Indoor Plants: Greening Up the Joint
Nature is your friend when it comes to making your pad look stylish using indoor plants, says Rachel Tielens.
If there is one trend Gold Coasters have embraced it’s beautifying our homes. We have an endless thirst for lifestyle shows and luxe-for-less decorating ideas.
But if there’s one movement this City has taken to another level it’s going green. With a subtropical climate and quest for a healthy life-balance, many Gold Coasters are looking to include more greens and plant-based ingredients – not just in our diets, but in our homes as well.
Take any home styling magazine, renovation show or indeed social media stream and you will be inundated with scenes reflecting a veritable indoor jungle, with hanging plants, green walls, ferns and palms taking over every corner of our homes.
What professionals say
Lauren Lance, owner of Mermaid Beach’s iconic The Borrowed Nursery, agrees. “We’ve seen a real focus of adding an element of lush to people’s interiors, as plants are aesthetically amazing. In terms of cost it’s a fairly inexpensive way of adding a really nice feature piece to your interior. And of course the air purification indoor plants provide is important to people.”
Real plants bring life, literally, to a room and provide a unique and changing focal point, creating beautiful spaces that continue our quest for bringing the outdoors inside.
Indoor plants provide a host of health benefits including cleaner air, and a calming sanctuary within our homes. But what plants grow best where? How do we go from plant in a black plastic pot to majestic focal point in the room? And for those of us with no green-thumb gene, exactly how much care do they need?
Choosing Indoor Plants
Lauren says the challenge is actually not in growing and maintaining the plants, but in understanding the person who wants to grow the plant, as well as the space in which it will sit. “We’re about education. It’s about finding the right plant for the right person and the right space as well. We like to ask lots of questions, about the person themselves, the space in which they wish to put their plants, and what level of effort they want to or are able to put in.”
Most indoor plant failures are often the result of too much love, particularly over-watering. Lauren says people can be apprehensive because perhaps they’ve previously failed with plants that were not suitable for the environment or interior. They might have also required a level of care that was unachievable, but stresses understanding the light and water requirements of the plant are key to success. “We give advice to all our customers on how to care for their plants so they have a good understanding and confidence level.”
Lauren’s top tips:
- Be aware watering will vary through the seasons and understand that spring and summer will see plants in their growing phase, requiring more water, with air conditioning creating drier soils.
- Gold Coast winters are mild though many plants will still become dormant. Generally, you need less watering – if the soil down to your first knuckle is dry then the plant needs a drink. Each plant however requires individual advice as there are exceptions – ferns as
What is trending in 2019
Lauren says trends are less about plant choice, though these certainly have cycles of favour, and more about selection of vessel and the way in which plants are displayed. “Larger pots and urns we like to keep neutral, adding seasonal options of texture, while smaller pots can be more fashion-conscious, with pops of sage and mustard for example, reflecting current colour trends.”
Hanging planters remain popular, and for renters Lauren suggests thinking outside the square for ways in which to trail plants, using ladders and shelves to create options when screwing in hooks is not possible. “Hanging plants look great in a space as they add contrast and height but that’s not
Plant stands using interesting pots or baskets made from woven materials, give an earthy look, adding focus and height to a room without the use of hooks.
Practicality has to reign above all else and Lauren stresses this element needs to sit above aesthetics. She said people need to consider where the plant will sit, how will the space be used. Are there pets and children to consider? For example, a cactus might look great and would certainly make a statement, but probably isn’t the best choice for a bedroom. Best leave that one to the balcony.
“We like to focus on easily maintained plants and encourage people to look for interesting plant textures and colours which will fill up the space.”
Choosing and styling indoor plants is a great time to experiment with types of foliage, different scales and placement. “Pots and accessories are what will give your space that special look too, with looks and finishes, textures and colours to complement or contrast any space.”
Clusters of pots and palms of varying heights look great in corners. Succulents are perfect for areas such as coffee tables, bringing interest in texture and colour and shape.
The Borrowed Nursery’s focus is primarily on non-flowering plants. Gorgeous Monsteras, fiddle leaf figs, succulents and cacti sit alongside trailing plants, and rare plants with foliage range from blush pinks to deep purples, with textural elements galore.
But if you’re brave and want to try your hand at other types of indoor plants, then mix in pops of colour with cut flowers or classic beauties such as orchids and bonsais and advice on growing these can be found at specialised nurseries.
Lauren’s Top 3 Easy Plants
A stunning cycad with thick, glossy green leaves, often described as un-killable indoors. A great choice for time poor people and those who like to travel vas it only needs watering around once a month.
Loves: A well-lit spot away from direct sunlight, well-drained soil, and needs watering only when the potting mix begins to feel dry. Can be simply misted through winter. Wipe leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust.
A super-fast trailing plant which will grow almost anywhere. It can be grown either in a hanging pot or wound up a totem to become a floor-based plant. Its long cuttings can be snipped and placed in water to either become a vase feature or to propagate.
Loves: Any light, as long as there is sufficient water. Let the potting mix dry between watering.
Otherwise known as the Swiss cheese plant, which will provide a lush, leafy green focal point. It can spread a little, so Lauren suggests staking if you want the plant to be more controlled.
Loves: Brightly-lit or diffuse spots out of direct sunlight. Water when the soil is dry. Insert your index finger to the second knuckle – if it’s dry give your plant water, if moist then leave for a few days. Monsteras might require additional watering in the hot summers if your house gets stuffy through the daytime.