make sure you buy a plant you don’t have to water often. Or you can buy a PlantMaid to automate the task, more on that later.
  2. Buy the right plant for the light conditions in your apartment. I’m assuming you have a smallish apartment (it’s irrelevant whether there are corn chips still stuck between the couch.)

If you are lucky enough to have an apartment with as much lighting as the picture below you can literally have any houseplant, I’ve given some suggestions on what to put in various places.

Just like a good computer game, I’ve split this article into levels: beginner, intermediate and expert. It all depends how much time and effort you are going to spend caring for your plants. So let me give you my own personal tips from experience growing (and killing) different plants.

No matter how much you like a type of plant, some just won’t grow in your apartment because of the layout and lighting (no matter how much you care for them).

Beginner level – For the bachelor that kills every plant, but not you …

I’m assuming you have got a smallish apartment with some windows but generally not a lot of natural light. These plants are super easy to take care of, set your iPhone reminder to water them every few 2 weeks.

Zanzibar Gem– this is my first choice for hard to kill plants. It grows with very little light and needs very little water (1 cup every 2-4 weeks). This is an excellent plant to add some greenery and probably the hardest plant to kill. The only time you will kill it is if you over water it (more than once a week) or leave it in a pitch black room for 6 months. Place this plant away from the window, in the middle of your apartment is perfect.

Apartment Zanzibar

Snake Plant (Sansevieria) – this is also a low light plant that needs very little water. Plan to water it every 2 weeks with one cup of water. Don’t place them too close to a bright window as they don’t like very bright light. This plant works well in the middle or corner of your apartment.

Bachelor with snakeplant
Those snake plants are perfectly positioned behind the headboard.
Ignore the staged Aloe and Lemon tree, those won’t grow in those light positions.

The trick to making these ‘beginner’ plants look great is to get a fancy pot, maybe one of those elevated ones on a tripod, or fancy hexagonal pot.

Intermediate level – So you think you can keep plants alive!

I’m assuming your bachelor pad still doesn’t have a lot of natural light but you have got a bit more time to take care of your plants. Now you can use your clever interior decorating skills to soften the space with curvy leaves or add that jungle vibe by using plants of different levels.

Devils Ivy – This is an excellent plant to grow in low light, but even better in medium light. It works best as a trailing plant hanging off a bookshelf or piece of furniture. You will need to give this one a bit more attention than the Zanzibar gem. Expect to water it with 1 cup of water every 7 days. Use the PlantMaid to automatically water this for a few months. Don’t put the Devils ivy in direct sunlight else it will burst into flames and die(just kidding about the burst in into flames… but the leaves will get burn marks from direct sun).  Neon Pothos is a very similar plant to Devils ivy and just as good.

Devils ivy on table

Peace lily – This is one of my favorite indoor plants because it’s very resilient to neglect. It grows in low light, but even better in medium light. You will know when this plant needs to be watered because its leaves will droop, just give it a 1-2 glasses of water and it will perk back up within a day. The Peace lily will only bloom when it’s in medium light, so if you have it in the middle of your living room it will look nice and green but probably won’t get the white blooms unless you move it to a location that gets bright indirect morning sun. This plant works best near a window that gets morning or evening sun (ie West/East window).

PeaceLily on table

Combining some trailing plants and some vertical plants makes you look like a professional, or at least someone that has styled an IKEA showroom.

Expert Level – So you want to show off your impressive growing skills!

I’m assuming you have a lot of natural light or a nice bright window sill. With bright indirect light you can start to get more creative with your plants. Now you want to turn your place into an indoor jungle with multi layering of plants to give that superior grower feel. I’m assuming you know which way your apartment faces so you can tell what light is coming in, if you are in the southern hemisphere a north facing window will get the brightest light all day, whereas the east window will get half day morning light. Some plants need bright all day light, other just morning light. Try these plants:

Bamboo palm – If you want something with more foliage, look at getting a Parlour Palm or Bamboo Palm. Some people say these are easy plants to take care of but I have not found that the case. You need to get them in a good sunny spot, otherwise they look good for 2 months and start falling apart (or get spider mites). Place these guys about 1-2 meters from a sunny window. They need some light to survive. Generally water these with 1 cup of water every 7 days. The best way to water is to check if the top 2 cm of soil is dry before watering. Indoor Palms don’t like their roots sitting in soggy soil. Of course, your bachelor pad looks like the picture below, right?

Bamboo Palm

Pilea peperomioides – This is a smaller but exotic looking plant which is sure to get some interesting comments. People will be amazed that you have introduced tropical plants in your apartment. Pilea should be placed close to a window that gets morning sun or indirect light. Keep the soil moist but not soggy, don’t let the roots sit in water – ever! (Immediate death befalls all who’s roots sit in water). You should look at watering every 3 days, ensure the soil is very well draining.

Pilea peperomiomides

Maidenhair fern – I was going to put this plant in the ‘insane level’ to keep alive. Maidenhair ferns look awesome, but it’s tricky to keep alive, they like high humidity environments. Which means mist the leave or put them on a humidity tray. If you have even considered buying this plant then I’ll let you do your own research. But needless to say, this is a cool plant and girls will be swooning over your horticultural skills.

Studio with Maidenhair fern
Studio with Maidenhair fern

So there you have my bachelor pad plant suggestions. The biggest bang for your buck will be to get a beginner plant like the Snake Plant and then pick up a stylish-but-cheap pot from Target or K-Mart.

Its all about the styling!

Also get yourself a PlantMaid to automate the watering of your plants, this makes it even easier. Just set the PlantMaid to water when the soil gets dry and bobs your uncle (or at least step-cousin).

If your significant other isn’t immediately impressed with your bachelor pad plant styling skills don’t forget to mention the health benefits of indoor plants, and that the Snake plant is one of the best air cleaning plants as recommended by NASA. If that doesn’t work, nothing will!

All the plants in this blog are correctly positioned in apartments for the proper light (rather than unrealistic stock photos with fancy plants in the wrong positions). Here are some more realistic photos of apartment plants.

Good luck styling your bachelor pad!

You might have gone overboard with the plants
You might have gone overboard with the plants
Plants by the window
More realistically this is where you will need to put your plants in the apartment.
Apartment with Snake Plant
Snake plants works well in a medium light area.
Trailing Devils Ivy
Devils ivy correctly positioned in medium light. The trailing affect shows a master horticulturalists in the house.

Happy Growing.

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