Decorating with plants

Bringing plants into your home not only adds life and texture to a space, but provides tangible benefits to your living environment.  They act as natural air filters, removing particles such as dust and mold.  In addition to cleaning the air, they release fresh oxygen as well as moisture from their leaves.

Ways to incorporate real plants:  Larger plants can make an equally big statement in ceramic pots on the floor.  Use a plant stand for hard floors to provide air circulation underneath the pot, and keep your floors in good shape.  Hanging plants are very convenient because they don't take up horizontal space, and macrame is making a comeback so there are lots of fun hanging options.  And of course any horizontal space is up for grabs, including shelving, furniture, & windowsills.  Just make sure to have the proper liner underneath to protect the surface your plant is on.

Don't have a green thumb?  If you love the look of plants, but just cannot manage to keep them alive, breathe some life into a space with artwork and decor.  Many home stores are carrying pretty good faux florals, succulents, & green plants, as well as wall art, so you're sure to find something that will work in your space.

Here are a few tips if you're ready to take the plunge and bring some outdoors into your indoors:

Consider their care.  A certain plant may be the perfect size and shape for a certain spot in your home, but we have to make sure it's the right conditions for that plant as well.  For successful results, look up detailed care information online, and match that up with the conditions in that room.

Watch out for pests.  When purchasing plants, always give each one a good once-over for any signs of pests.  Check at the base of stems, in folds of leaves, and on new growth.  Even if everything looks good, keep a new plant isolated from others for a few weeks, because sometimes pests will emerge from the soil and need to be treated.  You can also pre-treat each new plant that comes home, just in case.  Any home improvement store or garden center will have lots of options to choose from.

Less is more.  When it comes to water, that is.  One of the most common blunders that will knock your plants out is overwatering.  Houseplants need much less water than it seems.  Succulents especially thrive on neglect, sometimes going weeks or more without water.  Even tropicals don't like soggy roots, so make sure you are allowing your plants to come up for air between waterings.

Recommendations for good starter plants: