Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have the green fingers of Alan Titchmarsh? Or you can turn a shovel like Monty Don? But if the thought of taking care of plants and trying not to kill them is akin to being asked to look after a bag of Malteasers in the Sahara Desert then you’re not alone. But you need not avoid the green stuff altogether, plants in the home can be a joy, and not as difficult to care for as you might think. Plants are to some an essential part of interior design, they bring a positive influence on mood and can brighten up any space. Here is our little guide to incorporating plants and greenery into your home:
How to Arrange Indoor Plants
Plants in the home add interest, calmness and colour and so can work pretty much anywhere. Pop a plant on a shelf, window sill or in any corner of a room that lacks interest. Plants look good on their own, or grouped together for a more dramatic effect – particularly if varying heights and textures are used. Plants also look good in different types of container. We love mixing it up and have used just about all types of vessels such as baskets, old tins collected at antique fairs, ceramic marmalade pots and wooden crates for example. Just make sure you test to see if your container is water-tight first, if not you can add a plastic pot base inside or line with plastic. If you choose plants that you love you can’t fail, just remember that not a lot of plants love direct sunlight. Experiment with positioning and grouping until you find a way to display them that you (and they) will love.
Displaying Plants in Your Living Room
In the living room plants are great for filling an empty space. A large plant in the corner of your lounge will add texture and colour as well as making a statement. We recommend a Swiss Cheese Plant with its striking, oversized leaves. By varying the heights of plants in your living room you can create a stunning display. Using mid-century inspired plant pots that sit on their own stands can really add interest to your scheme and create a lively atmosphere.
Choosing Plants to Help You Sleep
One of the main benefits of having plants in your bedroom are their ability to promote a healthy indoor climate by releasing oxygen at night that improves the air and helps us to breathe easier whilst we are asleep. Aloe Vera for example is also great for purifying benzene and formaldehyde (this can be found in hairspray), so is a great plant for the bedroom. Rosemary for example has been known to reduce stress and anxiety with its fresh, heady aroma, promoting a better night’s sleep. We also recommend Lavender as it’s been shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate, all helping you to relax and unwind after a hectic day.
Plants in the Bathroom, Kitchen and Study
The kitchen window sill is perfect for keeping any favourite fresh herbs, such as Rosemary, Dill and Coriander and you’ve no excuse not to water these as they are right next to the tap! If you are more adventurous then you can place plants above your cooker and hang from the ceiling to great effect. You can fill up some bare workspace with plants that love steam and have a fresh aroma to combat any cooking smells. Plants in the bathroom can really add an organic feel and soften what can be quite a harsh, sterile room, whilst plants in any workspace can increase a feeling of calmness – everything helps with those productivity levels!
How to Care for Plants
For ease of looking after, our top 5 recommendations for indoor plants are: Asparagus Fern- this plant adapts to both bright spots and dark corners, just make sure you keep the soil moist. Pothos – this plant survives low light and irregular watering, it’s a pretty leafy vine that can trail up to 10 feet. Heart Leaf Philodendron – this plant has, as it says on the tin, heart shaped leaves, it thrives in any space but prefers low or indirect light. It’s best to let this one dry out before watering again. String of Hearts – this is a very forgiving plant that can tolerate little watering if you’re forgetful! It is a fast grower and looks rather super in one of our hanging planters. Ficus – this plant doesn’t have many needs, but don’t let it dry out completely and keep it out of direct sunlight.
In theory indoor plants are easier to take care of than those outdoors, with no frost or scorching sun to contend with. By choosing the right plant containers and also watering according to guidelines you’ll see them thrive.
Words By Emma Cleveley.
Thanks to @eclectic_street for the photos of her lounge and kitchen! She really is the plant whisperer!