Are you interested in decorating With houseplants? It’s an option we encourage, for all the reasons we’ll describe below. Read on to get some ideas for decorating with houseplants, plus learn more about the pros and cons of surrounding yourself with living greenery at home.
Tips for Arranging Groupings of Houseplants at Home
Consider the Symmetry and Formality of the Space You’re Decorating — If you want to create a formal look, you can use even numbers of plants and place them symmetrically in your space. For example, perhaps you could place a potted tree on each side of your entry door to achieve the look of formal elegance in your foyer or outside your home.
If you prefer a more casual look, opt instead for a asymmetrical, odd-numbered groupings of houseplants in unexpected places — perhaps under a bench in the mudroom.
Pros and Cons of Decorating With Houseplants
As with any type of home décor object, there are fantastic things about decorating with houseplants — and some not-so-great things, too. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of decorating with houseplants:
The Benefits of Decorating With Houseplants — Houseplants offer you numerous benefits, the first of which is their beauty. They add refreshing jolts of green to your living space.
One of the other amazing benefits of decorating with houseplants: Your plants might actually help to clean the air in your home, improving the air quality in the process. This, in turn, makes your home environment healthier.
Here’s how it works:
…Plants emit water vapor that creates a pumping action to pull contaminated air down around a plant’s roots, where it is then converted into food for the plant…
We owe this amazing insight to a NASA scientist by the name of “Bill” Wolverton. The NASA website has supplied the following details about Mr. Wolverton’s research:
In the late 1960s, B.C. “Bill” Wolverton was an environmental scientist working with the U.S. military to clean up the environmental messes left by biological warfare centers. At a test center in Florida, he was heading a facility that discovered that swamp plants were actually eliminating Agent Orange, which had entered the local waters through government testing near Eglin Air Force Base. After this success, he wanted to continue this line of research and moved to what was at the time called the Mississippi Test Facility, but is now known as NASA’s Stennis Space Center.
He was funded by the Space Agency to research the environment’s natural abilities to clean itself as part of what is now Stennis’ Environmental Assurance Program. The goals were to clean the Center of chemicals left behind through wastes and to supply information to NASA engineers about closed-environment “eco” support that may prove helpful in designing sustainable living environments for long-term habitation of space. A tertiary goal was to provide usable technologies to NASA’s Technology Utilization Program, essentially making the research available to the American public.
Thanks to Mr. Wolverton’s work, we have evidence showing that various houseplants clean up numerous toxic chemicals including formaldehyde, benzene Trichloroethylene, carbon monoxide and others. Some houseplants are more effective than others when it comes to this task. Aloe barbadensis and spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are two of the most effective types of plants for ridding indoor air of toxic formaldehyde. English Ivy (Hedera helix) and Peace Lilies (Spatiphyllum) are two of the top choices for eliminating benzene.
Downsides to Decorating With Houseplants — Most people would agree that necessary maintenance is the biggest drawback when incorporating houseplants into your home décor. If you filled the same space in your home with a sculpture or similar inanimate object, you’d have to dust it, but nothing terrible would happen if you forgot to do the dusting from time to time.
Since plants are alive, at the very least, they require periodic watering. Some are fussy and also require fertilizing, specific lighting conditions or exact temperature ranges for survival.
Most houseplants aren’t as maintenance-intensive as pets, and taking care of them is pretty easy overall. There are even varieties that do not like to be over-watered and fare better when somewhat neglected.
If you can be trusted to keep your houseplants watered and fertilized, they’re some of the best options available for decorating your home. They’re affordable, and they provide you with such outstanding benefits that they’re hard to pass up.
- At the NASA Website — Plants Clean Air and Water for Indoor Environments
- At the Architectural Digest Website — Decorating With Housplants
- At the Better Homes and Gardens Website — Decorating With Housplants
- At the Balcony Garden Website — 99 Great Ideas to Display Housplants
- At the Town and Country Living Website — Decorating With Houseplants
- At the UMN Extension Website — Houseplants Help Clean Indoor Air
- At the Tavoktatas.kovet.hu Website — Using Plants to Clean Indoor Air Pollutants
- At the Flickr Website — Liz West has shared her photography under a creative commons license; Liz provided one of the lovely houseplant images you see on this page.
This page was last updated on 1-25-2019.