How to display houseplants in order to achieve great impact
Display of houseplants simply means arrangement; how you arrange your houseplants. To achieve great impact in the display of your houseplants, consider the following;
- Select a display (arrangement) that is pleasing to you and your family and one that is suitable for the houseplants concerned.
- Consider scale: the display (arrangement) should be in keeping with the surroundings. Put large specimen (stand alone) houseplants in spacious rooms and small pots on tiny window sills.
- Let the dramatic houseplants stand on their own and put the less spectacular ones in a group. A specimen plant should be a real focal point because of its shape, foliage or flowers. Grouped plants can be greatly improved by incorporating a focal point comprising of one or more eye-catching plants which adds extra color and interest.
- Avoid overdoing it; too many houseplants in a room will make it feel overcrowded. Have a few impactful plants. Do not let your room look like a conservatory
You can display your houseplants as you like; there are no fast rules on how to display your houseplants. The following are some common types of displays;
- Specimen plant
- Pot group
A specimen plant also called a stand alone plant is a flowering or foliage plant grown alone in its own pot which is displayed alone. Usually it is a very showy houseplant which on its own will provide the impact required. Indoor trees and palms are very ideal specimen houseplants. Some common specimen plants are Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant), Schefflera actinophylla (Umbrella Tree), Palms, Ficus elastica (Rubber Plants), Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig), Ficus lyrata (Fiddle Leaf Fig), Dracaenas, Dieffenbachia (Dumb cane), Begonia rex, Cordyline terminalis (Ti Plant), Caladiums, Codiaeums, Fatsia japonica, Chlorophytum comosum, Columnea, Passiflora, Poinsettia, Rhododendron simsii, Cyclamens among others.
This is a collection of plants in individual pots closely grouped together to create a massed effect; individually these plants cannot offer a bold effect. The grouped pots remain visible as separate units. To add interest and color to the group one or more eye-catching plants can be added to the group. Plants at the rear of a group can be raised to give added height. Some houseplants suitable for a pot group are Peace Lily, Aglaonema, Pothos, Heartleaf, English Ivy, Spider plant among others.
A pot group has various advantages:
- Individually these plants cannot offer a bold effect. Putting them together creates the much desired impact.
- Most small-leaved plants may seem uninteresting and insignificant individually but once grouped with large-leaved plants they come to life and add to the overall effect.
- To hide imperfections for the specimen plant for example lop-sided branch, bare stems and damaged leaves, they can be surrounded with other plants.
- Watering is easier than when plants are scattered around the room.
- The close proximity of plants in a group increases the air humidity around the plants. This can be vitally important for the delicate types.
This is a large container filled with several plants. The plants may still be in their individual pots but they are hidden or they may be removed. A layer of gravel is placed at the bottom of the container to hold excess water from the growing medium and also acts as a reservoir. The benefits of the indoor garden are similar to those of the pot group but the natural effect here is more dramatic. Some plants suitable for an indoor garden include Polka Dot, Syngonium (Arrowhead Vine), Hedera helix (English Ivy), Schefflera arboricola (Dwarf Umbrella Tree), Bamboo Palm, Asparagus fern, Baby's Tears, Golden Pothos, Dieffenbachias among others.
Plants in a indoor garden grow better that when in individual pots. Some of the reasons for this are: higher humidity, insulation of roots from sudden temperature changes and most important benefit is the water reservoir below which keeps the plants well hydrated.
However the indoor garden has some disadvantages; the close planting leads to reduced ventilation which means the plants are more prone to pests and diseases attack. This can be reduced by frequent pruning to increase spacing of plants and avoid overcrowding and by cutting off diseased parts or dead flowers from the plants.
A terrarium is a glass or transparent container inside which plants are grown. The top is naturally restricted or covered with a transparent material. The terrarium completely or almost completely surrounds the plants and as a result keeps off the plant-killing draughts. The air within a terrarium is always moister than the room atmosphere. This makes it suitable for growing the delicate types which may require high humidity and protection from draughts. Some houseplants for a terrarium include Bromeliads, Peperomia, Calatheas, Ficus pumila (Creeping Fig), Marantas, Pilea, Ferns among others.
Suitable containers for a terrarium include a fish tank, a large bottle or even a large mixing bowl. The only requirement is to have transparent sides and a restricted opening or an opening that can be covered with a transparent material.