Choosing Indoor and Outdoor Plants and Planters

There’s nothing like a well chosen plant display to make your home and garden shine. Selecting the right garden and house-plants is key to creating the perfect environment for you, and your plants, to thrive.

Choosing indoor plants and planters

There are so many reasons for investing in a well-chosen houseplant. For example, when we breath we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Plants pretty well do the opposite – their photosynthesis absorbs carbon dioxide and gives off oxygen, which means plants actually help us breathe. They also actually clean the air – NASA has conducted research that shows that plants remove trace levels of toxic vapors such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide from their environments. And finally, they help us work better,as having plants in our sight line can improve memory, concentration and productivity.

If you want to remove indoor air pollutants, great plants to consider are ivy (hedera helix) and the well-known spider plant (chlorophytum comosum), while plants that are great for restoring oxygen to the atmosphere include orchids and bromeliads.

Choosing the right pots for your indoor plants can make all the difference to their survival. Plastic pots come in a wide range of colors and because they hold moisture, you won’t have to water as often. This is the best choice for hanging baskets or plants on shelves. Terracotta is heavier and will be more expensive. Because these posts are porous, they need more regular watering.Terracotta is ideal for plants that like a dry soil such as cacti, orchids and bromeliads.

Choosing outdoor plants and planters

Outdoors plants and trees work best if they are grouped in collections that balance height, width and color. For small displays you can consider flowering plants like Fuchsias or Cape Daisies (osteospermum) in brightly colored pots, or if you have a larger garden that can accommodate adramatic display of outdoor tree plants, a cluster of tree ferns (dicksonia)can be the perfect addition to a shady, sheltered corner.

In a very small or urban garden, you can still create stunning effects by choosing three plants for a single planter. The three plants should be:

  1. a thriller – something dramatic like a Cannalily or Pennisetum grass
  2. a filler – a plant that adds mass and volumelike a Hosta or Salvia
  3. a spiller – the final plant literally spills over the edge of the pot, creating a floral fountain, a silver Helichrysum orbright orange-flowered Nasturtium is ideal.

Whether your garden is large or small, and whatever your budget,when choosing an outdoor plant display, there are some golden rules to consider:

With a little thought and the right planters, you can have attractive plant displays inside and outside your home and gain the health benefits they bring too.

  • Groupings of odd numbers (three, five, seven) generally look better than even numbers
  • The most common shape for an outdoor plant display is the pyramid, with taller plants in the middle and shorter ones around the edges
  • Being able to water and tend to your plants is crucial – plan your outdoor plant arrangements so you can access them from all sides.
  • Consider putting solar powered lights beneath your plants to give extra appeal in the evenings

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