Tips And Tricks: Decorating With Houseplants

April 9, 2018

lemon cypress plant

Contrary to my (mostly unsuccessful) past experience with keeping houseplants alive, I seem to have turned somewhat of a corner. I've managed to keep a few houseplants alive for over a year. And for me that's saying something. I love how they add warmth and texture to my neutral gray-with-white-trim French Farmhouse Living Room. Today I'm going to share what I've learned about decorating with houseplants as well as which ones I've had success maintaining.

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  rosemary herb clay pot terra cotta houseplant

We're all familiar with the ordinary, every day terra cotta, or clay, pot. Believe it or not that's really my favorite way of showcasing my plants. There's something to be said for their simplicity and almost rustic-like nature. 

mini juniper plant rosemary herb clay pot terra cotta houseplant

My absolute favorite type of clay pot is the well-worn, patina'd kind. Some of my pots have naturally aged from being outside, becoming beautifully weathered. Others look aged due to a special technique I use.

terra cotta pot marigold plant

Learn for yourself with my tutorial How To Age Terra Cotta Pots In 5 Minutes Or Less. The white coating, over time, wears off -- leaving a more natural-looking patina. The pots are great for both outdoors and indoors.

vintage ironstone planter houseplant

Another type of container that I love to use for my plants is vintage ironstone -- pots, bowls, tureens, you name it. I think the white really pops against the clay pots and green plants. You do have to beware not to over water since they don't naturally have any drain holes.

vintage ironstone planter houseplant

I think the worn, vintage look just gives it that much more character. If you're not one for going on the thrifting trail, you can find vintage-inspired hobnail planters that I think are pretty cool as well.

lemon cypress plant terra cotta pot clay iron stand window

If you look around your home you might just find some items that can be used for plant displays. I chose a nontraditional "plant stand" when I used a church barn sale find to display one of my favorite plants, a lemon cypress. It's really a candelabra of sorts.

wrought iron stand terra cotta clay pot window

I loved the vintage patina'd iron scrollwork, which is why I bought it in the first place. That and the price.

wrought iron stand plant scrollwork

I didn't think of using it for plants at the time, but I'm sure glad I realized its' potential repurpose. It also goes nicely with the iron legs of my thrift store rattan table.

clay terra cotta pots vintage ironstone tureen wrought iron plant stand window

When I bought the table at Goodwill a number of years ago I had no idea what I would use it for. I just knew it was too good to pass up. Has that ever happened to you? I just love the texture it brings to the room.

miniature juniper clay pot rosemary herb candlestick wood slice

This rustic wood slice also blends in beautifully with the all-natural decor vibe. It's a great way to stage some of your favorite plants. I've chosen to add a vintage thrift store candlestick with a large moss ball on top of it. Again, the white pops and the piece adds fabulous texture and vintage charm to the whole setting. 

vintage candlestick houseplant terra cotta clay pot boxwood ball

Another trick I use use, besides using moss balls and the like, is to weave in some faux plants to help fill out the display. Today's faux flowers and greenery are pretty lifelike. I especially love using faux boxwood balls tucked into pots. The one you see here has been wrapped in mini battery-operated fairy lights. I love the look at night. 

wood slice candle boxwood olive bucket

I also love them tucked into my many faux olive buckets.

galvanized tray houseplant rattan table

If you're anything like me you're probably afraid of spilled water or leaking pots causing damage in the house. One way to combat this from happening is to corral the plants on something like this galvanized tray. That way, even if you over water a bit, all you have to do is wipe up the spillage and you're good to go. 

terra cotta clay pot weathered rosemary herb houseplant wood slice

And of course you should always use a saucer, either one that comes with and/or matches the pot, or the clear plastic kind. That way you're insuring a no-spill scenario from the get-go.

lemon cypress plant terra cotta pot clay iron stand window

And let's not forget that plants help to filter the air in our homes! So, what are a few of my favorite houseplants, a.k.a. "if I haven't killed them you probably won't either" plants? My hands down absolute favorite is the lemon cypress plant. This particular one is new, and I predict it will grow to be just as tall as my older one.



