Plants are an essential part of your home décor. They add life, freshness, layers, structure, and elegance. And in case you haven’t heard, plants are good for you. Plants freshen the air we breathe, support mental health, increase productivity and promote happiness.
This week we were thrilled to partner with Jkath Design Build + Reinvent in styling and staging plants in their latest project - the total renovation and reinvention of an earlier part of the 20th century Tudor home in the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood of St. Paul. Stunning is the only way to describe the timeless and comfortable nature of each impeccable design detail that gives nod to the original architecture of the era.
We watched on Instagram stories as the final details came together (follow @jkath_designbuild) and then it was our turn to add the plantie details. Not only will these plants help sell this home, but they will add value for prospective buyers. And guess what new homeowners? These plants are yours to enjoy for years to come!
Choosing plants for a home is not only about what is popular, but also about the aesthetic of the home. This home called for classic plants with clean lines and shades of green. Greens against crisp whites and cream tell the story of ease, joy and abundance in everyday living.
The Goodrich home offers lots of natural light which is a plant parents dream come true. Some of us (me) have been known to cut down over-grown trees and shrubs that obscure natural light in our living spaces just so our indoor plants can thrive.
Fiddle Leaf Fig
Start with the Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata). Open any home design magazine, home furnishings catalog and it’s there. Expected? Yes! Necessary? Yes!
This specific specimen is about 5 feet tall and growing in a 14” pot. FLFs lend themselves to life in a basket because of the structure they offer. A basket softens the harsh, chunky lines and gives the eye a place to rest. Plus, large plants are heavy, and baskets are light. Simply place a plastic saucer inside your basket then “drop-in” your plant friend. It’s okay to leave your plants in the grower pot as long as they are thriving, structurally sound, and taking up water.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Care
Fiddle leaf figs lust for bright light. Bright light is the cat basking in the sunshine place. Usually a South or West facing window. You can get away with Eastern exposure if the windows are large and there are no obstructions from surrounding buildings, or excessive tree cover.
Fiddle leaf figs require an even watering schedule. Water every 7 – 10 days – about 1 liter at a time (that’s a wine bottle plus a little more).
An aside about watering
Frequency of watering will depend on light levels, the size of your plant and time of year. More water is needed when your plant is getting more light, is larger, and is actively growing during the spring and summer months. Less water is required with lower light, smaller plants and dormancy – late fall into winter. More frequent watering is required with smaller plants that live in smaller pots because they dry out more quickly. Larger plants live in larger pots and can hold more water, drying out at a slower pace. We are here for all your indoor plant watering queries!
Pothos Silver Satin (Scindapsus pictus) has my heart. One of the easiest plants to care for and it always looks good. It woke up that way! Perky, heart shaped leaves with hues of greens and blues and silver grow quickly, trail, and are easily propagated. This one sits perfectly on its custom-built radiator cover. The swirl of creamy white in this terra cotta pot speaks to simple nature of this plant, and inexpensive too – less than $15.00 for the pot and saucer pair. We choose to plant this one directly in the container because the pot was the perfect size and it has a drain hole. Bonus is that there is a matching saucer -not easy to find. The benefits of terra cotta are good drainage and air exchange because the material is porous and extra water is wicked away. Careful on important surfaces. Add a felt pad or cork matt for extra surface protection.
Pothos enjoy low light up to bright, indirect light. This one does need to see the sky for ultimate thriviness, but will tolerate a dimly lit room or office space. Your watering schedule will depend on the size of your plant. 4” plants will need to be watered once per week, 6” maybe every 10 days and 10” plants less often than that. Again, depends on your light situation and the time of year. Take these plant babies to the sink to water. Water thoroughly, until water drains out the drain holes of your decorative container or the grower pot if you decide to go the “drop-in” route. As you learn the watering needs of your plant, you will learn to feel the weight of the pot when it is dry/ready to be watered or wet/watered thoroughly. Cut back the tendrils of your pothos if it gets unruly or gangly and for general shapeliness.
Victorian Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium spp.)
The most elegant and easy going of all the ferns. These are available in 4”, 6” and 10” pots for a wide range of styling options. A fern sitting floor-side to this cozy reading chair lends itself to a immediate plant-person friendship. All you need to do is add water and fertilizer once in a while. Bird’s nest ferns tell a classic story of elegance, grace and tolerance. The green of this fern and the black of the basket offer a striking contrast to the classic lines of this room and an amazing silhouette against a new neutral – navy blue. Think back to the Fiddle Leaf Fig above, an instant companion in a high-low vignette. Don’t be afraid to move your plants around. Try them in combination with others to tell a story that adds interest and layers to your everyday spaces.
Bird’s Nest Fern Care
See pothos care above minus the cutting back part.
If you are a new or emerging plant parent, start small. Buy plants and pots that move seamlessly through your home. It can take time to figure out the light situation in each room. After all, you are likely not home all day monitoring the foot candles of light reaching every square foot of your home. And if you plan a day like this, it’s likely to be raining (that’s my sunny side disposition ?). Always seek out plants that fit your lifestyle – easy care is best for most! Like always we are here to help make your plant styling ideas come to life.