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Live Green by Decorating with Houseplants

By Michele Harris
April 11, 2022
woman tending to plants

Plant decor has come a long way since the invention of the macrame hanging planter. Today's indoor gardeners encase tiny plants in glass terrariums, display cuttings in aesthetically arranged test tubes, and even create wall art using moss or succulents.

While much of the plant decor displayed in interior design magazines takes some crafting expertise and plant knowledge, you don't have to be Martha Stewart to utilize your green thumb inside your home.

Air plants

If you want plant décor with virtually no maintenance, try Tillandsias - more commonly known as air plants. This member of the bromeliad family is naturally found in warm, arid climates. Air plants grow in the wild by clinging onto tree bark, so they don’t require soil - a trait that makes them a great hassle-free option.

They can be placed in a decorative bowl or tucked into a teardrop terrarium. Seashells, logs, and even corks from wine bottles are also unique ways to house your air plants.

Airplantsupplyco.com has everything you need to create an interesting display. 

As for care, keep them out of direct sunlight and mist them with water now and then. That’s it - really!

Big specimens

Emilly Barbosa Fernandes, a small space gardener from California and consultant at HouseGrail.com, says that an aloe plant - which can grow relatively large - is another good option for beginners because it is one of the easiest houseplants to care for. It only needs watering when the soil is completely dry.

If you’re looking for something bigger and more traditional, the monstera plant is something to consider. “There are many different varieties, all of which are easy to care for,” says Barbosa Fernandes, with a caution -  “You’ll want to be aware of which one you’re buying, though, because some monstera can grow up to 12-feet tall.”

Barbosa Fernandes also recommends the bird of paradise plant. “It’s beautiful and can grow up to 7-feet high,” she says. “If you allow it to grow tall, it eventually produces gorgeous blooms.”

Find a decorative planter or cachepot, without drainage holes, that matches your color scheme. It should be somewhat larger than the growing pot the plant came in. Place the growing pot into the decorative planter and you’re all set. 

Cuttings

Cuttings are designed to propagate certain types of plants, but they can have a decorative appeal as well.

With a good pair of pruning shears, cut a 4- to 6-inch branch from an existing plant. Herbs like lavender, thyme, and rosemary are easy to propagate from cuttings. Pothos, ivy, and coleus can also be propagated. 

Put the cuttings in colorful or interesting containers that are filled with water. Arrange the containers in a group on a decorative tray or mirror to create an eye-catching tablescape.

Change the water when it gets cloudy. Once a cutting sprouts roots, you can plant it in soil or continue to let it grow in water.

The great thing about plant décor is that when you tire of a room’s look, making a change is easier than repainting or buying new furniture, so have fun and let your imagination run wild!

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