How To Decorate With Plants
You can create a living space that not only looks nice but promotes better health and air quality in your home by learning how to decorate with plants. Adding plants into your decor is an easy way to reinforce your personality and bring some natural elements to your home as well.
Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. With all the cold and dark days behind us, it’s time to pull up the shades and open up all the windows. Let the fresh air in! Bring some of that outside life inside while we take a look at some plant decorating ideas.
Shade Loving Indoor Plants
There are many houseplants to choose from that are perfect for dark areas of your home, office or apartment. They will not require a lot of light and in most cases can tolerate a little neglect because they are also not high maintenance.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)-This cutie patootie can grow from just a potted accessory for your end tables to a bushy floor plant that can accompany any lonely corner. Great for a north facing area and will grow in moderate to low light. Care for this plant is fairly easy because it is tolerant of many conditions. Soil should be equal parts potting soil, sand and perlite. Water only when about 25% of the top soil has dried out.
Make sure you do not put near air conditioners or anything that would drop the temperature under 60 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid browning of the leaves. I should also mention Chinese Evergreens have a sap that is toxic and may cause skin irritation in humans. Keep away from children and pets.
Peacock Plant (Calathea Orbifolia)– The plant leaves are gorgeous and tend to display elaborate designs or markings which appear as a pattern of light and dark green shading. Their leaves alone make it a desirable plant to adorn your table tops and windowsills with, making it easy to understand why they are called the Peacock plant.
Direct sunlight may scorch the leaves and could cause removal of their markings, so medium light is all it needs to flourish. The soil must be moist, not wet, at all times and warm to humid conditions will provide the foundation for growth. If you have a dry atmosphere you must mist the leaves with boiled water to avoid them from drying out. Some may flower but the majority of Calathea do not. This plant is non- toxic so it can be around the kiddos and the pets.
Imperial Red (Philodendron)– These plants are an excellent choice for dark rooms. Imperial reds can adapt to various kinds of conditions making it an easy plant to care for. It’s reddish green leaves are highlighted under a glossy finish and will add a hint of sophistication to your space. Low to medium light is all it needs but will flourish better in medium light.
You can add some color to a small bathroom or office space with this beauty. Your game room can be another great place for this plant. It is important to mist it regularly because it loves humidity. Let about 40-50% of the soil dry out before watering. Sorry, but this plant is toxic when ingested so keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra)-The name speaks for itself and ranks pretty high in the best low maintenance plants category. This bushy babe can grow in just about any atmosphere and will last very long. Some say it has the potential to last up to 50 years. Good for those darker hallways or cooler corners because it does not do direct sunlight. Although this durable shrub is about that life don’t neglect it too much.
It does deserve moderate watering if it’s expected to thrive during the winter months. You do not need to let the soil dry completely out but do not over water or that can prove to be deadly. Temperature in the home is not a concern since it can withstand temps as low as 45 degrees and as high as 85 degrees. Flowers are rare but they do happen and the good thing about this plant is it is safe for humans and pets.
Satin Pothos (Scindapsus pictus Trebie)– Husbands, If your woman likes plants than this is a great way to show some love. The leaves are in the shape of hearts and it grows in an upright pattern. You can show her how much your love grows for her with each height your plant reaches. You’re welcome. Now give it something to cling to as it grows upward. It is relatively easy to grow and likes warm or humid places. Avoid putting it into direct sunlight and let it dry out a little between watering. Please keep this away from children and pets as this plant is toxic. It could cause skin irritation if ingested.
Plants That Love Sun
In most cases, the origin of many houseplants are from regions where tree canopies shield them from the direct sunlight. However, some plants can’t get enough of the spotlight and need direct sunlight to thrive.
Hibiscus– This is such a pretty plant that produces large colorful flowers. Although it is one of many plants that like light it doesn’t require it directly if you live in warmer climate regions. Cooler climate regions will however require this plant to take on direct sunlight. This is a tropical plant so please do not allow it to dry out. Yes, the thirst is real with this one so keep it watered twice a day for dryer climates and daily for normal conditions. Put in a place that gets a lot of light when decorating with the Hibiscus. This plant is toxic to pets but is safe for humans.