tall lemon cypress plant terra cotta pot clay iron stand window

Here's the older one. It was much shorter when I bought it a year ago. Like a small tree, it reminds me somewhat of decorative topiaries. One of my all-time loves is the myrtle topiary but I killed a few of them before I gave up (they're really expensive).

lemon cypress green leaves

The leaves do give off a lemony scent. Especially if you first run your fingers along the branches.

lemon cypress green leaves window

The plant table is in the southeast corner of the house next to a window. It gets quite a bit of light during the day. Even when the shade is pulled down there is diffuse indirect light. 

lemon cypress green leaves candlestick

The lemon cypress normally likes full sun and partial shade. I water mine only sporadically. It's been super easy to grow. 


baby tears houseplant terra cotta clay pot galvanized tray

My second favorite plant is called baby tears. It's a delicate plant with teeny-tiny green leaves. It likes bright indirect light and moist soil. It has somewhat of a dormant season during the winter months, but can grow quite profusely in the spring and summer.


rosemary herb plant terra cotta clay pot window

I've found my rosemary plants to be quite easy to maintain, whether inside or out. In the summer mine do very well in terra cotta pots on the patio in full sun. In the winter I bring them inside and keep them in my southeast-facing window. They don't require a lot of water, which is nice. And of course their fragrant leaves can be snipped off for use in delicious recipes year-round!  


asparagus fern close-up dirt terra cotta clay pot

This type of asparagus fern is called Sprengeri. I've read that it's classified as a weed in some parts of the world and can be invasive -- no wonder it's so easy to care for! I sometimes forget to water it and it still does fine. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.  


miniature juniper clay pot rosemary herb candlestick wood slice

I recently purchased this miniature common juniper plant. It is supposed to enjoy full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. I just thought it was so darn cute. I found it in the fairy garden plant section. I'm expecting it to grow about 2 - 4" in a year. Since junipers are supposed to be hearty and relatively easy to care for I'm hoping that this one's a winner. 


artillery plant ironstone tureen terra cotta clay pot asparagus fern houseplant

Although sweet and delicate in appearance with tiny green leaves, the artillery plant is referred to as a "tough little plant" and understandably so. It loves my mostly sunny southeast-facing window and moist, well-drained soil. It tends to grow upward and outward.

Are you one of the lucky ones who has a green thumb? If so, what kind of plants do you recommend? Do you prefer outdoor gardens or indoor houseplants? Are you a fairy garden enthusiast? Maintaining the plants isn't always easy, but I really do enjoy watching them grow. 

Well, that's it until next time, friends! 
I hope you enjoyed reading about
Tips And Tricks: Decorating With Houseplants
and that I've inspired you in some way.

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lemon cypress plant

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Cecilia said...

Oh nice plants! I usually kill rosemary but have one that has survived for about a year now (fingers crossed). I generally like pathos ivy and airplane or spider plants. Both of those grow easily and seem to thrive indoors. I also have luck with the different begonias. They mostly live outside as my house doesn't have a lot of places where I can keep the pets out of the plants. (Mainly the cat). Thanks for sharing your top plants. I'd love to find a lemon cypress!

Junkchiccottage said...

Love all the sweet plants for the nice color and texture they do bring to your room. I am not great with indoor plants either so now you are giving me hope I might be able to have one or two inside my home. I am great with outdoors but not in. So thanks for the tips. I might just take a leap and try a few. They are good for the indoor environment too. Happy New Week.

My thrift store addiction said...

I love the lemon cypress--I haven't seen that one in my area. I love the warmth greenery adds to a home! said...

I've never heard of the Artillery plant...going to have to check that one out. Plants DO add a lot of softness to a home. I used to love having them, but I started killing them too by forgetting to water, and my cats love to use them for a litter box...eww. I love your plant display by the window, and the way you've used wood slices & galvanized trays.

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