The Full Guide to: House Plant Styling
Houseplants have long been on trend, with different plants coming in and out of style. Adding houseplants to your interior décor can have a striking impact on any room, adding a little natural vibrancy, freshness, and variety. Indoor plants have always been popular, not just because of their aesthetic appeal, but also due to their air-cleansing abilities. With houseplant styling you can create a vibrant and stylish interior.
Over the last couple of years, the popularity of houseplants in interior styling has been increasing in a big way. Today it’s normal to find upwards of 10 plants in one single room. Or small indoor plants scattered across desktops in offices around the world. Houseplants just seem to make us feel good and are well worth investing in.
While the addition of indoor plants can greatly enhance interior aesthetics, there is an art to plant styling within the home. With so many different types of indoor plants to choose from, planters and positions, how do you go about creating the ultimate interior inspired by the humble houseplant? Read on to discover the full guide to house plant styling…
Choosing your Plants…
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First and foremost, it’s important to select plants that will work well in your environment. Carefully choosing planters, styling surfaces and floor space is all well and good, but if you want your houseplants to look healthy and flourish, selecting the right plants for your home is key.
When shopping for plants, check labels to gain an understanding of the conditions needed to thrive. Some plants don’t like to be kept in low temperatures. Others won’t like the heat. Most houseplants need indirect sunlight, but it’s worth checking each individual plant’s needs in terms of access to light. Other plants may need high humility levels – each unique plants’ requirements depends on its native environment. For example, the Alocasia x amazonica likes a humid environment but low levels of light, due to growing on the rainforest floor.
When it comes to identifying houseplants if the name is not displayed online or on the care card, there are a few apps that can help you discover the breed and how to care for it. Try this house plant identification app: PlantSnapp, or try LikeThatGarden, you can check out more options here.
Once you understand the possible restrictions within your home, you will be well equipped to choose plants that will thrive in your environment.
Choosing where to place your plants…
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Whether you’re looking to restyle your home with the addition of houseplants, or you just want to add a couple to enhance your interior style, before you purchase your plants and planters consider where they will sit in each room. This is important because you want to be sure you choose plants that will work well in that position. On a window sill for example – otherwise, you might end up with a number of plants and nowhere to place them, or a few unhappy house guests!
As a rule of thumb, each room should feature a variety of plants in different shapes and sizes to add interest. Adding too many small plants will look to uniform and bland. Start with one large floor standing plant and work from there. Then adding a few tabletop plants in different sizes and a few hanging plants to high shelves and hanging planters.
Floor standing plant options include monstera, fiddle-leafing, ficus ‘burgundy’, giant-leaf strelitzia, yucca, dracaena marginata and howea forsteriana.
Good tabletop plants include succulents, cacti, spider plants, goeppertia veitchiana, small monstera, phoenix roebelenii, bonsi, aglaonema, water lily, sansevieria trifasciata var. laurentii and Alocasia x amazonica
Perfect hanging plants include ivy, hoya gracillis, dischidia ruscifolia and codonanthe crassifolia.
A decade ago indoor flowering plants were popular. Today to create a vibrant, fresh and unfussy feel stick with greenery or white flowing plants for Pinterest worthy interiors.
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First select the spaces in your home where you would like your plants to sit. Then it’s time to add them to your interior and build around them. You can add drama with height, create a focal point or simply compliment other items in your home, all with the addition or indoor plants.
If you’re arranging groups of plants follow the odd number rule. Always grouping in threes or fives. This goes for accessories and décor items on shelving and desktops too. Try creating an interesting display with a succulent or cacti, positioned in front of a tall propped picture and a large pillar candle.
Maximise the unused corners in your home by introducing a plant stand. Layer up plants of varying heights by positioning on stands. Consider a stand that allows you to add several plants at different levels. Use a stand to lift a small plant that wouldn’t usually work on the floor and position next to a tall floor standing plant to add interest with different heights.
You can use plant stands to create a focal point around a piece of furniture too. For example, a single armchair might look basic and uninspiring by itself. Bring it to life by dressing it with a cushion and a sheepskin throw, and position a plant stand with three tiers at varying heights next to it to create a cosy and relaxing corner.
Cacti can be great to use to create a feature wall or to add a little life to an otherwise uninspiring coffee table. Try putting up narrow shelving to display lots of cacti and succulents. This works well in the kitchen or in unused hallway wall space. Cacti can also look great on windowsills that otherwise might remain empty. Remember to make sure that you choose cacti and succulents that are happy in direct light.
