Sun, Oct 30, 2022 6:00 AM
with Laura Tyser | Owner, Indoor Botanicals
Often people will impulse buy plants because they’re drawn to the look of them. But buying a plant isn’t just about picking the one you like the look of – it is best to do your research first to ensure you’re able to give your plants the environment and care they need to enable them to grow happy and healthy. If you feel nervous buying a houseplant because your last one died, it’s okay! Even experienced plant people lose plants occasionally.
Things to consider when buying a plant:
Children and pets
If you have a fur baby or a human baby in your life, you’ll want to check the toxicity of any potential plant before bringing it into your home. Some examples of poisonous houseplants if ingested are peace lily, snake plant, philodendrons and pothos. But there are many that are safe to bring into your home such as prayer plants, peperomia, parlour palms and fittonias.
Light is the vital ingredient needed for photosynthesis, without it, growth will be limited, slow or non-existent.
The type of light levels in your home will vary considerably. Observing how the sun moves around each room in your home will help decide what plant will thrive in that area. There is direct light, filtered/diffused light, bright indirect light, medium and low light.
Visualise where you will place your plant and bear in mind the size it will eventually grow. If you have high ceilings you may want to invest in a large specimen to make a statement, rather than buying lots of smaller plants. Do you have hanging space? Room for a cabinet or shelving?
How much time you are willing to dedicate to your plants will help decipher which plant best suits you. Grouping plants together with similar care requirements can not only look great but saves time when watering. Trying to buy a plant that matches your commitment level will help you.
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to styling your plants. Everyone has their own personal style.
Take inspiration from your room colour. It’s a way to pull a room scheme together. Think of a plant as you would a cushion, by mixing prints and patterns together in similar tones or colours.
When grouping together, go for odd numbers – threes or fives, etc. Grouping gives a greater impact, appears more balanced and draws your eye towards them when you enter the room. Mixing textures, colours, shapes, and heights add visual interest, creating levels using various methods. What can look like a rather ordinary plant on its own, comes to life when grouped with other various houseplants. You could, for example, group plants by variety (calatheas, peperomias or ferns), light requirement (low light or bright light) or colour (clustering your pinks and purples together, using texture for contrast).
Think of your plants like artwork. Have fun playing around with different looks until you’re happy.