Those leafy green conversations are most apt to imbue your home with some plant positivity.
Been working on your home forever and still feel like it’s missing a little something? Turns out, there’s a single ingredient that can make any room (yes, including your bathroom) come to life. Case in point: The humble houseplant. We let city experts school us on how to invite the refreshing trend indoors.
Mona Fernandes, the head gardener and founder of Pretty Patio says, “Lush green foliage is an accessory that looks good, boosts your mood, purifies the air and cleanses your living space. Indoor plants have been around for a really long time — almost 3,000 years ago, the Egyptians and Greeks potted medicinal, nutritional plants and even decorative plants in terracotta planters. The older generation had the time, knowledge and space to tend to them, but now the same indoor plants are proving popular with a younger, cooler crowd who are aware of its benefits.”
“While succulents and ornamental plants are easy to maintain, air purifying plants like areca palm, peace lily, snake plants, dracaenas, syngonium and money plants are the most opted variety,” says Raji Krishna of Bengaluru-based Zilpakala that specialises in terrariums and garden accessories that add colour to the greens. “With an added benefit of breathing less toxic air, put them in recycled containers like plastic bottles or glass bottles, coconut shells or drift wood pieces,” says the avid gardener. If you are feeling inspired, “Add larger tropical varieties such as hurricane plants and variegated snake plants. Succulents not only add positive energies, but also add a pop of colour to your space,” adds Mona, who is popularly sought out in the city for creating lush landscapes in urban spaces.
Nurturing nature: Caring for your plants
Most indoor plants don’t need a lot of light and do well with filtered sunlight. As a general rule, when watering, do it in the shower, sink or outdoors — drench the plant to make sure it’s fully damp, then allow to dry out in between watering. Another Bengalurean, Vrinda Keshav suggests that the light within the house is an important factor to consider while bringing home a plant. “For less lit areas, consider philodendrons with heart-shaped leaves that come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and start at as less as `75. The ZZ plant and mother-in-law’s tongue are others to consider. Medium lighting calls for plants like ficus and bottle gardens like terrariums which are now being grown in attractive geometric shapes. With homes now designed with sky lighting, outdoor plants can be grown indoors too,” says the founder of Mudfingers.
Style ‘em right
The top ways to decorate this season include pairing luscious plants with neutral accents — i.e. with metallic wall mirrors, white ceramic ornaments and light-coloured furniture. Using bold floor plants with height such as the fiddle-leaf figs brings in wows by adding a sculptural element to the room. Add a patterned area rug, sheer curtains and a metallic coffee table to complete the look. Pale pinks (cushions or wall paper) with cacti is getting some digs too.
Put plants like string of pearls — a creeping succulent in hanging baskets by the windowsill to invite a soft charm. With many wanting to add colour to their homes, Mayukhini Pande suggests adding anthuriams. “They are the only flowering plants that can grow indoors, and come in striking colours such as reds or purples,” says the co-founder at Bengaluru-based Greenopia, which specialises in app-assisted self-watering pots for plants. “Indian audiences should remember that, if the plants are dramatic, the planters should be toned down and if your plant is humdrum, the planter should be more vibrant. You can also use large plants as feature pieces, and different kinds of bamboos in water around the house as well,” she says.