Using Houseplants to Create an Indoor Landscape
The world we live in is rapidly changing. There's no doubt that the way and where we live are changing faster than ever. More people are moving to urban environments, taking up residence in apartments or townhomes. Our town centers are covered with asphalt and concrete, leaving little space for grass and plants.
Since the dawn of time, man has had a relationship with all living things that call our planet home. Plants are a big part of our environment, and just because people are migrating to our urban centers doesn't mean we have to sever our relationship with the plant community. There have never been more options for indoor plants that thrive in apartments, townhomes, or other indoor living quarters.
As anyone who has studied interior design will tell you, indoor environments are far more hospitable and welcoming with the addition of plants. Whether you live in a tiny home with only small plants, or you live in a large, open apartment with room for larger plants like the Fiddle Leaf Fig, plants should be included in your "indoor landscape."
A recent study published by the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that we more than 85% of our lives indoors, and technological developments allow us to remain connected to technology during that time. The study showed that the stress-reducing effects of simply repotting a houseplant positively affected the subject's autonomic nervous system. It's a long article, and in the essence of time, it may be easiest to take my word for it.
Health Benefits of Houseplants
Many studies are done every year on the benefits of indoor plants, and much has been written about the studies, so we'll briefly touch on a few of the benefits.
- Improved Indoor Air Quality: Many materials that make up our homes can cause indoor air pollution. Cleaning products, paint, and manufactured materials release gases that degrade indoor air. Plants help solve this by absorbing toxins in their natural process of taking carbon dioxide from the air and producing oxygen.
- Stress Reduction: Studies show that indoor plants improve focus, reduce feelings of depression, and reduce anxiety symptoms.
- Plants support cognitive health: researchers have found that people exposed to indoor plants recover faster from mental fatigue daily.
- Improved environmental wellness: Your environment dramatically impacts your overall health and wellness. Living in a healthy and peaceful environment allows you to recharge and wind down faster after a long stressful day.
The symbiotic relationship between plants and people
As many people who already care for houseplants know, plants rely on us for water, nutrients, and care. In turn, plants clean our air and make our living spaces more beautiful. If you think about it, that seems like a pretty square deal. Plants also give us hope.
Houseplants are constantly changing, and when properly cared for, they promise daily that things will get better, just like the blossoming of flowers or an unfurling new leaf.
Creating an Indoor Landscape
Now that we know why we should have houseplants in our homes, the question becomes: “How can I create an indoor landscape?”
Creating an indoor landscape is just like creating an outdoor garden. The basic principles are the same. Taller plants in the back, low colorful plants in the front, and medium height plants where? You guessed it in the middle of your design.
Houseplants naturally come from areas where lush jungles create the ecosystem in which these plants thrive. Indoor landscapes are limited by only the space's size and the amount of natural light available to the plants.
Many houseplants have adapted to low light as they grow on the floor of jungles where moisture and nutrient levels are high, but sunlight levels are low. Adapting to growing on the jungle floor makes these plants perfect as houseplants.
Many apartments that are built today have large windows, but these windows may not always face the optimal direction for capturing as much sunlight as needed for all houseplants.
Adversely if you live in an apartment that faces the south, you might get more than the optimal amount of sunlight. Too much sunlight can easily be fixed with a sheer curtain. This will stop the heat from the sunlight but still lets in enough light for the plants to grow.
Proper planning can deal with these conditions before filling your living space with plants.
Choosing the Ideal Houseplants for Your Space
Living in an apartment does not limit the number of houseplants you can have. Many houseplant growers have learned that more than one plant can be grown in a pot. If you have space for bigger pots, don't be afraid the plant more than one type of plant in the pot. This is no different than plants growing in colonies on the rainforest floor.
Below are a few timeless favorites when it comes to low-maintenance houseplants for your space.
Plants For Your Bathroom:
This is a fun houseplant. It's an epiphyte meaning it grows attached to other plants' branches and absorbs nutrients and moisture from the air. Our hanging fern can be soaked in the sink for a few minutes every so often. There is no actual soil in the wooden basket.
No houseplant collection is complete without at least one family member of this plant. Whether you choose the monstera deliciosa or one of its colorful cousins, you won't be let down by the beauty that is the Philodendron plant.
Enjoy your indoor landscape. Indoor Landscape is a four-season landscape that can offer you many hours of joy, inner peace, and good health.
Plants For Your Bedroom:
Peace Lilies have been a favorite houseplant for what seems like an eternity. These plants are an excellent way for beginner houseplant parents to start. Mainly because they tell you if they need water by wilting. Fear not; once water is given, they perk right back up. They also don't mind being overwatered, so it's a great plant to learn how to water with.
Ponytail palms are another plant that don't mind being dry. It stores water in the fleshy base of the plant. The fun curly swirls of foliage explode from a tree trunk making for the most unique addition to indoor spaces. They are a great option for a bedroom plant near a sunny window!
Plants For Basements and Low Lit Areas:
If you travel a lot, these are the perfect plant for you. ZZ Plants do well with little water. They seem to thrive because of it. They have a secret weapon that makes them the camel of the plant world. Underneath the soil is tubers resembling potatoes where the plant can store water for extended periods of drought.
Snake plants are an easy-to-grow option that can fall into both the small and medium height categories. They are very rewarding and available in various leaf colors and textures.
Plants For Your Living Room
Parlor Palms are also known as Neanthe Bella palms. They can adapt to low light conditions and thrive near windows with morning sun or late afternoon light.
Pothos plants are quite possibly the most rewarding of houseplants for new growers. It can handle just about any condition. The long winding stems can be wound around the window frame or allowed to hang down from shelves. Pothos makes a great hanging basket as well.
In the outdoor landscape, we use trees as focal points; no indoor tree has the same appeal more so than a ficus tree. The rubber tree types are perfect candidates for the middle of the indoor landscape. This group includes the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree, the weeping fig tree, and the colorful rubber tree types.
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