With home offices and online schooling, we’re spending more time than ever inside our homes. Coupled with an innate desire to connect with the outdoors, it’s no surprise there’s been an unprecedented interest in biophilic interior design — houseplants being a primary element of the look.
Of course, plants do more than just bring together the components of a design plan. They speak to our umbilical relationship with nature. Plants also filter the air, absorbing carbon in the home and releasing fresh oxygen. If you’re planning to add some greenery to your indoor space, check out these options in time for Houseplant Appreciation Day on Jan. 10.
Satin silver pothos
Scindapsus pictus is a vine-type plant that offers an eye-catching variegated look. Dark leaves are naturally decorated with silver markings throughout. It does well in moderate temperatures with filtered sunlight and controlled watering.
As a member of the ficus family, the large, heart-shaped leaves might catch your eye. This plant makes a statement in a space with natural lighting that’s not too overbearing. It will prefer to dry out a bit between waterings in well-draining soil.
There are countless varieties of ferns, and many are a great choice for low-light areas of the home. Play around with passive solar options to find a happy spot. Water ferns weekly but cut back during the colder months.
Yes, even if you don’t live in a tropical region! Banana plants come in many varieties, so do a bit of research to find a good match for your home. Since they can get quite large, it’s probably not a good fit for a tiny home. Even in your standard home, you’ll want a dwarf version unless you’re blessed with very high ceilings in a sunroom.
If you have a Zen theme as part of your interior design, a bonsai tree is a must. However, be careful with the variety you select, since many need high outdoor humidity to thrive. Try out Dwarf jade, the Fukien tea (Carmona), the Hawaiian umbrella (Schefflera), Sweet plum (Sageretia) and perhaps the most traditional and easy to care for Ficus Bonsai.
Across the board, plant experts seem to agree that Hoya is a trending option in houseplants. Hoyas come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most provide colorful blooms. Most are also trailing plants, so plan to place yours higher up on a mantle, shelf or from a plant hook. It’s a good way to draw the eye up in a tiny house space. You can also stack plants vertically in a home with high ceilings.
It’s a popular choice for a reason. Philodendron varieties are easy to care for and forgiving in most homes. Leaf color ranges through shades of green and even appears orange at times, offering a contrast to other plants in the home.
Bird of paradise
If you don’t already have one, a bird of paradise is another notable plant from the tropical environment that you can successfully grow at home. It’s a plant that thrives in bright, direct light, in contrast to many plants that need a bit of filtered protection from harsh sunlight. Bird of paradise can also handle a bit of neglect since watering should only happen when the soil is dry halfway down. Note that bird of paradise is mildly toxic to humans and pets if ingested.
Dubbed the best flowering plant for beginners, the peace lily offers a bold statement. While many blooming houseplants are finicky, the peace lily can tolerate a bit of forgetful and inconsistent watering. It makes a great centerpiece or works on shelves and desktops.
Another plant that is often perceived as difficult to grow is the orchid. That’s typically because an orchid needs to be treated as it grows in its natural environment. That means providing a sunny location with high humidity and plenty of water. While that might be more hands-on than you hoped for in your green design dream, the rewards of a flowering orchid are hard to beat.
Creating the right look with the addition of plants means paying attention to their needs and your preferences. Watch plants closely when you first get them home and make transitions slowly when moving closer or further from the windows.
Also, remember the plant itself isn’t the only component of the interior design look. Pay attention to pots, planters, hangers and shelving, remembering to incorporate them into the overall plan.
Develop a natural look with a combination of plant types. Depending on your space, combine small trees with plants that feature both small and large leaves. Let them bring natural contrast with variegated leaves partnered up with solid colors.
Images via Pexels and Unsplash