Gardening Tips : How to Place Houseplants Around Your Home
How to Place Houseplants Around Your Home
Adding houseplants to your home provides a number of benefits including filtering out harmful compounds like formaldehyde, as well as giving your home a warmer, more welcoming look. Learning where to place houseplants depends on aesthetic considerations, air purity considerations, and the light requirements of different species. Assessing your needs and matching them to specific houseplants is the key to learning how to place houseplants around your home.
Decorating Your House with Plants
Determine the locations in which you want to place houseplants.Of course, your own decorating preferences may dictate your desired houseplant locations regardless of each location's suitability.
- Jasmine and lavender are great ideas for the bedroom, as the scent of these plants can promote restful sleep and reduce anxiety levels.
- Aloe vera and snake plant both help purify the air, which can be helpful for locations in the home that the whole family frequents, or rooms that are subject to a variety of smells and chemicals, such as the living room, bathroom, or kitchen.
- Positioning houseplants largely involves compromising between ideal locations for the plants' needs, and your desired locations based on aesthetics. Inhospitable locations can still be utilized by selecting very hardy species of houseplants.
- For instance, you may want to use houseplants to liven up a dark, windowless bathroom. Or, your favored window may face north and be covered in shade from neighboring buildings or plants.
Choose a container for your plant.Choose a container that satisfies your aesthetic desire for the plant, as well as the needs of the plant. There are a variety of containers available for your plants, from simple ceramic pots to troughs.
- Wall mounted or hanging baskets are perfect for taking advantage of vertical space, especially if you have a plant that can grow to great lengths or hang, such as grape ivy or hindu rope plants.
- Boxes or troughs can be used if you have a collection of plants that visually complement one another and have similar watering and lighting needs.
- Even old tin cans can be used, giving a home-grown, DIY look to your plants.
Match your plants to your theme.Your house has a theme, whether you recognize it or not, and there are a variety of plant types that can complement this theme. The color of the plant and its flowers, for example, can help round out the existing color of the room, or the smells of the plant itself can complete the ambiance.
- Common themes for homes include Victorian, American country, and casual easy living. A certain plant may find itself more at home in one type of home than another (a rose in a Victorian home, or a sunflower in a casual home, for example).
Use space to your advantage.Use all of the room available to you when furnishing rooms with plants. One tiny plant in a large space will not greatly change the mood of the room. The plant will just look out of place!
- Larger plants with large leaves, such as dracaenas or philodendron, can fill up a large, sparsely furnished room.
- In smaller rooms, large plants appear to crowd. Instead, choose a smaller plant that has larger, visible leaves, such as the aralia or anthurium.
Adjust the locations of each houseplant as needed.Designing a houseplant setup takes time, and your setup will need to be adjusted as you progress. Perhaps you will notice a plant thriving in a location that you assumed would be inhospitable, or perhaps there is a certain location in which you cannot seem to keep anything alive. Use these experiences to reorganize your houseplant setup to keep your plants alive and well.
- If you have trouble keeping your plants alive, try raising a few sturdier plants. Succulents are incredibly hardy and nearly impossible to kill. Cacti can thrive without needing very much water.
- Some plants, such as the English ivy or ZZ plant, are very adaptable, and able to make do with a variety of lighting situations.
Choosing Areas That Support Plant Life
Give your plants enough light.Place your plant near a window that provides the amount of light they need to survive. Not all plants require the same amount of light, and some will need different types of light, such as indirect or direct.
- Plants that require low light, such as the kentia palm or Peace Lily, should be placed near north-facing windows if you live in the Northern hemisphere.
- Plants requiring medium or indirect light, such as the aralia or begonia, should be placed near west- or south-facing windows if you live in the Northern hemisphere. Keep them 1 to 2 feet from the window itself.
- Plants requiring bright or direct light, such as the amaryllis or episcia, can be placed directly on the windowsill of windows facing south or west if you live in the Northern hemisphere.
Pay mind to humidity.Many plants require a reasonably humid environment, or at least one that is not terribly dry, such as ferns. Some areas in the house will be drier or more humid than others. This will dry the plants' leaves and soil out.
- For example, a windowsill just above a baseboard heater will tend to be drier than other windowsills in the home.
- Homes with central heating tend to be especially dry during fall and winter.
