Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Lower South
November, 2006
Regional Report

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A wicker basket lined with plastic and filled with a variety of houseplants makes a great table decoration.

Interior Landscaping With Houseplants

When outdoor gardening activities slow down with the arrival of freezing weather, our attention can turn to decorating the interior of our house with plants. There are a wide variety of plants that do well in the lower light environment inside our homes. Here are some ways to display them for the best effect.

Some plants work well alone. Large plants or species with colorful or otherwise unique foliage are effective by themselves. A large plant in the corner of a room or an attractive smaller plant on a coffee table are examples of such specimen plants.

Plants work well in groupings, too. Plant combinations add interest and beauty to the room. By combining plants, you get the bonus of different colors, textures, plant forms, and sizes. Group plants with similar light requirements for best results. Combine plants with narrow linear foliage with broad-leaved plants. Combine tall upright plants with mounding and training types. Vary the foliage color, using different shades of green, variegated foliage, and colorful foliage when possible.

Table Groupings
One way I like to combine plants is in a table arrangement. I select a large container and plant a complementary grouping of plants. I have used large, shallow containers, as well as shallow and wide wicker baskets. If you choose a wicker basket, first line it with a layer of thick plastic to hold the moist soil. Use a hot glue gun to stick the plastic down to the bottom and sides of the basket. Then use scissors to cut the extra plastic off around the top edge of the basket's sides.

A second option is to keep the plants growing in separate containers and combine them in a large basket prior to displaying them. I like to use moss to fill in around the plants, which are left in their original containers. When you are done adding the moss, the finished arrangement looks like a group of plants that are growing together. This technique is easy to care for because you can create the arrangement for a special gathering and then remove the plants to water them or to place them in a brighter location so they will stay in top condition for longer periods of time. If one plant develops problems, it's easy to replace it with a new plant.

You need not limit your choices to containers made for plants. Let your imagination and aesthetic preferences run loose on this one and come up with something unique. If you put plants into a container without drainage holes, you need to be extra careful not to overwater.

Try some unique indoor plant combinations for the upcoming holiday season. Homescaping the inside of your house is a great way to keep on gardening even on the cold rainy days of fall and winter.

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