What to do...
When the sugar plums no longer dance in your head, but have now taken up permanent residence on your hips? When your good old Dyson has finally sucked up the last speck of glitter and all that remains of the holiday festivities is the sap on your carpet from your once live Christmas tree. You look around your home and it feels empty and bare. The weather outside is still frightful, and your garden has retired into indefinite dormancy. It's time to put the sparkle back into your home and combat those winter blues! I have found that one of the quickest ways to liven up your home is to bring something living in; and no I’m not talking about the pet corn snake your son has been begging you for. I am talking about houseplants!
Okay, now before you stop reading this article because you have already decided that houseplants shrivel when you walk by, or you simply don’t have time for them, please hear me out. I love to incorporate houseplants into my clients' homes as well as my own. They can be beautiful, and provide a sculptural element to your home that can be achieved in no other way. Additionally, houseplants improve air quality, and make you feel like springtime is on the horizon. Most are surprisingly inexpensive and fill space without the expense of purchasing home accessories.
First of all, unless you were born with a green thumb, I highly suggest you avoid the temptation to purchase a Maiden Hair fern. Her name itself is like a siren call, and her lacy delicate leaves are so alluring. But don’t be fooled by her divine exterior. She is a total diva, will break your heart and frustrate you as you attempt to decipher how to please her. With this plant as an exception, I believe most houseplants are very easy to care for. The key is in two main components: water and light.
As a novice house plant owner, your first reaction will likely be to attempt to drown you plants. You will buy the new plant with high hopes, stick the plastic container from the store into your favorite pot or worse, transplant that plant into your favorite pot. You will then proceed to dump a cup of water into it after a week goes by, and you realize you have already blown it by forgetting to water.
Here is my solution: I water my plants once a week on Sundays. I keep the plant in its original plastic container so I can easily pull it out and run water over it in my sink to water thoroughly. Once the water drains out, return it back to its home in your favorite ceramic pot. Additionally, make sure it has some access to natural light, and put plant food steaks in the soil to increase the longevity of the plant. This method works for most houseplants including orchids (which I will admit I was once quite intimidated by). That’s it! In the words of Ina Garten, “How easy is that!”
If I haven’t succeeded in convincing you to try live plants, then you might consider silk floral arrangements. Simple arrangements can be achieved by placing three separate silk peonies, or hydrangea blooms along the length of a table. Cut the stems down to about three inches long and place them in short juice glasses. You can also use a single palm frond in a glass bottle for a punch of green in your bathroom.
Hopefully these methods will put the life back into your home, and you will grow to love your houseplants!