How To Decorate With Houseplants

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Leslie Musser is the Boston-based creator of one brass fox—a creative lifestyle blog that dives down deep into everything from fashion to beauty. Today, she’s sharing helpful tips for keeping your houseplants green this season!

After two years of living in our space and not quite loving it, my husband and I took up the task of remodeling. Our condo—which is on the North Shore of Boston—is actually a renovated firehouse (fireman’s pole not included). So the style potential was there, we just needed time and determination to make it our own. And one of the finishing touches that turned out to be most rewarding was decorating with houseplants. The simple addition of greenery lent a warmth and vibrancy to each room. So, here’s a look at how we’ve gone about that process, where we’ve added those pops of color and how I’m caring for each.

Medium maintenance/indirect sunlight:

This devil’s ivy is so perfectly dramatic, but luckily it’s not overly demanding on needs. Keeping the soil damp and the indirect sunlight flowing ensures a healthy plant. We have it suspended on a jute macramé hanger in the corner of our bedroom. As the tendrils grow, I’m making internal bets on how long it takes the kitties to find their new favorite toy.

snake plant

Low maintenance/indirect sunlight:

A snake plant is like botanicals for dummies. It gets placed in indirect sunlight and the soil should dry completely between waterings. I’ve noticed this one, planted in a ceramic white pot, climbing a bit toward the sun and have grown to enjoy that tilted effect (although I’m not sure it’s technically a good thing).

potted cactus

Medium maintenance/direct sunlight:

Despite the notion that cacti are those ‘plants you can’t kill,’ they can actually be tricky to grow indoors. They need direct sunlight, but shouldn’t be allowed to burn. Their soil can be a mix of regular and cactus-specific, so I’ve been doing some trial-and-error experimentation in a few clay planters. So far, I’ve only needed to replace a few, but they ultimately add great texture to a space without taking up much room.

air plants

Medium maintenance/direct sunlight:

These air plants are some of the funkiest, yet elegant, additions to our dining area nook. They require kind of odd care and love direct, bright light. Every few weeks they should be ‘bathed’ in water with occasional spritzes in the interim. Despite their name, they do really need that water to live. Calendar reminders are the best way to remember this regimen.

painted white brick

High maintenance/direct sunlight:

This is the most high maintenance of the bunch. A gardenia requires constantly wet soil and spritzed leaves (Note: Don’t spray them in high sun hours, as that will actually cause the leaves to burn). The plant also drinks like there’s no tomorrow. So I’ve stuck it in a high-traffic spot of the house to make sure it gets lots of TLC.

hanging rattan chair

Low maintenance/indirect sunlight:

This split-leaf philodendron is best kept in bright, but indirect, sunlight with occasional watering. Because the top layer of soil should dry in between, I stick to a routine of watering this and the other low-maintenance plants once a week (Sunday has been the day of choice). Honestly, it’s in our dining room area now, but this has been a tough plant to place. I’m not sure it’s settled because I can’t stop changing my mind. But I’m sure we’ll find a solid spot soon.

fiddle leaf fig

Low maintenance/indirect sunlight:

The fiddle leaf fig is our little welcome plant. It’s set just inside our condo door for an immediate touch of green. Knowing they take a while to grow, we invested in a sweet stool to hold the circular planter. This takes moderate watering when the top inch of soil gets dry and loves indirect rays. So, setting it back from the windows in a brightly lit room does the trick. I’m really hoping this gets to be ginormous one day.

Author: Carrie Waller

Carrie is the writer, stylist and photographer behind Dream Green DIY, and also is the features editor for Glitter Guide. Follow along on Instagram!

  • Thank you for sharing! I bought a 4ft Fiddle Leaf Fig a few months ago and I am still struggling on where to keep it and how often to water. This article inspired me to add more plants to our home!

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