We’ve teamed up with inspirational Instagrammers and house plant experts, geo-fleur, to share their wisdon on how to successfully work plants into your interiors. Read on for founder, Sophie Lee’s, top tops on going green.
Tip 1: Rented properties can be green too
If you’re stuck with furniture you can’t change in a rental, house plants are one of the cheapest and easiest ways of changing the vibe of a room and making it feel more relaxed and more like a ‘lived in’ home. Foliage immediately ‘softens’ a space, the organic shapes of leaves breaking up strong lines of furniture and clinical room layouts. You’ll be surprised how much difference one plant can make. On the plus side too, plants are very easy to move around so can travel from flat to flat incredibly easily.
Tip 2: Tap into the #Plantgang trend
Research has proven that plants grouped together have a better growth rate. So, there’s a big trend now for arranging all your plants together for a plant party. You’ll find some incredible shots on Instagram – not just one or two plants on a window sill but 12 or 15 plants all stacked together so it creates real impact.
Tip 3: Experiment with different materials
Cement, terrazzo and unglazed stoneware are great materials for juxtaposing houseplants against. The earthy tones complement the variety of foliage, and give a lovely upgrade from plastic terracotta pots. Try adding a splash of colour with a neon coloured plant pot too as it will enhance the vibrancy of the green leaves of the plant. There is also a big trend on Instagram at the moment for obviously handmade ceramic plant pots, which is nice to have a combination of different plant pots, and then displayed together they will score big Instagram brownie points!
Tip 4: How to Check for a Healthy Plant
May seem pretty obvious but make sure to give a plant the once over before you buy! Strong healthy leaves, firm stem and no insects or pests anywhere on the plant. Remember to check on the underside of leaves and along the plant’s stem as many pests will hide or be camouflaged.
Tip 5: Create an urban jungle
Keep in mind there are plenty of durable houseplants out there other than succulents which have become the rage in recent years. Fishbone cactus and Spider plants are excellent for those who tend to forget to water and more sculptural plants like the banana palm, or the Monstera Deliciosa (the swiss cheese plant) can add real drama to a space. (With the cheese plant, be prepared to have a lot of new growth in about six months’ time, but don’t forget that Monstera Deliciosa like to be kept pot bound, so don’t repot it!)
Tip 6: Get the lighting right
A lot of our customers ask what are the best plants for a room with no natural light. The answer is none… all plants need natural light to grow. Some plants are great with little natural light, but there still has to be a window or sky light in the space for it to survive. Some plants that are great at surviving in low light conditions are:
• Sanseveria – snake plant – this one is practically indestructible, but I have known friends to kill them, from not watering them for 5 months at a time… but as long as they have light and a misting and some water in the bottom of their saucer of the plant pot, they would survive with that care as a treatment for once a month.
• Cacti are great statement plants for urban flats, as they will tolerate low levels of natural light and neglect.
• The Spider plant – they will thrive in a window with lots of humidity, such as in a bathroom or a kitchen.
Tip 7: Invest In Tools
If you’re going to invest in houseplants make sure to invest in some tools to help keep them in top condition and also do a bit of reading on how to care for them properly. A plant mister is a must, as you can easily water your plants by misting them and at the same time increase the humidity and reduce dust. Drip trays are great for watering your plants, as it allows the plants to soak up as much water as it needs, rather than drowning the plant from the top by pouring in water over the top of the leaves. These both help ensure that you don’t drown your plants which is the most common killer for indoor house plants. It’s a lengthy topic and differs from plant to plant, but you can find out how to properly water your plants on pages 124–127 of the geo-fleur book.
Tip 8: Green up your bookcase
If you haven’t got space to spread outwards, head upwards! You can create dramatic installations of house plants that give a ‘living wall’ effect with hanging plants and architectural foliage. It’s great to add hardy plants at the top of your bookcase, ideally so you don’t need to keep standing on a chair to water them! The best plant for the top of a shelf would be a Philodendron as it can be left for 10 days at a time without water, as long as it is getting good light. You can also add a water globe to hard to reach plants – as soil becomes dry it releases oxygen into the Water Globe which in turn releases the exact amount of water the plant needs. These self-plant watering bulbs are the perfect self-watering plant solution.
Tip 9: Bring out the baskets
For larger plants, don’t overlook the basketware and storage section! Woven basketware is ideal for disguising a large plant pot and base and can add a real design statement to a room as it emphasises the organic vibe from the plants. Sometimes it’s really tough to find the right size plant pot for your new statement plant, so a basket is a great idea, as you can put the plastic plant pot inside the basket. We love monochrome baskets, and something with a minimal pattern so the basket doesn’t take away the emphasis of the plant!
Tip 10: Start a family
Growing plants indoors (and outdoors) is such a satisfying experience. One of the best things about keeping plants is that you can easily propagate (breed or grow) your own from scratch by simply taking cuttings. The easiest plant to propagate is a Spider Plant – simply cut off the tiny baby plant from the offshoot and put in a glass of water and wait till roots form before planting in seedlings compost. Also, the Pilea produces a lot of off shoots, which can be propagated in water the same way as the Spider plant, which will create a jungle in no time!
Want to learn more plant-based tips? Pop into our Habitat Tottenham Court Road which will play host to geo-fleur’s new pop-up store, selling a range of weird and wonderful houseplants and planters curated by Habitat. Plant lovers (and killers) will be able to explore houseplants in depth throughout April and May 2018 with workshops being held at Habitat Tottenham Court Road. Plus, you can find more tips, inspiration and guides from Sophie Lee at habitat.co.uk/plants and on geo-fleur’s Instagram.
All images are taken from our Today’s Coolest Habitat’s shoot at Sophie Lee’s London pad. Take a peek >