Houseplants are more than beautiful additions to our homes. Having greenery around makes us feel better, in much the same way that spending time in nature reduces stress and anxiety and lifts our spirits.
It’s easy to bring the outdoors in, and create a relaxing, serene space, when you decorate with plants. Get started with these ideas:
Offices are usually hectic, busy workplaces, so choose plants that are easy-to-grow and undemanding. A cheerful spider plant will live happily on your desk; so will a philodendron or golden pothos with heart-shaped leaves. Peace lilies thrive under fluorescents and often reward you with blooms. For a touch of Zen, use a trio of succulents or other small plants in simple planters.
Turn a living area into a restful sanctuary with a ficus, weeping fig, or fern. Add baskets or containers of ivy, pothos, Rex begonias, dracaneas, or sansevierias to help enclose the space, especially if the room feels big and empty. Green complements many soothing colors, including brown, tan, cream, yellow, beige, and dusky pink. Don’t worry if you think you have a brown thumb; there are lots of “can’t-fail” houseplants to grow.
Turn a bath into a spa-like retreat with large leaves cut from a palm or grow an exotic orchid. Many orchids are surprisingly care-free and thrive in the humidity provided by sinks and showers. Phalaenopsis orchids are especially graceful looking, with moth-shaped blooms held on long, arching stems. Bonus: some will stay in bloom for months.
For best results, think about the growing conditions in each room before you choose your plants. Does it have a brightly lit window, or will you need a plant that can thrive in low light? Try to avoid putting your plants near heat vents or air ducts, so drafts won’t be a problem. If your houseplants will live in a bathroom or kitchen, they’ll probably get sufficient humidity. Otherwise, you may want to use a spray bottle to mist them occasionally, or group them together and put them on top of some pebbles in a tray filled with a little water (don’t let the pots sit in the water, to help avoid root rot). Remember that many plants grow more slowly in the winter, so you may need to cut back on watering, and stop fertilizing, until you see signs of new growth.
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