ISSUE 62  |  Japonesque

5 Favorites: Mini House Plants for Apartment Living

March 05, 2013 7:00 PM

BY Justine Hand

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I am a huge nature lover. I love my garden; I love to take long walks in the wilderness. But I have only recently come to embrace the concept of the house plant.

I actually think that for a long time this "aversion to your average house plant" was common in the design world. Open any architectural or interior magazine ten years ago, and you'd be challenged to find any greenery. But that was back in the day when house plants had broad, waxy leaves in bad shades of green (yes, there is such a thing), and little personality.

Nowadays, as the Internet introduces an ever-broadening array of exotics, and as interior style emphasizes a much more personal approach, it is more than possible for design purists to enjoy a bit of nature inside, as well as out. Today's varieties have made a convert of me… So much so that I hope to regularly share my favorites, starting with these: my five favorite small-scale plants for apartment living.

Above: Considered an invasive weed in some regions, Asparagus FernProtasparagus densiflorus (which is not a real fern, but a member of the perennial lily family)—is better kept as an indoor plant. Grow your own with seeds from Generic Seed; $5.95.

Above: Almost no one captures the personality of plants like Belgian photographer Mieke Verbijlen. Here the backlit leaves of her Pilea Peperomiodies look like a cascade of green bubbles. $4 from Clackamas.

Above: Dutch photographer Anja Mulder enjoys her Fenestraria rhopalophylla "Baby Toes" (in the US) or "Baby Fingers" (in the Netherlands). At Succulent Beauties for $4.99.

Above: Air plants, like this beloved specimen of Kim Ludy's, have a particularly animated quality. Individual plants as well as sets are on offer a Air Plant Design Studio; $9 – $60. Photo via Ethanollie.

Above: The studio of Hong-Kong-based graphic designer Furze Chan, boasts an ever-changing array of small plants like this succulent ($10 at Succulent Oasis). Furze also sells a number of handmade and vintage vessels, which are perfect for growing her favorite small-scale flora.

Above: A favorite of Fen and Ned's Sarah Andersen, Lithops Fulleri are often called "living stones." (Available at Corona Cactus for $4). Sarah enjoys her lithops in a beaker by Sue Paraskeva; £22.

N.B. Don't forget another of my favorites: Mikado, the world's most adorable plant.