How to Decorate With Plants: 16 Green-Thumb Tips and Tricks

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Ever wondered how to decorate with plants? Today is your lucky day, as we're sharing our top tips for those looking to make their home a little greener. Decorating with plants is an easy way to bring color, warmth, and a little bit of the outdoors into your space. We all know the positive effects of getting outside and breathing fresh air, so it stands to reason that incorporating a fraction of that into our homes would also be beneficial to our well-being. It's also an affordable and stylish way to fill empty corners.

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One look at popular blogs and Instagram accounts (we're looking at you, Urban Jungle Bloggers), and you might believe that potted plants have become the latest "it" piece of decor. However, the truth of the matter is that lush greenery has been used by interior designers and homeowners alike for many years now. You see, plants can blend well with any interior or design style.

One of the difficulties with greenery, though, is that you need to have a basic understanding of each plant's needs. You're likely to kill them if you treat them like decor, and unfortunately, there's not a one-size-fits-all approach to plant care. You don't need to overthink it; you just need to make sure that your home is suited to the kinds of plants that you're interested in. Any plant shop or nursery can help with that if you share a little information about your space.

Want some inspo before truly committing? Here are some of our favorite plant decorating ideas to help you welcome the newest leafy green member of your family.

16 Plant Decorating Tips and Ideas

1. Learn about your plants before you buy them.

Not every plant is the same, and it's important for you to know about the plants you're buying. Some will require a specific watering routine, lighting conditions, humidity, and even repotting along the way, and it's essential to know how to keep your plants happy and healthy. Remember, they are not just pieces of decor, but rather living, breathing things that need adequate lighting and water conditions to survive. Not sure where to start? Try plant apps such as Planta, Vera, or Blossom to help you keep track of your plant care — ensuring that you'll have a green thumb in no time at all.

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2. Buy pairs or multiples.

Just as with other decor, plants look most impressive when considering the "rule of three." If you haven't heard of this trick commonly used by interior designers, it is where you style pieces of decor in odd numbers. Just as with your favorite candles and vases, plants styled in odd numbers help to bring interest and variety to your space. Mix it up with plants of different heights, textures, and tones.

3. Consider plant propagation.

Purchasing plants is by no means cheap, but it is often a more affordable way to fill a blank space or corner than, say, a piece of furniture. One thing to look out for when decorating with foliage is new shoots, or what the plant world often refers to as "plant babies" or propagation. Propagating plants is a relatively easy thing to do for most; you just need to stick to instructions and be patient. Check out our DIY propagation station (and tips for growing) if you're a novice. Now, go forth and multiply!

4. Deck out your space from floor to ceiling.

Bring the jungle to your abode by focusing on oversize plants that will literally take over your space. Simple ceramic or rattan pots are ideal for blending into the background and won't cost you more than the plant itself. Utilize the entirety of your space with the help of leafy greens on the floor, hanging from the ceiling, and displayed at mid-height.

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5. Showcase a special plant as a centerpiece.

Sometimes less really is more, as is the case with the simple plant centerpiece in this dining room. Just a touch of greenery breathes life and a little splash of color into the small room. Make sure that any plants in an area like this are non-toxic and can be moved quickly whenever needed.

6. Hang them.

Hanging plants are great options for those short on floor space or just needing to add a bit of depth and texture to the upper half of their space. Macrame hangers are perfect for those looking to create a boho scheme, while sleeker options would look delightful in a more contemporary setup.

7. Go for something oversize.

Sometimes you just need to go big or go home, and a huge houseplant will help you do just that. Monstera, fiddle leaf figs, and birds of paradise are all great options that are already large and will continue to grow. Just remember to look out for areas that you can clip (and propagate) and be sure to repot as necessary. Steer clear of placing them in front of windows, as you don't want to block out natural light as they grow bigger.

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8. Add interest to shelving.

An easy way to break up your shelfie is with succulents and hanging plants, and maybe even a few cacti for good measure. You can go as minimal or as maximal as you like here, focusing on balancing the look overall. A great tip for shelves and bookcases is to place a few of your favorite titles horizontally and add a plant on top.

9. Grow your own food.

Why not combine your love of plant decor with your love of food, eh? Growing your own herbs is an ideal option for the kitchen and will come in handy whenever you need fresh basil or rosemary for your homemade cuisine. All you need are a few glass mason jars, potting soil, small stones for drainage, and a wooden crate to create your garden. And bonus: It will look pretty good, too.

10. Choose plants that can be manipulated.

Ivy, string of hearts, and string of pearls are all hanging plants that should be on your radar. It's a long and winding road (literally) until they'll be able to touch the floor, but when looked after, these plants are easy to manipulate and position. You could drape them over a mirror, pin them along a wall, or decorate a cabinet. Here's where you can get creative with your interior plant decoration.

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11. Use plant-care tools as decor.

Watering cans, spray bottles, and plant scissors or pruning shears come in all different styles and can actually add to your space. We've seen beautifully polished brass numbers, industrial styles, and even modern glass designs. Simply pop your plant-care tools on your fireplace or bookshelves and they'll serve as a reminder to look after your greenery.

12. Buy beautiful pots.

Image Credit: Paul Anderson for Hunker

We'd be lying if we said shopping for beautiful planters wasn't a little bit of fun. Even though it can be difficult at times to select the right pots, we recommend sticking to a certain theme or style without buying five of the same planter. Different textures, colors, and sizes will help to deliver personality to your space. Pro tip: Before you buy, make sure that your pots will be suited for your plants — for instance, terra cotta can be drying so it might not be the best option for for plants that require more moisture.

13. Turn clothing racks into plant features.

An alternative way to style your greenery is to use a clothing rack. See how this industrial-style double rail has been used to showcase a number of different species? Mix things up with standing plants and don't worry about it looking tidy — a wild assortment will look and feel more au naturel.

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14. Have fun with plant risers.

If you're feeling nervous about having planters or baskets sit directly on surfaces (risking water damage to hardwood floors, rugs, or carpet) a plant riser is the perfect weekend project. Learn how to make your own from birch wood with this handy DIY tutorial.

15. Try a terrarium.

Low-maintenance plant options are hard to come by, but are almost essential if you're looking to decorate with plants without having to worry about upkeep. Enter terrariums. Not only do they look good, but they also require minimal effort to keep them alive and can even be self-sufficient on occasion. Check out this simple DIY terrarium for indoor or outdoor use. Don't be afraid to go big, or use multiples, when styling them up.

16. Create a room divider.

For those lucky enough to have a large space to work with, the sky is the limit when it comes to decorating with plants. Think about hanging them from beams on the ceiling, use large plant stands as features, a living wall, or create your own green room divider. Plants bring so much life and warmth to a space, so go all out and enjoy the benefits!

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