Nothing screams domesticity quite like growing plants at home. It hearkens back to early societies when men claimed a territory as theirs by building homes and growing crops. In the Scott Ridley film The Martian, Mark Watney, played to perfection by Matt Damon, cheekily speaks to the audience about how he is technically the first human to colonize Mars. Why? Because he succeeded in growing Martian potatoes.
While none of us would be colonizing a planet anytime soon, the point is that growing plants in a house makes it truly feel like home. Whether it’s a potted plant or a tree in your backyard, you’d be putting in time and effort to nurture something that will be entirely dependent on you.
Bring the Outdoors In
At Homewilling, we are huge fans of nature, of homes smack in the middle of a jungle, and gardens of all types and sizes. Sometimes, however, we love to bring a bit of the beautiful outdoors indoors. Nothing spruces up a minimalist room or a lavish receiving area quite like a healthy, potted plant or a vase filled with fragrant blooms. More importantly, indoor plants help filter the air that flows into your home and improve overall indoor air quality.
When growing plants indoors, there are a few things you need to think about.
- Which plants should you choose?
- Do you need potting soil, and will you be watering your plants frequently?
- How can you best showcase the plant?
Let’s begin with a rundown of low-maintenance plants that are excellent as indoor houseplants.
Choose plants that won’t die on you if you miss one or two waterings. Also, it’s best to have plants that can survive with limited sunlight and fresh air. Below are examples of low-maintenance plants:
- Aloe Vera – These are some of the most low-maintenance plants. They grow best when planted in nutrient-rich soil. With health aloe plants within arm’s reach, you can have fresh aloe gel anytime. Aloe is excellent for soothing burns and moisturizing your face.
- Bromeliads – These require little soil and will survive with artificial light. Keep them near a bright window, however, and it could grow colorful leaves and flowers.
- Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (also known as Ribbon Plant and Snake Plant) – With its thick, green leaves with yellow edges, this plant is excellent for decorative purposes.
- Rubber Plant – When you already have lots of greenery in your home, change things up a bit by adding a potted rubber plant. Its variegated leaves have more shades of gray than green, and the young shoots at the top have a reddish hue.
- Dumb Cane – One of the more popular indoor plants with variegated leaves, the dumb cane can also add variety to a room in terms of color. Its leaves have more yellow then green, which can be handy when if you want to add a pop of color apart from green.
- Succulents – Although they have a reputation for being delicate, succulents are actually low-maintenance plants. Just place them someplace warm and sunny, and let the soil dry out before watering it.
- Jade – This is a good alternative to succulents if you’re looking for something as tidy, but not as tiny.
- Pothos – If you need a fast-growing plant that grows upright, this is the one for you.
- Philodendron – Also a fast-growing plant, the philodendron has heart-shaped leaves and flowing vines. They’re best as a hanging plant, especially as the vines can grow longer and extend downwards.
- Umbrella Tree – This is one of the best options if you want a tall potted plant with lush foliage.
- Fig Tree – Here’s an alternative to the umbrella tree if you’re looking for larger leaves. Fig trees can also grow several feet high, too, so they’re excellent for large rooms with high ceilings.
- Bird of Paradise – Full-grown bird of paradise trees can bring a jungle-like feel to any room. It can also grow as tall as your ceiling.
Store-bought plants come with their own pots, but they likely won’t look. There’s a good chance that you’ll end up replanting them. You can play this up to your advantage, however, by choosing pots that match your interior design.
Here are some indoor potting ideas.
For Table Plants
Flowering plants that don’t grow more than three feet in height may be placed on top of a counter, desk, or table. As these plants don’t need much room to grow, you can choose smaller pots or decorative planters that complement the color scheme of the rest of the interior. Examples are ceramic, plastic, and clay pots in bare or painted in various colors.
For succulents and tiny cacti, you can use a ceramic bowl with a wide, flat bottom as a pot. Add a few, well-chosen stones, and it should resemble a tiny zen garden. Speaking of which, you can also build a narrow planter made from reclaimed wood. Apart from succulents and cacti, other small plants like the Chinese money plant, paddle plants, and Aloe can also grow in tiny pots.
For Hanging Plants
What’s great about indoor hanging plants is that besides suspending them from the ceiling, you can also plant them on the wall. But let’s begin with potting tips for suspended plants.
The standard container is metal wire twisted into a spiral. If you’re in the mood to do some DIY potting, an old wire hanger is just right for this project. Other materials that are excellent for hanging plants are baskets, glass bottles, plastic light bulb containers, and pots hanging from woven ropes or twine.
To install hanging plants on walls, a sheet of wire mesh will come in handy; you’ll just have to put your hanging plants in place using hooks. You can attach a square-foot sheet on specific locations on the wall or cover it from floor to ceiling. Choose the former if you’re aiming for a minimalist style. With the latter, you can create a full-wall vertical planter and create a green wall by growing indoor vines and climbers.
For Indoor Trees
Large indoor plants that tower over four feet might require a large pot to thrive. Deep clay pots and planters are the best for these. They’re usually half a meter in diameter, but you can opt for something bigger if you intend the tree to be the centerpiece of the entire room. Only choose smaller pots for trees with shallow or small root zones.
Add color and life to your home by growing one or more of these indoor plants. Not only will you increase the aesthetic appeal of your rooms, but also enjoy the calming effect of natural greens and fragrances.
Keep tuning in to get more gardening tips from Homewilling.