The Q&A Archives: Urban gardening

Question: What types of plants/seeds are good for urban environments? I live in a downtown high-rise and can only grow window plants.

Answer: Windowsill plants can be very rewarding. For best results you will need to select plants suited to the amount of light coming in the window -- typically a southern or western exposure is very hot and sunny while an eastern exposure is fairly gentle bright light. A northern window tends to have bright but indirect light. For a south or west window you might look at sun loving plants such as geranium, jade plant, or cactus. For a northern exposure you might look at ferns, English ivy, or draceana. The eastern window is very amenable for most plants, including African violets. You might want to look at a book or two about houseplants to obtain some general care information as well as more specific plant suggestions. One I particularly like because it is straightforward and very practical is "Houseplants for Dummies" by Larry Hodgson -- it even includes suggested plant lists to help you get started. Enjoy your new plants!

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