This post was originally published on 13th December 2019. Updated and republished on 19th May 2021.
It’s a well know fact nowadays that houseplants bring pleasure and satisfaction to our home as well as promoting benefits of well-being and relaxation. And styling with plants has become a bit of a national preoccupation. But unless you want to keep spending a small fortune on replacing plants that have for some reason not flourished, you also have to take into consideration the best place to put them. Not necessarily the best place for you. In a nutshell plants need five things in order to grow: sunlight, the correct temperature, moisture, air, and nutrients. So as long as you keep these things in mind, feel free to style to your heart’s content.
Let There Be Light
Image: Leaf Envy
Whilst it’s true that plants need plenty of light, sunlight can also be damaging to some. Having said that, if you are careful with your selection, (and shade the plants on the hottest of summer days) a windowsill bursting with plants is a joy to behold. Styling Tip: Vary the heights if you can, or use books to elevate some pots for a more balanced and pleasing display.
Install a High Shelf
Image: Furniture Choice
Create a high shelf where a picture rail would normally sit. As long as it’s adjacent to a window where there is a good source of light your plants will love it. It’s out of the way of wagging tails (a real problem in my house), makes excellent use of the unused space near the ceiling and it looks amazing. The only downside I can see is that you will need a good set of steps and a watering can with a long spout. I happen to think it’d be worth it. Styling tip: Use a variety of plants including some trailing specimens and intersperce with your favourite ormaments.
Make Use of Hanging Opportunities
There’s no doubt that hanging baskets can vastly improve the opportunites to display house plants. But hanging one alone can look a bit sad – unless it’s a gigantic specimen of course. In any situation greenery looks better in a group, and hanging baskets are no exception. Above the bath is a perfect solution too if you are worried about drips from over zealous watering, and they will only benefit from the hot and steamy bathroom atmosphere. Watering tip: If your hanging baskets are not over a bath or sink, try placing a few ice cubes on the soil instead of using a watering can. The ice will melt slowly and minimise any water seeping out of the bottom of the pot.
Any Light Flooded Shelf Will Do
Image: (affiliate link) Dunelm
If you already have shelves that are near a light source, why are you wasting them? Fill them with plants now! Well, okay don’t overdo it, but a few potted plants will improve any situation and with it your sense of well-being too. The kitchen is also the perfect place to grow herbs. Right where you need them for a quick snip, and often fragrant too.
Image: Dobbies Garden Centres
Don’t forget the office! “Whether you’re working from home or commute across town, it’s easy to feel like we spend our time in colourless concrete cubes, and it’s even easier to feel completely disconnected from nature. This is why many people buy plants to brighten up their workspaces and create their very own green oasis. But other than being aesthetically pleasing, plants also have some amazing superpowers which make that 40 hour work week a lot more enjoyable!” – Beth Chapman, Founder of Leaf Envy.
Any Horizontal Surface Will Do
Image: (affiliate link) Dunelm
Remembering that plants look better in a group, any horizontal surface will do that is out of the way of kids and pets. The mantlepiece might not be the best place in winter when the warmth of the fire might not help them thrive, but in the summer it’s the perfect place. You can even place a trio of larger specimens on the hearth too to make a summer focal point.
I’ll Say it Again – Make The Most of Available Light
You can research all you like about plants that will grow in low light, but in my opinion none of them flourish. They need light, and you need to make the most of any opportunity. I’ve no doubt if you have windows like these, you are growing the biggest, healthiest and most instagramable specimens ever. Make the most of it. Install floor standing shelves and frame the window with larger, floor standing plants on the other side. I would do anything for windows like this!
Don’t Forget The Coffee Table
Image: Gisela Graham
Plants aren’t just for the outside perimeters of the room. There’s always space on lower tables for smaller pots too. Again, group them together, and put them on a tray to make watering easier. Adding a few tealights will make a feature of them at night time too.