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Building Your Jungle Inside: Care Tips for House Plants

NYC Fire Escape Plants
NYC Concrete "Jungle"

The arrival of spring, and summer soon to come, many plant parents are bringing their plants outside. Unfortunately, for those who live in apartments (myself included) there is little to no outdoor space for our plants to go. If that is the case for you, here are a few tips for growing your plants inside your home.

Choose Wisely

When purchasing a plant, it is very important to be realistic as to how much sunlight your home will receive. For example, if you live in a place like Minnesota, it would not be recommended to purchase a plant that needs constant, direct sunlight. Nonetheless, let's assume you have already purchased some plants and are just looking to care for what you have, here are some options.

Maximizing Your Available Light

One key to your plant's overall health is linked to the amount of available light. Of course, any backyard space would be ideal. In the case of an apartment or limited space in general, any sunny windowsills should be considered prime real estate. Many apartments, especially in New York, have fire escapes. If this is available to you, creating a rotation for your plants to spend a few hours outside should be more than sufficient.

String of Pearls in a Gorgeous Vase Planter
String of Pearls in a Gorgeous Vase Planter

In the case that plants cannot go outside at all, and sunny windows are all occupied, switching some plants into a hanging planter may be a viable solution. With a hanging planter, you would be able to attach it to a curtain rod, and allow it to hang right in front of a sunny window. For ruby necklaces and string varieties, this is my preferred way to care for them. This allows the windowsill to remain vacant for other pieces. In the case where the sun is overall inaccessible for you, a grow light would be recommended. I would suggest purchasing a full spectrum LED grow light, since it best mimics natural sunlight.

Less is More

For outside gardens, many opt to allow nature to do the watering for them in the form of rain, and only water when needed. Aside from a leaky roof, you will do all the watering yourself. More water will kill succulents and cacti faster than less. You may want to love your plants extra hard, but smothering, or in this case drowning your plants in water will harm them. A simple rule to follow is the soak and dry method, which means that you only water the plant once the soil has dried. This applies to nearly all cacti and succulents. For specific care information, please refer to our plant library as we have specific information for each plant we list.

Those are just a few basic tips for taking care of your plants while outside space is unavailable. When it comes to your plants, particularly succulents and cacti, the three main concerns are light, water, and whether your living space can accommodate your plant's specific needs. With limited resources, shopping for a low light or beginner friendly option is usually your safest bet.

If you have any other helpful tips, please leave them in the comment section below! Please follow us @nycitysucculents to stay up to date on our latest posts.


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