It’s no secret we love adding plants to our indoor spaces. Every room in our apartment is full of everything from small cactus and succulents to hanging plants and indoor trees. We’re not exactly sure where our love for bringing the outdoors in began, but thinking back on it a bit, it most likely had something to do with our love for the 60s & 70s, along with vintage home decor. When looking back on old photos of our parents from the 70s, their homes were always full of potted and hanging plants (and a ton of macrame). They add character, purify the air, and bring so much positivity. We love the watering routine. Waking up in the morning and grabbing the watering can is usually the first thing we do when getting out of bed on the weekends, after getting the coffee brewing of course. One of us makes breakfast, while the other is making their way from room to room trying not to forget any plants. We have so many tucked away in each corner, on every shelf, even in the bathroom. Basically, the more plants, the better.
So, how do we take care of them? This is probably one of the most asked questions we get and fear not, we will share all we know about indoor plant care. We never really had green thumbs, but we picked up some tips and tricks along the way, learned what worked and also what really didn’t work and are pretty proud of some plant babies that have been with us for several years now.
So let’s dive in!
WHAT PLANTS ARE RIGHT FOR ME?
This is probably the first thing you should ask yourself when creating your own indoor jungle. Every plant is different and it may sound silly, but considering your lifestyle is the best way to choose which plants to bring in your home and how to hang/display them. We work from home most of the time and thankfully have a lot of natural light in our apartment. If you travel a lot or are gone for most of the day and don’t like keeping your curtains open, low light plants will be a better option for you. Here are a few of our favorite indoor plants that are relatively easy to take care of:
-String of pearls
-Fish hook/Banana plant
-Fiddle Leaf Fig trees
-Monstera Deliciosa/”Cottage Cheese Plant”
WHERE SHOULD I BUY MY PLANTS?
We are constantly finding new nurseries and plant shops in Phoenix. If you’re local, Berridge Nursery, Dig It, Camelback Flowershop, and The Bosque are some of our favorites that we definitely recommend. There are also some big box stores like IKEA, Home Depot, and Lowes, that have some great options. For bigger purchases like a Fiddle Leaf Fig or large cactus, we like to stick to some more of the local specialty nurseries. In our experience they last longer and continue to thrive more quickly, and you’re more likely to find something a little different and unique. That doesn’t mean that you won’t have luck at Home Depot for example, just our own experience with it. We do pick up succulents here and there at our local Home Depot and still have a ZZ plant from IKEA that is going strong with very little care.
HOW SHOULD I TAKE CARE OF MY PLANTS?
So this will be different for everyone, and especially dependent on the type of plants you have and where you live. In Arizona, the air is VERY dry, so our watering routine may seem a little different. Here’s what works for us…
Leafy Plants: All of the leafy plants in our home (Fiddle Leaf Fig, Philodendrons, Pothos, Snake plants, Fishhook/String of Bananas, Monstera, etc…) we water once a week like clock work. Once on Sunday morning and a little misting in-between during the week (to create a humid environment for them) has done the trick. If you see a plant getting a little droopy here or there, give it a good soak. We saw this happen with our Monstera Deliciosa/”Cottage Cheese Plant”, (which can be a little temperamental). We put it in our bathtub gave it a little shower and it perked right back up. Side note: We’ve noticed those plants in particular really don’t like to be moved often. They get used to where they are in your home and will react to a change in light and/or location.
Cactus: We keep an eye on these and just water them when the soil feels dry. This is usually every two to three weeks and probably one of the easiest ways to bring some greenery into your home.
Triangle shelf c/o DarkMarqueeDeigns on Etsy
Succulents: These were the most difficult for us to take care of, because we wanted to baby them, but we are getting better remembering not to over water them and just let them do their own thing with a bit of misting in between. We’ve read and heard all different opinions on this, but in our experience, the more we left the succulents alone, the better they did. They require adequate light, but not direct sunlight, so don’t put them too close to a window. If they look almost bleached in color, they’re getting too much sun. We keep our succulents (and small cactus) on a shelf opposite a window in our living room. So far, so good.
Ferns: We have a Staghorn Fern (pictured on the bench in the photo above), which is such a fun and unique looking plant with fuzzy leaves. We water it twice a week but if you live in a more humid climate or have your fern in the bathroom once a week should be alright. Ferns make perfect bathroom plants!
When purchasing new plants, we always like to repot them a week or so after bringing them home, just so they don’t get “shocked” in their new environment. This was something we started doing the last year with our plants, and it has made a huge difference. Thankfully, we haven’t had to replace one yet. After your plants get acquainted to their new home, take them outside to be repotted.
WHAT ARE SOME DIFFERENT WAYS TO DISPLAY PLANTS?
Macrame and beaded hangers, ceramic pots, baskets, the list goes on. We like to use a mix of terra-cotta pots and basket throughout our home. Baskets are an easy way to being a boho touch to any space. We’ve gotten lucky with finding great ones at thrift stores, even one for around $5 in Palm Springs on our last trip there. When using baskets be sure to pick up a plastic tray/floor guard. This will protect your baskets and floors from any damage when watering. Terra-cotta planters are always a nice classic go to, and can easily be found at any local nursery. We’re fans of the white washed look too, plus its a simple weekend project to do with friends. Some sites like CB2 and Crate and Barrel have some sleep solid ceramic pots, for a more modern look. A lot of online stores are also selling plant swings now, which a great way to add a variety of heights and create depth with your plant displays.
Below are a few of our favorite planters from around the web:
Last but not least, mix up the textures and sizes of your plants when creating your indoor jungle. Create a vignette that looks effortless, yet still cohesive with a nice flow. Mix a large floor plant with thicker leaves, a softer airy plant, and possibly something with a bit more structure like a snake plant. There’s really no right or wrong way to do it, as long as it brings you joy and don’t forget to sing to your plant babies!