Houseplants have been a popular addition to interiors since the 19th century and it’s easy to see why they’ve remained a steady fixture in the home since. Plants help purify the air in a room by increasing oxygen levels and removing toxins. They liven up a space with color and texture as well as literally adding life to the room. Plants also just make people happy. Indoor plants can provide a calmer environment and in general contribute to your overall well being. If you weren’t born with a green thumb you may be a bit intimidated about bringing a houseplant into your home, but fortunately there are plenty of plants out there that are forgiving if they don’t receive constant attention. It can also be tricky to determine which plants are best for your space. So we put together this guide for adding plants to your home to help make it a bit easier.
How to Choose the Right Plants for Your Space
Before you can buy any plants, you need to determine where you’ll be putting them and what that environment has to offer. Amount of light is probably the most important factor in choosing a plant. While there’s a plant for pretty much any lighting situation, if you get the wrong plant for the amount of light it will be getting, you’ll soon be having to buy a new plant. If you want to be really precise in figuring out the amount of light a space will be getting you can purchase a light meter to measure each location. If you don’t want to purchase a special piece of equipment there are other, free ways to figure it out as well. A general rule of thumb however is that south facing windows will get bright light, east and west facing windows will get medium light, and north facing windows will get low light. Once you know what type of light that location will have, and for how many hours a day, you can look into the types of plants available for that lighting. When you go to the store or nursery to buy plants they should have little tags on them with information about the plant including how much light it needs.
Some Plants for Different Light Levels
Low Light – you may feel a bit restricted if you have low light, but rest assured that there are still some plants that thrive in low light situations. ZZ Plants, Philodendrons, Pothos, and Sansevierias are some common low light plants. Many ferns are also able to handle low light well.
Medium Light – your options open up a bit more if you have medium light. Many popular plants do well in medium light, including Begonias, Elephant Ears, Christmas Cactuses, and Ivies.
Bright Light – you may think that all plants will enjoy bright light, but some may actually begin to burn if exposed to light that’s too intense. There are still many plants that do require bright light though. The currently popular succulents and cacti prefer lots of natural lighting. Trees like fiddle leaf figs also need bright light.
Ways to Add Plants into Your Space
Placing a plant on a windowsill or plant stand by the window are some of the easiest ways to add the plant to your room, but there are some more creative ways as well. Hanging plants is a great way to include them in your decor if you’re short on floor or surface area. Tall plants are a good solution for unused corners and can help jazz up blank wall space. If you’ve purchased ivy or other vining plant you can set up a trellis to create either a room divider or a piece of wall art that’s always growing and changing. Houseplants also look nice on bookshelves as part of a vignette. While the plants themselves are going to improve the decor, remember that the pot is another opportunity to add color, texture, and general visual interest to a room. If re-potting your plant feels a bit out of your league to start, you can also place the pot it comes in in a decorative basket. You will likely eventually have to repot your plant as it grows though to avoid it becoming root-bound.
Caring for Your Plants
Now that you have your plant and have it in it’s spot, don’t forget about it! You still have to care for your plant. The information that comes with it should indicate how often it may need watering and when to fertilize. If your plant begins leaning towards the light, rotate it so it remains straight. If your plant starts to gather dust just wipe down its leaves with a damp cloth.
Hopefully this post has inspired you to go buy some plants! Plants not only help a space look nice but they improve your quality of life. And all they ask for in return is a little water and light.