- Purchasing a humidifier can help provide moisture to your plants.
- Lightly misting your plants each day will help them thrive if you live in a dry location.
Group your plants close together.This helps spread moisture among plants. Moisture released by 1 plant will be picked up by another! Remember that plants still need good air circulation to prevent disease.
- Avoid placing your plants too close together. Their leaves and vines may get tangled, and this can reduce the air circulation each plant receives.
- Leaves that touch between 2 plants may also allow insects to easily move from one plant to another.
Mind the temperature.Don’t place your plants in areas where the temperature will swing throughout the day. Most plants prefer a constant temperature of between 60–75 °F (16–24 °C), though there are some exceptions.
- Plants that prefer cooler temperatures (between 50–60 °F (10–16 °C)) include plants such as the tulip, azalea, and primrose. Plants that prefer hotter temperatures (between 70–80 °F (21–27 °C)) include plants such as the caladium, bromeliad, and geranium.
- Flowering plants may need different temperature or sunlight requirements in order to bloom successfully.
- Windowsills can become drafty during the colder months of the year. During this time, pull any plants you have resting there away from the window by a few inches.
- Similar draft problems can occur for plants that are located near entrances to the home. Keep plants closer to the interior of the house to avoid exposing your plants to this kind of draft.
Taking Care of Your Plants
Know the requirements of your plants.Plants have several requirements for healthy growing, with the specifics of these requirements differing from plant to plant. Ask a horticulturist or nursery specialist for an information card or sheet detailing the exact requirements of your plants so that you can place and treat them appropriately.
- Light requirements for some plants can be supplemented with artificial lights, such as fluorescent lights.
- Signs that your plant may be receiving too much light include brown patches on leaves, leaves that look faded or washed out, or the plant wilts at midday.
Keep your plants watered.Make sure your plants get the amount of water they need to survive. This amount will increase or decrease based on the overall temperature and exposure to sunlight the plant receives. Take care not to overwater your plants – this is just as damaging as not giving them enough water.
- Plants that are receiving too much water will appear wilted, have yellowing or browning leaves, and may begin to grow algae in the soil.
- To test whether your plant is dry, stick your finger 1 inch (2.5 cm) into the soil. If the soil up to this point is dry, add water.
- Make sure to keep your plant container drainage holes unblocked. Remove excess water from the drainage saucer to avoid overwatering.
Fertilize your plants.Fertilizer provides nutrients your plants need that they may not receive in an indoor setting, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Read the labels of your plant to understand what fertilizer mixtures work best for the health of the plant.
- Fertilizer mixtures will be labeled in accordance to the percentages of nutrients they contain.
- Give new or re-potted plants a few months to adjust to their environment before fertilizing.
Keep the insects off your plants.Remove any insects you see feasting on your plants. Prolonged infestation will damage your plant, sometimes irreparably. Many types of insects can be removed or controlled through non-chemical means. Simply washing your plant with a cloth dipped in a detergent solution ( teaspoon (2.5 ml) per 4 cups (950 ml) of water) can remove aphids, mites and other small insects from leaves.
- Larger insects, such as caterpillars or millipedes, can be removed by hand.
- You can occasionally spray the plants with neem oil (available at your local garden center) to kill off any insects and prevent further infestations of bugs like aphids, thrips, and whiteflies.
- Indoor insecticides may be used if you continue to have problems, but be very careful when doing so. Spray in an open, well-ventilated area, and make sure no pets have access to the plant, which could now harm them if they decide to have a taste.
QuestionHow many days can plants survive without water?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on the specific kind of plant, but they will likely start to wilt after several days and start to die after that.Thanks!
- Houseplants at nurseries will generally be labeled with their favored light, moisture, and temperature conditions. Examining these labels is the best way to match each plant up with a location in your home.
- If you are having trouble keeping a houseplant alive in a very inhospitable location, consider instead keeping an arrangement of cut flowers in that spot. This will allow you to enjoy the vibrancy of plant life without the trouble of caring for a plant long-term.
- Note that some types of houseplants will generally be more tolerant of inhospitable conditions (like temperature swings) than others. Cacti and succulents are 2 examples of very hardy, tolerant types of plants.
- If you have curious pets, avoid plants that could be poisonous to them, such as the peace lily, or keep them out of reach.
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