How can I incorporate plants into my Gainesville apartment without much natural lighting?”

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The Courtyards
The Courtyards apartments feature a giant sliding glass window in the common area.

We get it, floor-to-ceiling windows facing south sound like a dream in your future Gainesville apartment. The reality, however, is that there may be one, average-sized window in the living area of your new apartment, and it's a complete gamble whether this window will be sun-facing. You may worry that incorporating plants into your living space isn't possible. But, there are a number of plants that can survive less-than-ideal lighting situations. So check out these tips for creating an oasis in your Gainesville apartment to rival Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.

The first thing to remember is that no plant can grow in zero light. Light is food to plants. However, there are still lots of options for renters without endless sunshine cascading into their apartment in Gainesville and no patio or balcony to keep all their plants on. To kick you off on your green-thumbed adventure, let's walk through what low-light means. Typically, placing a plant 5-7' from a window deems it "low-light." Placing a plant any more than 10' from a window is too dark for it to survive. Here are a few sub-categories of plants to help you get started.

  1. Herbs

    Herbs are a great indoor-plant option because many varieties grow well in low-light. They're also just the type of plant you want in arms reach: snipping a few fresh leaves for dinner does wonders for any dish. Stay away from herbs with hard, woody stems such as rosemary and lavender as they require lots of sunlight. Instead, opt for soft-leafed herbs such as parsley, oregano, cilantro and mint. If you're going to pick just one, choose based off of the flavor you would most enjoy cooking with. And if you're still unsure, go with mint. It's notoriously the easiest herb to keep alive.

  2. Flowers

    Without ample sunlight, flowers are going to be challenging. Because every flowing plant is different, we suggest going to a local nursery to discuss your flowering dreams with a professional. Garden Gate Nursery is a great option for Gainesville apartment renters. One important note for pet owners: if you live in a dog-friendly or cats-allowed apartment, make sure your plants are safe for your furry friends. Not all flowering plants are as innocent as they seem when it comes to pets.

  3. Green on green

    If you're hoping for some trendy greenery to liven up your Gainesville apartment this spring, there are a number of low maintenance but high-style plants that thrive in lower levels of light. A favorite amongst plant newbies and green thumbs alike is the ZZ Plant.  It's particularly challenging to kill due to its relaxed watering schedule and general resilience. For more recommendations on low-light plants, check out The Sill, a houseplant delivery company with the motto "plants make people happy." Happy planting!
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