Confession: I’ve never truly owned a houseplant. That is, until the last couple years, when, during my winter doldrums, I thirsted for a piece of the outdoors. I started noticing the trend of integrating houseplants and small indoor gardens into home décor. And after some research, I realized there are many plants that thrive indoors, and are even tough to kill (that's what has always stopped me: the fear of killing a poor, innocent houseplant).
Now I’m dipping my toe into the green and wonderful world of houseplant ownership and indoor gardening. A tiny AeroGarden grows in my kitchen, supplying herbs and flowering plants year-round. A succulent reaches upwards, resting on a window ledge. And a miniature palm I’ve nicknamed “Pete” adds a much-needed dose of nature to my desk.
(Brag your love of gardening with the Organic Life 2018 Wall Calendar, featuring gorgeous photographs, cooking tips and recipes, plus how to eat more—and waste less—of what's in season.)
I plan to purchase even more plants as winter approaches. As a rookie green thumb, I’ve relied on wisdom from plant-centric blogs, like Breegardens.com run by master gardener Bree Kauzlarich, who specializes in answering newbie questions about how to water, when to plant, and how to help your indoor garden thrive.
For indoor gardens, she recommends keeping plants or trees in the container they came in, with drainage holes in the bottom. "When re-potting, purchase the next plastic container size up, still with drainage holes, and look for soil specific for indoor plants. Then you can keep the plant in any type of container you like—baskets, salvage items, kitchen pots, urns, and more," says Kauzlarich. When it comes time to water, Kauzlarich advises, “Remove the plant from the pot and water in the sink, allowing the plant to drain completely before returning it to its pot or container. The plant should never be sitting in water." Add flat stones under the plant container in the pot just in case water leaks out.
Plants can be quite beneficial for those who deal with winter blues or just need a bit more nature in their surroundings. “Indoor plants clean the air, which is an added benefit, and add an organic and natural feel to any environment,” says Kauzlarich. “I enjoy having something to nurture, especially when my cactus blooms in midwinter.” (Here are 10 plants to grow if you're suffering from anxiety, stress, or depression.)
So, whether you’re an expert or a nervous newbie like myself, and whether you’re growing a cluster of houseplants or a full-fledged garden, there are many creative, inventive ways to bring pops of green into your home. Here are 12 inspirational ideas from Instagrammers who are doing just that.