It's easy to go decor-crazy when you're trying to make a space look alive and inviting. A simple solution for filling a void, whether big or small, is a fresh leafy house plant.
Cut flowers can get very expensive, so I always go for a sturdy plant especially when it comes to a housewarming gift. If you're on a budget, IKEA has an amazing selection of unique plants and accompanying pots that won't break the bank.
Here are my best tips for keeping a house plant happy:
1. Read the care tag.
Only water the plant when necessary, pay attention to sunlight requirements, and always monitor the leaf condition (soft and yellow is too much water, crunchy and brown is not enough).
2. Buy a good pot that won't suffocate the roots.
If there's water sitting in the bottom of your plant, the roots will get mouldy and the plant will slowly die. Either get a pot that has drainage holes and a plate at the bottom, or water infrequently and avoid squishing a ton of soil into the pot.
3. Give it room to breathe.
It's important to keep your house plants in a room that gets fresh air flow and natural sunlight. Consider adding some "plant food" liquid or extra soil if your plants are looking a bit lacklustre, and keep the area dust-free (bugs like dust!). Outdoor plants probably won't survive in an air-conditioned/heated house, so always look for house-appropriate ones.
Now, here are some benefits to having house plants!
1. There's nothing more inviting than fresh green leaves, which add great colour to a room
2. Taking care of a living thing will give you a sense of responsibility and accomplishment
3. Plants provide a breath of fresh air (literally)
If you're looking for something with flowers, I'd recommend a small Kalanchoe. They're inexpensive and can re-bloom a few times if you're lucky. I also love the look of those bamboo sticks that you can get for $3 or so at IKEA.
Here's a great graphic from The Jungalow blog on "9-ways to bring nature indoors for brown thumbs":
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