You only need to check out Instagram to know how popular houseplants are at the moment. Normally photographed on a white minimalist background, over the course of the hour taken to research this article over 100 new posts were uploaded under the hashtag houseplants (at the time of writing there were 1,017,974 photos). There are so many ways to introduce houseplants into your home, from larger species waiting to cover messy corners to intricate shelf fillers, you are bound to find something you love. As well as acting as beautiful room decor, there are many other health benefits that you may not have heard of. So, sit back and relax, with a fresh Pinterest Board ready to be filled, and brace yourself for all the plant inspiration you could ever dream of.
Since a famous study by NASA in the 1980s, there has been much talk about, and further research into, the many health benefits of having plants in the home. Whilst the list is extensive, although not always conclusive, here are a few of the headlines:
According to the Royal Horticultural Society, 4 million people die each year due to air pollution inside the home, with contaminates causing Sick House Syndrome (which can contribute to symptoms such as eye, nose and throat irritation; headaches; and chest tightness). Indoor air pollution can also increase the risk for some illnesses, such as strokes and lung cancer.
Air quality is worse during winter when windows are closed and there is less ventilation, so if you don’t know what to ask for this Christmas, maybe houseplants should be at the top of your list.
Plants can also help to boost your mood. From reducing stress, anxiety and depression to increasing calmness and optimism, fill your bedroom with them to create a zen space to escape to when life gets stressful. And, if you can convince your boss, add some greenery to the office, with plants being proven to increase memory retention, creativity and productivity.
Whilst the world of shrubbery might seem overwhelming, here are a few to get you started:
Peace Lily; With little need for water and light, they are super easy to look after and super effective at cleansing the air. However, they can be mildly toxic to humans and pets so keep out of harms way.
Lady Palm; Growing up to 6ft tall (so fab for filling awkward corners) this plant can tolerate a wide range of environments (low light, high water, a wide range of temperatures) so is perfect for all parts of the house.
Devil’s Ivy; Great for those of you who are lusting after the rope plant hangers taking over your Pinterest account, this plant is easy to care for, provided you have moist, peaty soil to hand.
And if you want more variety, here are some further suggestions from the RHS:
- Madagascar Dragon Tree
- Rubber Plant
- Spider Plant
- Flat Palm
So, you were so convinced that you needed plants in your house that you bought out the local plant shop and now don’t know what to do with them all. Luckily Pinterest and Instagram are your best friends in these situations, but here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Terrariums are a really cute way to display teeny, easy-to-care-for plants, with stylist Selina Lake recommending them to beginners. You can buy the holders online or make the holder from scratch, perfect for a DIY afternoon with the kids. If, however, you don’t have the time to spare, you can buy them ready filled. Terrariums are so versatile, with smaller ones being great shelf fillers and larger ones with lights perfect alternatives to bedside lamps.
The epitome of the Instagram houseplant aesthetic, succulents have become a bit of a craze these past few years. Ridiculously hard to kill, they are beautiful finishing touches to any home. There are many planters on the market, such as on-trend concrete ones which you can make yourself, to wall displays for those of you with little space.
Along with more traditional styles, there are loads of unique ideas floating around the internet for how to display larger plants. From teapots to hanging Macramé plant hangers (hang them from curtain poles if you’re renting), there’s something for everyone. If you are a keen cook, kill two birds with one stone and create your own herb garden indoors, either by adding magnets to light plant pots so you can put them on your fridge, or buy a wall pole and some handled pots to place them on your wall. This way, you don’t have to sacrifice space to experience the joy of growing your own ingredients.
Larger plants can cover up a multitude of sins. Whether it’s your hoover in the corner of your living room or an ugly bookshelf, they are a fab way to make a room look more put together. Crawling plants, such as ivy and the spider plant (every student’s favourite), are great to place high up and hang over the shelves below. To fill an empty corner or cover the family’s unofficial dumping area, look no further than the cheese plant.
Now go out into the world with your new-found plant knowledge and bring the outdoors into your home. Of course, if you go overboard on the plant buying and need to make space for your new friends, be sure to put anything you no longer have space for into storage.