Crotons– A very colorful plant that is pretty tough but is temperamental when it comes to moving this plant around. It will go into shock and start to drop leaves if the transport is rough. Make sure you find a good place for it to land when you get home so it will stabilize. Keep it in temperatures above 60 degrees and water frequently enough to keep the top soil moist. Crotons have a toxic sap so keep out of reach of children and pets.
Dwarf Citrus– YES! It is possible to grow your very own lemons and oranges with indoor citrus trees. They start to bear fruit between the ages of three to five years old and require eight to twelve hours of sunlight. So put them in a south facing window that gets a lot of light and plenty of air movement. They grow best in temps above 60 degrees and require enough water to keep the top spoil moist but not saturated.
Yucca– This is a stunning plant that looks best in large pots because it grows really tall. The Crown Jewels Yucca is a low maintenance houseplant but it needs to be in a sunny spot with indirect sunlight to protect the leaves. They don’t need a lot of water and in fact over watering will badly damage it so water your Yucca once every ten days. The Yucca is toxic to animals if ingested.
Polka Dot Plant– The Polka dot plant displays some pretty impressive colors. This freckled foliage will flaunt colors like pinks, reds and whites. They do well in medium to bright lighting conditions. Top soil needs to remain moist but do not saturate. Polka dot plants are non-toxic to humans but may be toxic to cats if ingested.
House Plants That Clean The Air
As you may know, plant life serves many purposes in our lives. They exchange the carbon dioxide we exhale for oxygen we inhale. You would be surprised at the things we breathe in inside our homes. You will see chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde which are found in paints and pressed woods are inhaled by us everyday.
What an awesome beautiful world we live in that we can have natural air purifiers right at our grasp. Let’s take a look at some air purifying plants that not only add to our decor but clean up the environment we live in as well.
Aloe Vera– Aloe Vera is a super plant. It is known to help cuts and burns heal quicker. It has also been used as a laxative but the quality that really impresses me is that it can clean the air too. Formaldehyde and benzene are the two toxins that aloe vera rids the home of. Taking care of this plant is not hard. It loves light so it can be put near your kitchen window but not in it because the window glass in combination with sunlight could burn it. Let it dry completely out before watering and water every 10 days. Do not saturate it and allow the water to drain out. Aloe vera can be toxic to pets so keep out of reach.
Boston Fern– Boston Ferns remove formaldehyde and xylene which is found in permanent magic markers, paint and other household products. This common houseplant loves high humidity in a cool place and indirect sunlight. It is important to provide extra humidity in the winter months when the air gets dry. Keep the soil damp and do not let it dry out. This plant is non-toxic.
Spider Plant– I once had a hairstyle that looked like a spider plant, but that’s beside the point. A forgetful owner will find this plant hard to kill. It is among the easiest plants to grow and has some beneficial qualities to boot. Spider plants rid the air of benzene, carbon monoxide, xylene and formaldehyde that can be found in some common household products. They are accustomed to cooler climates between 55 and 65 degrees. Put them where there is bright indirect sunlight and water them well without saturating. Spider plants are non-toxic. YAY!
Parlor Palm-This plant grows to about three or four feet tall so it is great for an office space. It is not a fan of bright lights and prefers shady areas around your home. It flourishes best in high humidity environments and requires the soil to remain moist but not overly saturated. This air scrubber clears our homes of benzene and trichloroethylene which can be found in your furniture. This too is non-toxic.
Gerbera Daisy-This little darling comes in a few bright colors, such as pinks, yellows and even reds. They can cheer up any gloomy setting so be sure to place near a window that is bright with indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight may scorch their pretty flowers. Be sure to water them in the mornings to allow the leaves to dry to avoid crown rot. Gerbera Daisies remove trichloroethylene and benzene. According to the ASPCA these plants are non-toxic.
Outside To Inside
I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing about it. If you haven’t already, go to your local greenhouse or garden center and pick up some plants to decorate with. If you already have plants in your home, tell me about it in the comments. I would like to hear about how you’ve used them in your decor. If you’ve enjoyed this article sign up for my newsletter where you can be notified first of more posts like this. Happy Decorating!