Houseplants as an Indoor Nature Connection


Houseplants as an Indoor Nature Connection
  • Posted January 18, 2012

The mere presence of a lone Peace Lily tucked in the corner of the living room is nice. But, with a bit more thought and effort regarding placement, arrangement and interaction with houseplants, benefits similar to those received from being outdoors in nature can be achieved. Of course, this is all based on having more plants than one….lone…Peace Lily. If a home is to truly be a plant boosted sanctuary, plants should be placed throughout the home. No worries - there are houseplants suited or adaptable to every level of light and a bit of research or experimentation will likely show there is really no need to be limited to one sunny windowsill.

Beyond light and watering requirements - common sense, aesthetics and intuition should play a role in deciding where to place houseplants. Avoid placing a spiky plant where it would seem to be waiting to reach out to poke someone or elevating a large plant where it threatens to tumble down on their head. Pause to really consider the plant's overall size, texture and architectural form, as well as, the shape, texture and color of its foliage. Use these traits to place plants where the look great, but just as importantly, decide if these characteristics feel right for the potential location.

These plant traits are also important in creating energy-balancing groupings of plants in multiple pots or within a single pot. They can, for example, be utilized to get the energy of a miniature forest without needing the skills or patience of a Bonsai master. Taller plants take on the role of trees, while short, full ones fill in as shrubs or ferns would, and trailing ones become the forest floor. This type of combination has energy generally well-suited to entries, living rooms, bedrooms and meditation spaces. Groupings that focus more on contrasting colors, textures and shapes are great for areas where a high-energy feel is desired; try Burgundy Rubber Plant, Sansevieria and Areca Palm together. Arrangements of plants with softly textured or dainty leaves, in various shades of green – think African Violet and Boston Fern -are very relaxing in the bedroom or near the bathtub.

Such thoughtful selection of a location for each plant gives an opportunity for one on one interaction and a deeper appreciation of their unique qualities. Having to seek them out for watering and other care, in their varied locations, ultimately causes one to slow down and do these tasks with more meditative and nurturing energies - bringing a sense of restoration and reconnection similar to a walk in the woods.

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Dawn Sherwood
About the Author

Dawn Ochsner is a landscape designer and garden writer.


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Houseplants as an Indoor Nature Connection

Considerations for “Planting" a room:

Match plants to available light levels

Choose plants that create the desired mood

Place plants so pathways & activities are unhindered