Use a simple pump action sprayer to help clean houseplant leaves and raise the humidity around plants like ferns, orchids and bromeliads.
Clivias aren't widely grown as they were in Victorian times (19th and 20th-century gardeners in England and Belgium loved them), but they should be. Buy your plant in bloom, if possible; it can take two to five years for it to form its first flowers, which typically open in February or March. To get your clivia to rebloom, let it rest in a cool spot for a month, in temperatures that range from 40-60 degrees during the day, and no lower than 35 at night. Don’t water during this time. Then gradually resume watering, and start fertilizing as you slowly increase the temperature in the room. This will encourage buds to set. Once, only wealthy gardeners could afford clivias. Some are still expensive.
Problem: bud drop. Solution: If buds fall off a new flowering plant you’ve just brought home, it may have been shocked by the sudden change in its growing conditions. It should recover in time. Be sure your plant isn't sitting in a draft or in a spot that’s too hot or cold. You might also want to increase the surrounding humidity.
One of our favorite rooms is the sunroom and the happiest fiddle leaf fig in all the land; Glory the Fig.
Having interior plant designs is refreshing and air purifying, and it gives your spaces the calm that all our homes should have, says Joe Guggia, a California floral designer. He mixes greenery and natural elements, such as willow, for his large pieces of “foliage art.”
When shifting tropical foliage houseplants outdoors for summer, give them a spot with filtered sunlight, like on edge of a porch or beneath nearby trees. Choose self-watering containers like these to hold your plants while they’re on summer vacation, and you won’t spend lots of time watering.
Foliage plants can dress a windowsill with strong color when you choose a mix like this line up: variegated ivy (Hedera), purple passion plant (Gynura), variegated Schefflera, pink Hemigraphis and variegated Dracaena. Elevate your indoor plants by slipping them into white cache pots for an elegant look.
Adding natural elements gives container gardens a custom look, says Joe Guggia, a California floral designer. He incorporates items, such as bamboo, willow and rocks, into his indoor displays. It all starts with the container, from faux stone rounds to slender metal squares to larger baskets.
In the foyer, the ceiling stretches up over two stories high to create a soaring space. The brown wallpaper in the formal dining room matches the front door and pulls visitors into the rest of the house.
Weathered wood furnishings pair with delicate details like the trim chandelier to make a friendly, pretty impression in this foyer. A basket with crisp black-and-white stripes is a fun pop of pattern in the corner.
You don’t always need a large plant to make a statement. Unusual leaf shapes and textures draw the eye, too, and can make up for size in smaller homes or rooms. One way to create more impact with houseplants is to group several smaller plants that combine well. This trio features plants with variegated leaves: Dracaena ‘Lemon Surprise,’ polka dot plant (Hypoestes) and gold crest false aralia (Plerandra elegantissima ‘Gold Crest’). When combining plants, choose ones that need similar growing conditions. These plants thrive with medium to high light. If you love bright colors, select cachepots for plants that inject a pop of color.
When choosing a plant to make a bold statement in your home, instead of one single dramatic specimen, stage a grouping of several plants. This quartet features variegated houseplants that offer contrasting leaf textures that combine to create an eye-pleasing scene: dracaena surrounded by silver pothos, Aglaonema and spider plant. Stairstep pot sizes to stir more interest. Skip the cachepots and simply wrap plants in burlap for a unified look that’s natural and a ready complement to many decorating schemes.