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Design Tips for Houseplants - Getting creative with plants indoors

There are many reasons to keep houseplants: to clean the air, to absorb carbon dioxide, to have someone to talk to who doesn’t interrupt. But with a pinch of creativity, a houseplant can also be an artistic masterpiece. Here are three easy ways to increase your plants’ decorative qualities:

Unusual Containers

  • Almost anything can be used as a container, even an old shoe. If you can’t drill a hole in the bottom for drainage, set a slightly smaller plastic pot inside. Or, put down an inch of gravel and pot the plant on top of it – but be very careful not to over water.
  • You can find a wealth of interesting containers in antique shops in the form of old serving dishes, teapots, vases, and bottles. 
  • Try planting a tall vase with a plant like ivy or pothos that will trail down the side. 
  • Train ivy or another climber around the handle of a rustic basket.
  • For particularly striking plants, opt for a plain container that won’t attract attention away from the plant. 

Plant Groupings

  • For an instant arrangement set two of the same plants on either side of a mirror or painting. 
  • Surround a large plant with several small ones with the same form. For example, a tall spiky dracaena flanked by several small snake plants.
  •  Buy several of the same style pot in contrasting colors. 
  • Buy the same style and color pot in different sizes.

Grouping Several Plants in One Container

  • You can’t go wrong with a cactus garden. Buy a shallow pot and plant three or more small cacti in it. Finish it off with a layer of colorful gravel on top. 
  • Group several plants in a basket. You can leave them in their pots and fill the space between with moss. Line the basket with plastic so the straw doesn’t rot. This is an easy decoration that can be changed seasonally. 
  • Plant several African violets or cyclamen in a large container. Mix two different flower colors.
  •  Disguise plants with ungainly stems by surrounding them with smaller plants.
  •  The best groupings have some sort of theme. Pick plants with similar color, form, texture, or shape.

There are as many ways to design with houseplants as there are people, so let your creative impulses run wild. Mix and match until you find a design you love, and then sit back and wait for the compliments to roll in.