This rustic ladder makes a perfect stand for an eclectic array of plants.
A clever use for these tiny drawers that house small bursts of greenery.


Dear Debbie;

I am interested in having some house plants to liven up my home. I don’t know much about how to display. I’m not looking for an indoor jungle, but more than one pot. Any ideas?
— Winnie

Dear Winnie;

Adding live greenery to your indoor space is a great decorating choice … it literally brings life to your rooms. Every home, no matter how diminutive, is more welcoming when there are a few plants on a windowsill, a bookshelf or coffee table. If you are just starting out there are a few essentials to consider. Plants require light, most are happiest with indirect light, but not a dark corner. Just like us, they don’t like draughts or sitting over a hot radiator. They need some attention, misting or watering, dusting, adjusting positions. These tasks are not onerous, in fact, caring for your plants is satisfying and nurturing, a hobby that you’ll discover has many bonuses.

I would start by deciding on where you’d like to build a display given your space and available light. You’ve got lots of options. A bright corner of the room works well for a larger plant that is going to grow high. It won’t be in the way and will fill a corner space with life. Vertical shelves provide plenty of space for a diverse array of plants. Choose from a selection of containers that differ in size and shape. The beauty and interest you create comes from the containers as well as the plants: ceramic beside clay, gleaming metal beside matte black. Seen here is an appealing collection lined up on a rustic ladder. Note the variety in heights and how the trailing ivy adds whimsy and flow. For a more industrial look pick steel shelves or a metal ladder. Containers that are similar line up for a more minimal style.

The size of the plant and its container should complement each other. Think outside the box, or in the example shown here, inside the drawers for eye-catching displays that make you smile. Each plant has its own home and I imagine that when the drawer plants get big enough, they graduate to a pot on the top shelf. I warn you that as your collection grows you will find yourself talking to your plant-friends and recognizing their unique personalities.

More display ideas … build a window box, buy plant stands, hang from the ceiling. If you would like to have a hanging display be sure that the hanger is secured properly to the ceiling. Your hardware store will have the appropriate screws and hooks, check the weight requirements. Soil and large plants are heavy. Layer a window with small plants that hang from curtain rods or towel racks. Install two or three and you won’t require curtains.

Once you know where your new plants are going to live, it’s time to do some research and then visit a plant store. All plants come with specifics about best growing practices, light, water, soil, etc. You will know what to expect with growth patterns, flowering seasonings, and trouble shooting.

If you have pets, please check to see if your choices are pet safe. Many plants are not and can do harm when nibbled by a curious cat, dog or other furry companion.