Trend Alert: Houseplants
Thinking Outside The Container
During the dreary winter months gardeners and non-gardeners alike yearn for the lush greens and the bright flowers of summer. Filling our homes with houseplants, usually a Christmas cactus or an Easter lily has been the easiest solution. In recent years however many people are thinking outside the traditional pots and containers and have come up with some wonderfully creative ways to add houseplants to your décor.
Terrariums and miniature gardens are probably the most popular at this time. They allow you to have a few different plants and textures in a small space as well as use containers that are whimsical and creative. Most terrariums are made of glass which creates an open feel to the plants. You can get very creative with your choice of container. Some have used, fish bowls, old light fixtures, mason jars, clear kitchen canisters, and lanterns. Since most of these containers will not have a drainage hole, I would recommend spreading a layer of stones in the bottom of the container before adding soil. This will allow a space for the water to go if they are accidentally over-watered. I also prefer to use a mister or a spray bottle when watering anything in a container without a hole to prevent over-watering.
Miniature gardens are a great way to interest children in plants. Add a small fairy figure or a bench or even a toy dinosaur to spark their creativity. You will be amazed at the ideas they come up with. Don’t think that they are only for the young though. They are also excellent fun for adults. Many garden centers are beginning to carry a wide variety of accessories that allow you to customize your garden, you can create a woodland abode, a fairy wonderland, you can even decorate for the seasons. How much fun would it be to have a spooky graveyard garden or a winter wonderland? You could even add Christmas lights!
You have likely noticed that succulents are incredibly popular as well. They are being used everywhere, from wedding bouquets and decorations to small modern planters in the house. The big draw of a succulent is that they are relatively easy to care for and they come in many different varieties. They require little water, almost no soil and generous sunlight. Most succulents are also pretty quick to multiply so in a short period you can have multiple plants and containers. There are also many perennial succulent varieties like hens and chicks, creeping sedum, and upright sedum so you can enjoy them in your garden year after year. See our list below for some of our favorite succulent varieties.
Air Plants (Tillandsia) are a group of tropical plants that require little care. They sometimes appear fake since they require no soil to survive. Like succulents they prefer only a little water. Since they don’t need soil to grow they can be mounted anywhere there is adequate sunlight. Most like to be spritzed with water occasionally so make sure that you have a mister or a small spray bottle. Many floral stores will have air plants and the knowledgeable staff to help you pick out just the right one. Let your creative side shine and see what you come up with. Use them on driftwood, inside clear ornaments, as place markers at a table, group a few together in a bowl as a centerpiece…you can’t go wrong.
The possibilities are endless now when it comes to houseplants. Take a look at our Pinterest page devoted to houseplants for some more great ideas for your home.
Favorite Indoor Plant Varieties
Snake Plant – An upright succulent with sword shaped leaves. Very striking with its yellow, green and white coloring and doesn’t need much light to thrive.
Burro’s Tail Sedum-The name itself is fun, but this cascading succulent just makes you want to touch it. It has bushy ‘tails’ that cascade over the edge of a pot. It’s great in hanging baskets or as your ‘spiller’ in a planter. Like most succulents it needs bright light to thrive.
Heart Leaf Philodendron – This is one of the easiest house plants to grow, especially in low light conditions. They can cascade down or if they have a structure they will vine up. The dark green glossy leaves really contrast well against a light colored wall or shelf.
Panda Plant – The blue-grey fuzzy leaves of this succulent make it so much fun. It looks great potted by itself as a specimen. Requires bright light conditions.
Wandering Jew – Commonly found in garden centers in the spring this plant grows wonderfully indoors. It prefers low light and has lovely silver purple variegated leaves.
Jade Plant – Most everyone has grown one of these at some point in their life but they are a great and easy plant. They require little water and have a unique shiny leaf that compliments other succulents when planted in groupings. Jades love direct sunlight.
Agave – There are many varieties of this succulent and they are all wonderful. Most have variegated (2 color) foliage and sharp points at the tips of the leaves. This southwest plant looks great in a container by itself where it can get lots of light. Very little water is required.