Picking the Perfect Houseplant



Okay, I feel like I need a full disclosure here. If you don't already know... I am a crazy plant lady. While some may collect their shoes, stamps, or cats... I collect house plants. I read library books on how to take care of them. I have a moisture meter, sprays and oils, fertilizer... and an instagram account to keep track of my researched care tips. And I mist them all with a spray bottle several times a day. I don't just buy a new plant and throw it wherever, though. I choose carefully, so that the plants compliment my decor. I use a variety of hangers, vases, pots, and stands to create levels, texture, and collections with different objects. I make sure the plant that I choose can handle the level of light in the place I want to put it. When I'm choosing plants for staging a client's home, I even get so picky as to choose the right shade of colour in the foliage. I'm gonna tell you all about my favourite plant picks today!


Peperomias

I love the peperomia species. There are tons of different varieties, but they are all super easy to care for and don't mind being neglected. There are so many varieties of colour and texture too. My all-time favourite is the variagated peperomia obtusifolia. I bought my first one as a tiny two-leaf plant about 7 or 8 years ago. It now occupies a very large ceramic pot on my entertainment stand, and some of the stalks are thicker than my thumb. It's got thick fleshy leaves that have a light green/yellow/white outer edge and a darker green inner pattern. They like bright indirect light and because they store so much water in their fleshy stalks and foliage, you don't have to water them until the soil is dry. They're super cute when they are small to use in tiny pots as decor accents and really easy to propagate as they grow. Because of the marbled pattern and the thick leaves, they are great for adding texture to a space and compliment a variety of colour schemes. They are strong and dominant in a space, so they will take up a lot of visual impact. For larger plants, I leave them as a standalone statement. I also love the ruby cascade peperomia. It's a cute little hanging plant that has almost heart shaped green leaves with a reddish backside. It'll grow long and trailing, or you can cut it back to keep it small and dainty. These plants look really cute in pink pots and seem to have a feminine flair to them. Fantastic for whimsical style. They do well in combined pots, too. I've got one that is long and trailing, nestled in the same pot as English Ivy and a spider plant.

Pothos

The ultimate vine plant. If you see photos of plants climbing up walls or making their way across ceilings, it's probably a type of pothos. I once had one of these plants embed itself into a plaster wall... and when it was pulled away, it actually left little holes in the wall. These plants come in all sorts of variety, making them really great for decorating. My personal faves are the pearl and jade or marble queen varieties, because I love the combination of white and green in these plants. When the plants are smaller, they creep slightly out of their pots and you can let the vines just rest on whatever surface they are placed. When they grow long, hang them up and let them dangle. They tolerate low light well, so I find them ideal for spaces that don't get as much light. I also love putting them in places where you need to fill some vertical space - like hanging off a high shelf. They always seem to look lush and healthy, which infuses LIFE into your home.

(image courtesy of Bless This Nest https://www.blessthisnestblog.com/)


Calatheas or Marantas

(Image courtesy of https://www.thejoyofplants.co.uk/calathea)

These guys are a little more tempermental than the other plants I've talked about, because they LOVE humidity and don't like their soil too dry OR too wet. If you're local to Vancouver Island, where I am, you probably won't have an issue with this. Our climate is FABULOUS for tropical plants. (in fact, most of us probably need to use a DE-humidifer in the winter time to prevent moisture from damaging our homes... but that's another topic) These plants look like a piece of art all on their own. Their leaves look like they have been hand painted a variety of colours. They like bright light, but don't need to be right in front of a window. I love making these plants stand-alone pieces, because they're so pretty. I keep the pot a solid colour to compliment the decor of the room, and let the plant's foliage be the texture and art the space demands. My two personal favs are the Peacock Plant (which stands tall and has large leaves that move around throughout the day) and the maranta, (which has a gorgeous magenta colour to the backside of the leaves.) They are really great for dramatic, moody colour schemes too. The contrast of the patterned leaves against a bold emerald green or deep blue add a strong flaiiiiir.


Sparkle Pilea

I don't particularly like pileas, but this one is a gem. It's a tiny, delicate, vine-like pilea that has a blue tinge to it's cute little round leaves. It's so light and delicate that you don't want to move it around a lot, for fear of it throwing it's sparkles all over the floor, but once you have it in the perfect spot, it will make people wonder if it's real. It's a low-profile plant that compliments decor without overpowering the space. The blue tinge to the leaves makes it fabulous for any cool colour palette. I've got one in a little textured beige pot, sitting on a rustic duck-egg blue stool, trailing to the floor. The contrast between this delicate plant and the rough stool it sits on makes it stand out a little more. This plant seems to do well in both bright and low light, making it a great little plant for a bright bathroom, or to sit on a shelf away from a window. The little leaves would burn in direct sun. I've seen these little guys in cute planters that look like faces, so the sparkle is the hair. They're also really cute up on a high shelf in a nursery, because they are so delicate and child-like.


Monstera

Nothing quite says tropcial like the giant leaves of a mature monstera deliciosa. These are trendy plants and for good reason. They're nearly impossible to kill, can tolerate all kinds of lighting, and grow like crazy in humid places. You can propagate them by simply cutting the stalk (ensuring there is a node) and sticking it in water to grow some roots.. or go ahead and stick it straight into soil, so when yours is getting a bit unruly, VOILA - you have a great gift to give someone. I like to put mine in really tall, narrow, floor pots. This gives the roots more support and encourages the plant to stand up tall rather than spread out and fall all over the ground. Using a moss pole or a couple bamboo supports also helps. These can take up a lot of space if you let them grow big, which is fabulous if you have the space to fill. They look great in boho-inspired design, often pairing really well with rattan and natural woven decor.


Whether you choose to have MANY houseplants, or just a few strategically placed in your home... they are a MUST in my opinion. They infuse life into your space, providing a freshness that other decor just can't. A dull cold space can be livened up and feel more welcoming with just one plant.



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