Any bachelor pad, new apartment, or general male living space needs plants. They look good, clean the air and quite literally bring your living space to life. At the risk of sounding like a used car salesman, I have owned, and still own almost all of the plants mentioned in this article, which is why I decided to write it. None of the plants are pricey and can be found in any normal garden center.
These plants can take a halophytic beating, they can survive easily indoors in a shady area, by the window or outside in most western climates. I water them whenever I remember and sometimes place them near the window when I’m not in, there’s no watering/sunlight regime which I follow, and when I go away for extended periods, I’ll either pop them outside, drench them in tap water or place them in a shallow bowl of water so the roots can take up water when they need.
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#1 Bay tree
Bay trees, native to the Mediterranean region, are hardy plants, venerated by the gods of Greek Mythology. They are highly tolerable to dry conditions. They need little sunlight to thrive. They grow very slowly if kept in a small pot, and as a bonus they are edible, as long as you buy an edible breed of the plant that is – it will most likely say so on the label.
#2 Windmill palm
Windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) is a favourite of mine, the Terminator of the indoor plant world, the good terminator, not the new one… My palm has been in most rooms in my house, and I’ve left it for well over a week with no change. They look amazing and come in a massive range of sizes. You can get ones for your kitchen table, or large ones that can make real impact to a room.
#3 Olive tree
I keep my small olive tree (Olea europaea) plant (a bit bigger than the above image) in my kitchen. There’s just something about it that works with kitchens, a food plant with a nice shade of green, and the small subtle leaves just seem to work in a kitchen environment. These plants tolerate dry soils and dry air, but they do prefer to be in a sunny location within your apartment or house.
#4 Aloe vera
You’ve probably heard of Aloe Vera’s healing properties, known as the ”plant of immortality” in early Egypt, it’s also an excellent house plant. Easy to look after, oxygenates the air and looks great. If you get a burn you can break off one of the leaves and squeeze the juices over the burn. Word of warning, if you place this in a sunny area of your house it can grow pretty fast! You can also grow more if you cut off a leaf and place it in another pot.
#5 Lucky bamboo
Lucky bamboo isn’t actually bamboo. Part of the Dracaena group of plants, just add water and sun, no soil needed. This leaves a range of presenting options, you could place it in an ornamental vase for example. You can get it very cheaply in a variety of shapes and sizes. I left my for months on my shelf with almost no direct sunlight and it was fine. It grows pretty fast when in direct sun however, so look out.
#6 Spider plant
You’ve probably seen these in offices before but they work great in a home environment as well. Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) is known for being one of the easiest to care for house plants, they are super-hardy, they come in a range of colors, the most popular being the one above. Water generously in the summer if you want faster growth. Also if you let them grow unhindered, they will grow ‘spiderettes’ which quickly start growing smaller versions of spider plants, which can have a cool cascading foliage effect, see below.
#7 Dragon tree
Dracaena draco comes in a range of sizes and with a cool tropical look, the dragon tree is a very popular house and office plant. Mine is still going strong, all though I would avoid intense sunlight all day as it seems like this causes the leaves to droop somewhat, however it will still look good.
#8 English ivy
A good looking, easy to care for plant as long as you don’t water log it! It was claimed in ancient Greek myth that a wreath of this ivy around your head prevented intoxication, and was associated with the wine god Dionysus. It can make a great hanging plant decoration for a really dramatic look if you buy a large enough one, or be a perfect little shelf plant. For our North American readers, please beware that this plant can cause ecological issues if it escapes into the wild!
This one is pretty obvious, I’m sitting opposite 6 small cacti right by the window and I haven’t watered them for weeks. If you want your cactus to have a chance to flowering give it some cactus food, super cheap little bottles, usually next to them in the garden center or you can buy some now from Amazon.
#10 Snake plant
Sansevieria trifasciata – makes a great addition to any living space. It goes by many names, including: ”mother-in-law’s tongue”…nice… “Saint George’s sword”, “snake plant” and viper’s bowstring hemp” – because it is one of the sources for plant fibres used to make bowstrings, awesome. The snake plant (which seems to be its most common name in the US) can easily tolerate neglect and responds well to good care, it does well in shaded locations, or sunny ones left by the window, for example (where I keep mine). Coming in a variety of sizes the snake plant would make an awesome addition to any masculine living space. Buy a large one for your floor, or a smaller one for a shelf to add some life and color to your home.