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Make a statement in your home with plants by grouping large numbers together. Add a Scandi edge to your bedroom by hanging a shelf above the bed and filling with plants of varying heights to create a focal point.
When it comes to choosing pots and planters, if you can, take your plant with you when on the hunt for a new home for it. Not every pot goes with every plant, and it’s important to enhance each and every plant through the pot that you choose to place it in.
Choose planters that compliment the rest of your décor. Either stick to one colour or neutral tones in different textures to add interest. Try greys and whites in concrete and balance with a few pots in a more polished finish for a simple Scandi style. You could even buy simple terracotta pots and paint to tie in with different elements in your room, such as the soft furnishings. Think outside the box when it comes to planters and houseplant styling – trunks and woven baskets work well for floor standing plants.
Don’t be afraid of hanging plants. By choosing large floor standing plants, small tabletop plants and hanging plants you can create a finished scheme. Leaving any of these out can make a room look too uniform when it comes to plants be adventurous with textures, sizes and positioning.
Hanging plants can be placed on high shelves, allowing the vines to trail down. Take the look one step further by adding hanging planters around your home. You can get a range of hanging planters online, from simple and chic designs to Scandi vibe macrame and suspended terrariums. Try adding a hanging planter above your bed, above your bathroom mirror or above a mid-height bookcase. Suspended plants look best when used to enhance a piece of furniture, rather than randomly placed in the room. Always think about the flow of movement around your space – avoid trailing plants that might get in your way when moving around your home.
Take plant styling up another notch by introducing terrariums. These intricate plant designs work perfectly in both minimal and eclectic interiors. Terrariums originate from the Victorian era and are a great way to get creative with houseplants. Try grouping few small terrariums together with a few potted cacti and succulents. Or make a statement with a large terrarium on a windowsill or in an entrance hall.
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An essential part of styling houseplants in your home is learning how to take proper care of each species. Caring for your plants will ensure they look healthy all year round, as let’s face it, plants look less than attractive when drooping, dropping leaves or turning brown.
There are lots of good books on the market that can take you through everything you need to know about houseplant care, from pruning and shaping to repotting. Try House Plants by Isabelle Palmer or Living with Plants by Sophie Lee. If you’re serious about creating your own urban jungle, it’s worth taking the time to read and learn about plant care and styling. If you’re a little short on time, here are a few tips…
- The easiest way to find out about each individual species’ needs is to find out about its origins. Do a quick google of your houseplant name to discover where it’s from and the conditions it might be used to.
- If you want low maintenance plants, broadly speaking, the species that originate from the understory of tropical forests are a pretty safe bet. These plants like a mid to warm temperature. So you don’t need to worry about your central heating. They prefer little air movement and like indirect sunlight. Generally, these make great houseplants, as they like to be warm, out of direct sunlight and out of the wind.
- In the winter heavy use of central heating can dry plants out. This can cause us to overwater them in an attempt to bring them back to life. However many plants go into hibernation in the winter, so actually need less water. Rather than unnecessarily saturating the roots, try misting the leaves to hydrate.
- Overwatering is typically the biggest cause of deterioration in house plants. Avoid watering plants on autopilot, instead test each plant prior to watering to check it actually needs it. You can do this by pushing your finger about an inch into the soil if the soil is dry on top and an inch down it is time to water.
- Avoid drowning plants by leaving them sitting in water, keep them in their plastic pots when you place them in your decorative pots. This way you can remove the plant in the plastic pot and run the plant under the tap to water. This allows the soil to soak up the water, but drain out any excess. Plants sitting in too much water will result in rotten roots.
- For sunny spots try succulents and water sparingly.
- When going away avoid turning off the heating completely. Instead try setting the thermostat to a lower heat that will keep all of your plants happy. This will ensure you avoid coming back to dropped leaves and bare looking branches.
Houseplants are so much more than just decorations. They have the ability to turn a room into a living space and breathe life into your schemes. Furthermore, they help improve the environment that we live in by cleansing the air. Many houseplants release oxygen and filter out pollutants from man-made objects. As well as releasing phytochemicals which suppress mould spores and bacteria in the air. They also add humidity, working to counteract the dry air that is caused by central heating.
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Indoor plants are a valuable addition to any home. They offer such a simple and stylish way to update your interiors, and they don’t have to cost the earth either. A healthy house plant can cost anything from £5 upwards. You can expect to pay around £100 for very large floor standing plants and large cacti.
Be creative and adventurous with your houseplant styling this year. Don’t be afraid to try new species and ways of presenting your plants.
Which indoor plants are you loving at the moment and what are your styling tips? Comment and share your tips.