Whether you’ve lived in a high-rise for years or you’ve just downsized from a house to a condo, growing an indoor or balcony garden can be a great way to add a little colour and life to your space. Learn about the different types of apartment gardens and pick up some practical pointers to keep your potted plants sitting pretty.

Choosing indoor plants

Growing plants indoors can be easy if you choose the right kinds. Although there are many varieties to choose from, these three types are known to thrive indoors, so they’re great for beginners and green thumbs alike.

Succulents and cacti

Succulents and cacti are known to be “un-killable,” so if you’re new to indoor gardening, these plants might be your best bet for getting started. Most succulents and cacti can go a full week (if not longer) without being watered, so they’re especially great if you don’t spend much time at home.

Potted herb gardens

Freshly picked herbs add a tasty touch to any homemade meal — and thankfully, herbs like thyme, parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, and tarragon do well indoors all year long. They’ll help purify the air and add a pop of colour to your windowsill, too. The easiest way to start an indoor herb garden is to get pre-potted herbs from your local garden centre and transfer them into slightly larger pots that match your décor. Or, you could start from scratch with some sachets of seeds, following the directions on the package.

Air purifying plants

While many plants are known to help clear the air in your home, some do a better job at banishing harmful toxins and chemicals than others. Bamboo palms, ficuses, ferns, Chinese evergreens, snake plants, and spider plants (among others) are known to bring a breath of fresh air into your space.

Tip: Some moisture-loving plants (like ferns, bamboo, and aloe vera) do especially well in bathrooms, while herbs tend to do better on countertops or windowsills. Read each plant tag or ask your local garden centre about the ideal environment for your plants.

Choosing balcony plants

Depending on the positioning of your balcony (if you have one), you could choose to plant anything from potted fruits and vegetables to herbs and perennials.

Edibles: Blueberries, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, lettuce and other leafy greens, and herbs do particularly well on balconies.

Flowers: Consider planting chamomile, daffodils, daisies, geraniums, and marigolds, as they’re known to do well in more confined spaces like pots or containers.

Many plants you’d normally find in ordinary outdoor gardens do just as well in containers on your balcony…with the right care. Consult your local garden centre for advice tailored to your balcony’s sunlight, wind exposure, and size.

Tip: Be careful not to give your downstairs neighbours an unexpected shower when you water your balcony plants. Consider placing pots in trays to prevent unwanted dripping.

Safety first

If you have little ones or furry friends at home, steer clear of plants like lilies, azaleas, oleander, poinsettias, holly, English ivy, sago palms, and philodendron, as they may be poisonous to animals or humans if eaten. When you’re picking out your plants, ask your garden centre expert to make sure you haven’t picked out anything poisonous.

Tip: If you share your space with a particularly curious pet and want to keep your plants out of reach — or even if you’ve just run out of space for regular pots — consider going for plant containers that can be hung from the ceiling or wall.

If breathing new green life into your space inspires you to tidy up and get organized, follow these seven tips to tackle spring cleaning like a pro — and while you’re at it, update your home inventory and reach out to your group’s broker to make sure your condo or tenant insurance coverage is up to date.

Do you rent your space? Tenant insurance protects more than just your things. Learn what’s covered by tenant insurance and contact your group’s broker to get a quote.