On The Calendar: Houseplant Appreciation Day
Yesterday was January 10th, which is Houseplant Appreciation Day, and to celebrate, we are rounding up some of the best ways to use houseplants in each room of your home and which houseplants we love the most.
In the kitchen, we suggest having herbs. Using fresh ingredients from an indoor herb garden will bring your cooking to a whole new level. Plants like mint, cilantro, basil, thyme, and parsley are staples in most homes anyway. Why not grow your own and save yourself a trip or two to the store?
There is no one right way to make your indoor herb garden. We love the idea of one large container garden in your kitchen window. Just take a low, wide pot and plant the herbs you use most in different sections. But don't forget to label; containers can start to look like a jungle quickly!
Another idea we love is to have herbs stacked in seperate containers hanging down a wall or in front of a tall window.
If your idea of home-cooking is pouring cereal, you coud also consider having succulents in your kitchen. They are such low-maintenance plants that even someone with a gray thumb can keep them alive.
Plant them in teacups or tea tins to really add a unique look to your kitchen. You can even buy magnetic planters to keep your succulents on the refrigerator.
Or make your own with old wine corks and this tutorial!
The bathroom is a tricky place for houseplants. On the one hand, it's a place that's not easy to forget. On the other, we'd kind of like to. Bathrooms with lots of natural light are perfect for houseplants that are humidity-loving and can stand fluctuating temperatures. However, if your bathroom has absolutely no natural light (as many don't), there are so many low-light plants that will add ambiance to your bathroom.
The ZZ Plant is one of our absolute favorites. We have two in our office, and it's a signature of our company to always gift our clients with one when we've finished a project. They're extremely low maintenance and so incredibly visually interesting. The ZZ Plant thrives in both high- and low-light, but it does grow toward the light, so you might want to rotate it if you notice it's getting off-balance. You don't have to water them often, so in a bathroom, they might just live off of the moisture in the air most of the time. Just feel the soil to be sure that its not dry to the touch. Then only a little water is necessary to keep them alive.
The Lucky Bamboo is another easy-to-care-for plant. While it does require plenty of sunlight, you must avoid placing it in direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves. The Lucky Bamboo requires a little more effort if you're planning on shaping it into the fun designs you often see, but the basics can be found here.
Orchids are a favorite in the bathroom for several reasons. First, they bring SO much interst to the room. If your bathroom is a clean white, a colorful Orchid can bring vibrancy into the room. Second, they LOVE the humidity. Seriously. Being such a tropical plant, humidity can only help an Orchid. What can hurt an Orchid, however, is a densely-packed root system. Plant your Orchid in loose mulch or even small stones. The roots need to breathe to thrive, so you want to be sure that there's plenty of room for oxygen to get through. Watering your Orchids is super simple. Just let the soil dry out slightly between waterings. That means you CAN let this one get dry, then water it until the soil is damp again, and repeat! See? Super simple. But if you need more information you can find it here.
The Heartleaf Philodendron is another low-light lover. With several different colorful varieties, this beautiful vine can be trained to climb a trellis if you'd like. Only water it when the soil is dry to the touch. While the Philodendron thrives in low light, it does grow quite well in high light. Find all you need to know here.
Lavender is an obvoius choice for the bedroom. The flower's scent is known for its soothing qualities and the dried herb can be used a number of ways. Truly, you could also incorporate this one in the kitchen. However, this is my TOP pick for the bedroom, but the maintenance is a little tricky. First, it needs direct sunlight, which means keep it next to an uncovered window. Also, flowing fresh air is a must, so you'll need to open that window on a regular basis. As for watering, the soil should be dry to the touch most of the time, so water it pretty sparingly.
Jasmine is another flower with a soothing fragrance. It's best to keep the Jasmine in a south- or east-facing room, so that it gets maximum sunlight year round. Since this is a tropical plant, make sure the soil stays damp, but not soaked. Learn more about taking care of a Jasmine plant here.
The Gardenia is yet another plant with a relaxing scent. The Gardenia, however, is a bit finicky. They do not like to be moved once they are indoors, so make sure that the place you've picked out for it has plenty of natural (but not direct) light and a consistent temperature. Gardenias also require a humid environment (making them another great pick for the bathroom), which is why they are so common here in the South. Like the Jasmine, make sure that the soil is damp, but not soggy. Learn more here.
For the living room, you can literally use any of the above plants, but if you want something that will help cleanse the air, there are so many options to choose from.
The Aloe Plant is SUCH a popular houseplant for a number of reasons. First, there are so many medical uses for the gel found in the Aloe leaves, such as sunburn relief and even clearing your skin! Second, when the air in your home becomes too polluted with chemicals (such as cleaning solutions), the edges of the leaves will turn brown. The Aloe plant wants full sun exposure and requires a strange watering pattern: water the plant well, but allow enough time between waterings so that the soil is dry for the first inch or two. Basically, this is the perfect plant for the forgetful gardener.
Alright, so the Peace Lily isn't technically a lily, but we'll forgive them because they're so forgiving of their caretakers. It's truly one of those plants that's nearly impossible to kill (though I will admit I've done it). It's also infamous for it's air-cleansing abilities. If you're not sure if your Peace Lily needs watering, just look at it: the leaves will droop like a sad puppy's ears. As far as sunlight goes, a Peace Lily likes pretty indirect sunlight. Keep it a few feet away from the windows and it should stay pretty healthy.
The Spider Plant is another near-impossible-to-kill plant. They require plenty of indirect light and consistently damp soil. Again, don't drown it or it will cause the roots to rot. Some people encourage you not to use chlorinated water (most tap water contains traces of chlorine and flouride) as it can turn the white edges brown. Instead, some say, use distilled water to feed your Spider Plant.
Some of us (myself included) can follow the correct watering schedule, place the plant perfectly in the house, and so everything right but still the plant dies. Well, here's a SUPER handy chart to help all of us figure out what exacly it is we're doing wrong.
We hope you've enjoyed this post and we hope you'll incorporate some of these into your own home! We know we will. Let us know what types of plants you like to use in your own homes. Better yet, send us pictures!