Houseplants of all shapes and sizes can brighten a room, help improve air quality and generally bring more life to indoor spaces. How you display houseplants — particularly if you’ve accumulated a lot of them — can have a big impact on whether your houseplant collection looks like an intentional part of your interior design or a haphazard jungle (which has a charm all its own). Take a look at these 10 ideas for potting, grouping and displaying your houseplants in ways that will bring new life to your overall room design.
1. Choose Placement Based on a Plant’s Personality
By “personality” I mean both its growth habit and light requirements. If you already have the houseplant, research whether it’s a sun lover or can tolerate darker areas before you scout for potential placements. Once you’ve identified areas with bright light (direct and indirect), medium light and low light, and the plants that thrive in each exposure, note each plant’s growth habit and size.
Position “trailers,” like pothos and string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus), on high shelves where they can spill down. Display desktop-size plants close to eye level, such as on a mantel or midlevel shelf, so they can be appreciated up close. Reserve larger structural plants, like fiddleleaf fig (Ficus lyrata) or a large-scale cactus, for areas like empty corners or the space behind the couch.
2. Group Smaller Pots
Give little containers more oomph by collecting them into a defined area, like on a bench, windowsill or plant rack. In this Brooklyn, New York, apartment, a collection of small to medium-size plants in mixed terra-cotta pots looks much more intentional marching along a bench by a sunny window than if the same potted plants were scattered around the living room. Plus, plants in groups are easier to water.
3. Use Repetition
Establish themes — all succulents, white pots, baskets or colorful containers — to bring the look of your potted plants together. This works well for grouped plant collections, like this arrangement in Austin, Texas, but can help integrate potted plants placed throughout the house.
4. Go Vertical
You don’t need to invest in a complicated planting system to create a vertical garden. A metal trellis attached to the wall can provide a place for hanging potted plants or for indoor vines to climb. In this loft in Barcelona, Spain, the architects added a metal trellis to the wall spanning floors and hung potted rhipsalis (Rhipsalis sp.) and staghorn fern (Platycerium sp.). As a result, the bare white wall has been transformed into a dynamic, leafy feature.
5. Hang a Plant “Chandelier”
Draw the eye upward with the addition of one standout houseplant suspended from the ceiling. Look for trailing varieties, like hoya, pothos, hearts entangled (Ceropegia woodii) or some varieties of rhipsalis that will hang down from the container. If you don’t have a bright spot with a skylight, position the hanging plant near a window.