Michigan plant pro Megan Kellogg says green is the final layer in a well-designed room. So shop for houseplants as you would throw pillows: thoughtfully, in multiples and with an eye toward style.
Most of us buy a plant, and then go home to find a place for it. That works. But to rock the more-is-more houseplants trend, Megan Kellogg of the shop Darling Botanical in Traverse City, Michigan, suggests being more purposeful: “Stand back in a room and imagine where you would like to see green.” Do you envision twisty tendrils falling from a shelf? Or maybe a cute tuft of something perched on a side table? Next, honestly assess your light in those areas. Now you’re ready to hit a plant shop and talk to staff about what will fit your needs—or to browse Megan’s latest leafy crushes, here.
Bottom row, left to right:
Prayer Plant Easy to grow, prayer plants have big, oval leaves that fold up at night, as if settling down for a good rest. They prefer bright, indirect light and evenly moist soil.
Fishtail Palm This jaunty palm likes humidity—but not very wet soil. In winter, water every two weeks, but mist frequently to avoid yellowing. Fishtails are a bit forgiving on light, but bright and indirect is best.
Bird's Nest Fern Ferns prefer low light and consistently moist (not wet) soil. But the bird’s nest can tolerate a dry pot from time to time—ideal for forgetful owners.
Stromanthe A bit of a diva, this showy tropical likes to be spoiled—medium to bright light, humid air and frequent watering.
Fabian Aralia These treelike plants grow best in a warm room near a window with lots of direct sunlight. The stump doesn’t have many roots, so the plant requires little watering.
Top row, left to right:
Air Plants True to their common name, these wildly popular plants don’t live in soil, so they’re fun to display in a pretty dish or perched on books. All they need is an occasional soak in water.
ZZ Plant One of the toughest houseplants around, the shiny, dark green ZZ can tolerate minimal natural light and periods of drought. Water when the top inch or two of the potting mix dries.
Pothos Often mistaken for philodendrons, these easy-care plants have mottled, trailing leaves. Look for signs of new growth—pale baby leaves curled up near the stem.
Succulents Because they are small (but full of character!) and like dryness, succulents are a reliable choice for houseplant rookies.
Plant to win
For tips on caring for houseplants, visit midwestliving.com/plants.