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Decorating with House Plants

I’m Lee Newton, and I’m with Lyndale Plant Services, a Minneapolis commercial plant services provider. In this segment today, I’m going to talk a little bit about decorating your home with house plants. It’s easy enough to go out and buy them, but they come in usually just plain pots. So, how do you bring more beauty to your home by using these plants?

Well, what we have here, these are called ‘cover pots’. This is used a lot in our industry to hide the mechanics of just the plain grow pot. So, you can buy a cover pot, and just simply plonk the plant right in there. This one fits very, very well. I’m going to add my saucer down in there, because as I water it, it needs drainage.

Now, that’s a very simple look. Metallics are very hot this year. This can go anywhere, which leads to the question: do you match your containers to your home, or do you match them to the plant? It’s up to you.

This container, of course, speaks -- it basically asks for something tall and bushy in it. I usually put a ponytail palm in there. You can see how you can mimic the look of hair. In the summer I might put grasses in there, as well. That’s just a little fun thing I got.
This one, it’s a classic look. It holds a four inch plant perfectly. Now, this one would look nice in a formal, because this type of planter is more formal.

Right here I’ve got what started off as an outdoor container. It has a big drainage hole. So, to make it a cover pot, what I need to do is make sure that I have a saucer in there, and I can put the plant in there, and not worry about the drainage hole at all.

What we don’t want to do, and I see this all the time, we don’t want to do that. Not pretty. Use your saucer on the inside. Sometimes the container itself is so pretty that you really don’t want to cover it up with a draping plant. So, what you might want to do is use plants like these bromelias that fit right in there and don’t cover the top of the pot.

Now, anytime you use twos, it’s a more formal look. When you want to use threes, it leads to a more informal look. This is probably the greatest container I’ve ever purchased for this. I got it for, like, 50 cents at Goodwill. It fits three plants perfectly. I can put three broms in there. I can put three other plants in there, stack them up, fill it up.

I also use this in the summertime outside on my dining table out on my deck. It takes a lot of beautiful, beautiful annuals, and it looks great. And by not direct planting them, I can change it out as I wish, to change it as the season -- going to add my moss to cover my mechanics. Moss is messy, but it makes it look more professional. Something else you can do when you do this -- and I’m working from behind here, so -- you can add silks. The succulents that are done in silks these days are so wonderful, I think they add a lot to any container.
You can see -- I didn’t even look doing that, and I think that looks okay.

The other thing you can do is to match your houseplants to the container itself. I’m going to go back to this outdoor one, which is pretty yellow, and take out my yellow bromelia. Now, if you put the yellow in there it’s kind of matching. However, if you put the darker bromelia in there, you give it more of a contrast. So really, you need to think in terms of color contrasts, whether or not you want your plants to match the pots, or be offset by the pots.
This is how I operate at home, too. I’ve always got my fingers in the soil, and I’m always just playing around with things.
These small pots, again, it doesn’t matter. Just size it up to the plant that you have. Orchids look great in single pots. Here’s a nice orchid that you can just put in here. Again, metallics are very popular. With this orchid I would definitely add some frufru here.

And don’t be afraid of moving your houseplants around in your home. When I first started collecting houseplants some 40 years ago, I’d line them up by the windows so they got the correct light. You don’t really need to do that, because you can move them around in your home this way in their cover pots. Take an area that needs some livening up and put the plant there. When it seems like it’s not getting enough light move it back into a higher light source.

As far as grow lights and lights are concerned, indoor lights do count in a plant’s total light value. Anymore, we use more LEDs and fluorescents than incandescents. I don’t think incandescents are even sold anymore. LEDs, if you buy a cool, warm, you’ll get either a more blue or more red. So, what I recommend for houseplant lights is to use a mix of cool and warm lights. You don’t need to spend the extra money on the so-called ‘plant lights’, because they’re basically just a combination of cool and warm. You want to get that full spectrum.

The more blue in the light spectrum, that encourages more photosynthesis. So, you don’t want to not have blue, because you want plants to continue to be healthy. On the other end of the spectrum, the reds, the warmer ones, that’s more for like the hormonal parts of the plants, for interior kinds of things that they do inside.

So, you need them all. Sunlight, of course, is the best. But, if you want to have lights, mix the warm and the cool together, and you’ll get adequate grow lights. And you can keep them alive during the winter and send them outside in the summer. You can do anything with plants, and I hope you do, because I do. This is my life. I love it. Have some fun with plants today.

Lyndale Plant Services

301 W 92nd St,
Bloomington, MN 55420

(952) 345-8240

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