Interiorscaping – the practice of decorating your home or workplace with indoor plants – has many proven benefits to your home, your mood, and your physical and mental well-being.
It’s trendy, it’s healthy, and it’s fun, but despite the inherent positive outcomes of creating an indoor garden, many people aren’t sure where to start – or why they should bother.
A Beginners Guide to Interiorscaping
Remember: indoor plants are extremely easy to maintain if you make it easy for yourself. However, if you buy more plants than you have time to take care of, or if you don’t properly research which types of plants are best suited to your home/office, you might be biting off more than you can chew!
If you’re sold on interiorscaping and you’re thinking of picking up some plants on the way home, we’ve got some tips for you to consider
- Start small and start easy. Keeping a houseplant alive doesn’t always require an extensive green thumb. Some plants are easier than others. Succulents, for example, require almost no water. Conversely, peace lilies can usually survive even the most negligent overwatering.
- Choose your plants carefully. If you know that you’re the type to regularly forget to water your plant, try to buy a plant that doesn’t need as much water. If you like low light, make sure you get a plant that thrives in the dark. Buy plants that like to live the same way you do.
- Know the sun/shade requirements for each plant and place them accordingly. South-facing windows are sunny; north-facing windows are shady. Similarly, if you live in a basement suite, you might get almost no sun, but if you live in a 15th floor apartment, you might get plenty. So, if you have a gigantic, south-facing kitchen window, fill it with sun-loving plants like yucca and jade. If you have an empty shelf in your windowless bathroom, only use plants that can survive without sun, like dracaena.
- Consider if the potential function of each plant. That might sound silly; after all, sometimes the function of a plant is just to exist. And if that’s the plant’s purpose for you, that’s fine! However, as stated above, some plants can help you sleep better at night. Other plants – especially fragrant ones, for example – may be appropriate for the bathroom. Edible plants should obviously be near the kitchen.
- Use indoor potting soil. Indoor potting soil is lighter and contains nutrients that a plant would otherwise struggle to find indoors.
- Make sure your potted plants can drain properly. If you overwater your plants (which happens to the best of us, from time to time!), the excess water needs to go somewhere. Water that remains in the pot can turn the soil moldy or kill the plant. Ensure your pot has drainage holes in the bottom, and consider putting 1-4 inches of loose rock or packing peanuts at the bottom of the pot with a layer of filter fabric overtop, which will allow water drain freely into your tray.
- When possible, purchase your plants from a nursery, not a store. Not only is a nursery more likely to have a broader variety of rare and unusual plants, they’re more likely to be better quality. Though plants purchased from big box/department stores may be cheaper, there’s a higher likelihood that they’ll grow poorly or erratically, or be unsuitable for the local climate because they were shipped wholesale from somewhere far away.
Easy Plants to Start With
Here are a few plants that are well suited to indoor life:
- Boston fern
- Succulents & cacti
- Split-leaf philodendron
- Fiddle leaf fig
- Flamingo lily
- English Ivy
- Boston Ivy
The Unprecedented Popularity of Interiorscaping
Interiorscaping has enjoyed a massive surge in popularity in recent years. Many, many people – varying from novice home gardeners to seasoned interior designers – seem to be flocking to local stores and nurseries to find ways to improve their indoor landscape.
Though the practice of bringing plants inside has always been around, why has it recently become so universally trendy? Why has maintaining a home garden – a task that once resembled a chore to most people – become a relaxing hobby for so many? And why does the mental and emotional well-being of many people seem to hinge on whether or not their apartment can successfully house indoor plant life?
For many people, being outside in nature can bring forth a sense of calmness and tranquility. If that’s true for you, then the answer to the questions listed above is simple: interiorscaping has become popular because people have realized the importance of bringing the outdoors inside in order to create their own personal sanctuary.
In other words: indoor gardens can function as an infinitely-customizable haven that takes care of you if you take care of it.
More Benefits of Interiorscaping
As if that isn’t enough, there are many more benefits to surrounding yourself with indoor plants:
- Indoor plants are biological air filters! Aside from their oxygen output, plants can remove more harmful gases and toxins from the air in your home or office, including carbon dioxide, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and ammonia.
- While most plants go dormant after sunset and stop releasing oxygen, some others (like orchids and succulents) can actually release oxygen even at night, which can help improve sleep quality if they’re in your bedroom.
- Studies have shown that indoor plants can help reduce stress and increase concentration, productivity, and creativity.
- Plants can help improve your overall mood and make you happier.
- When carefully researched, indoor plants are inexpensive and low maintenance, requiring little water and only occasional pruning.
- Plants make great decorations and help improve your home aesthetics to your preferred taste! When your home or office looks good, you feel good.
“My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from my plant’s point of view.” –H. Fred Ale
If you want to start an indoor garden but still aren’t certain how best to begin, just bite the bullet! The best thing to do is to just choose a plant or two and give it your best shot. If you’re unable to keep your plant happy, simply give it to a friend who can give it a better home. If you love it, get some more!
The benefits of having your own indoor plant sanctuary are massive, and it can give you a more positive outlook, decrease your stress, and improve your mood. So why not at least give it a try?