In these uncertain, often overwhelming times, I’ve found solace in my houseplants. There’s an undeniable joy that comes from a pristine fiddle leaf fig or the moment of repose found while taking in a monstera. Even a small amount can be a great relief. My home is full green friends. Although it is a good thing to have many plants, it can also lead to clutter. Your living room could look like a nursery if it has too many houseplants. That’s why I embarked on a mission to learn how to arrange plants in a living room.
It was easy to learn how to decorate your home using plants. Over the last few years, nearly everyone is honing their indoor green thumb nursery. I’m basing this claim on my friends’ homes and the market. Walk around any neighborhood in my city of San Francisco and you’ll find handfuls of shops selling vibrant pink philodendrons and glossy pothos. My latest find was the best. Little Trees in San Francisco’s Richmond neighborhood. Kathy Ho, who owns the tiny verdant boutique in San Francisco, pays attention to it and treats her green children with such love. I was inspired by her design knowledge to learn how to arrange houseplants in a living room.
Ho and Bloomscape were asked to be experts in gardening and design. Lindsay PangbornHow to add greenery to your living space. I learned that putting some thought into how and where I place my potted friends can significantly increase the joy I glean from them.
“Plants bring you relaxation, peace, and joy when you spend time with them, either when watering them, witnessing them having a good morning sunbath, or watching a new baby leaf come up,”Ho tells you. “It’s good Feng Sui to have plants in your house—to feel the balance and the positive good vibes.”
What are the best ways to arrange your plants in a Living Room?
#1: Small Groups
Ho suggests that houseplants are placed together in groups of two or three. This will create a calm and orderly space and help to prevent clutter. She suggests grouping houseplants of the same care requirements together to make maintenance simpler. “This makes it easier to water them, plus they provide one another with some moisture, which plants love.”
Trailing plants—i.e. arranging them from high places to low—provides a reason to look up, which is one of the greatest tricks for making a small living room look bigger. This is one of Ho’s go-to looks she suggests for clients. Her advice: Pair a favorite plant and vase and put it on top of your bookshelf, TV stands near me, or hutch, allowing the leaves to fall down as the plant grows.
Much like the cascading look, hanging pots bring the eye up—and they allow you to make the most of the space you have, says Pangborn. This look is simple. This look is very simple: Hang a pot from your ceiling.
#4: On the Floor
A common houseplant décor mistake is neglecting to use floor space. You can follow the rule of 2 to 3 and place plants in an unoccupied corner or near the sofa. If you have the space, you can place a taller indoor plant such as an avocado tree, fiddle leaffig, or fiddle leaf fig in a large container on the floor. These houseplants are usually larger than the average. “create instant impact in a room thanks to their size,”Pangborn. “And they easily fill out a corner or a bare wall.” Pro tip: Make sure to allow room between a taller plant and any wall art so the two don’t aesthetically compete.
#5: The “Jungle”Look!
If you love the look of lots of plants, Pangborn says to go with it—but vary the sizing and shape. “Choose plants with contrasting leaf shapes and colors to maintain visual interest—for example, combining a bold-leafed monstera plant, burgundy rubber tree, and a lush, fine-textured Kimberly Queen fern makes a show-stopping trio,”She said. Ho says you can create a jungle in your own backyard.
What are the Ideal Plants?
This is the ultimate question. And before I get to Ho and Pangborn’s takes, I’ll make this rallying cry: Let your plant flag fly! If you are happy with the number of plants, it is okay. The essential thing to consider isn’t how many plants you should have, but how well you can tend to them.
Here’s what to consider:
#1: Space & Flow
Plants need ample room to show their beauty, says Ho, who implores anyone opting for many plants to ensure they’re not crowded. Each plant should have at most a few inches space between them for healthy growth and extension towards the light.
#2: The Type Of Plant
Extending upon Ho’s above advice, some plants prefer drier air, which requires giving them even more space to promote airflow and keep their foliage healthy, informs Pangborn. “Succulents and plants with semi-succulent leaves, like the whale fin sansevieria, are examples of plants that do best slightly spaced out from one another.”
Pangborn says that plants that are native in tropical rainforest areas thrive under higher humidity. This includes the heartleaf-philodendron as well as the stromanthe triostar. Both of these plants thrive in groups. “trapping the moisture released from plants and creating a humid microclimate.”
What are the Best Living Room Plants?
One’s home decor is ultimately dependent on personal preferences, says Pangborn. Plants of all sizes can be added to any living space to add depth, color and texture. These plants are great for the living room.
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One last tip: Do it!
Plants should complement your space—and life—and never compete with your flow, Pangborn reminds me. “They can add so much beauty, but if you find yourself stressed about the care requirements or constantly having to shuffle plants around to make room for your daily activities, don’t feel guilty about changing it up,”She said. You can also take one outside during the warmer seasons. And if you find one doesn’t bring you the joy it once did, there’s no shame in re-homing a houseplant. Greenery is about keeping your energy positive.