Decorating with Live Greens

I’m always surprised at how much I enjoy real plants in our home.  Usually, over the winter, most of my live plants succumb to my lack of attention and by spring, I buy a few replacements.

Greens for your home are inexpensive, easy to care for and for some reason, have the power to completely freshen and breath life into a room.  It’s actually quite amazing.  And if they die, at least you get to enjoy them for a few months.  Totally worth it.

Our local home improvement store had some rosemary for sale. I’ll plant it in a few weeks after I use some of it for our Easter lunch.  Rosemary smells great and grows profusely, you barely have to acknowledge its existence.  I also like cut white spider mums because they can last up to 2 weeks.  Our grocery has them for $4 for a bunch.

Remember the succulents we planted last year?  After being ignored 99% of the time, the ones I didn’t drop are still living on.  Such an easy plant to grow.

Here are a few pointers for greens in the home:

  • repot plants in containers you already have
  • take advantage of blooming branches and leafy stems from your yard-just cut them and put them in an urn {just don’t use Bradford Pear branches like Layla did}
  • have a green in every public room in your home
  • use rocks, moss, tiny shells or bark to cover up the dirt under your plant
  • if you are new at adding greens buy one or two types of plants at a time to see what works for you

I’ve never regretted spending money on greens for our home and I always want more, More, MORE!  Stop by my dear friend at The Inspired Room to get ideas for using greens on your porch.

What greens have worked well for you?

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Comments

  1. My thumb is completely BROWN where indoor plants are concerned. They never survive my care for more than a few weeks. I do quite well with the gardens though, so I guess I can’t complain too much! : )

  2. Oh I agree! We’ve always had plants around our home. I love succulents also and those work well. I have ivy (love my ivy wreath topiary), several african violets in my sunroom and a few other smallish houseplants. Just got an orchid, something new for me, we’ll see how that goes. I also have some larger, tropical looking plants in the sunroom. Another great houseplant is ferns – especially in the bathroom.

    tina

  3. I’m not really lucky with green plants. I can however keep an African violet alive in my kitchen windowsill. Almost impossible to kill! I am going to try the rosemary upon your suggestion. Maybe some of that grass stuff that is popping up around blog land too. LOL Have to be a monkey see monkey do with this one cause I have killed off numbers of unsuspecting foliage.

  4. Hi Nesty Nester!
    It’s Melissa G. from our old youth group at D. F. and GIRL… I can kill a plant in a hot minute! I do love how they make my mother-in-law’s house look though! She waters them as part of her morning routine. (Who does that?) Love the one under the bell jar though so maybe I will try again. Maybe. Thanks for inspiring and happy spring! HUGS!

  5. I used to always kill houseplants while living in apartments where the few windows we had stayed covered, but now in a house with drawn windows, I have had good luck. I have at least one plant in every room with a window. I have had especially good luck with pothos. It seems to tolerate over/under watering well and when I take cuttings and stick them in new planters, they take root really easily.

  6. A pathos is a beautiful climbing, leafy vine that pretty much takes care of itself. My husband and I have barely been married a year and it was the first house plant we’ve ever had–and it’s still alive and kickin’! And BONUS–house plants clean the air so you’re getting a little air filter AND a fresh spring-y look! Hooray!

  7. I seriously am gifted at killing house plants! I really want some bigger tree type things for my living room, but I”m not sure what will live the longest while being ignored! I also have to be careful about plants, because my 1 year old has a habit of eating random things around the house:)

  8. Husband has quite bad hay fever, and is allergic to synthetic fragrance, so the only way i can get smells in are through not too polleny plants. We have a herb box on our living room window, and some zerophytic plants(bamboo, cacti) as I can’t kill them. And a tiny lavender plant because I love it.

  9. I need to get myself out to buy some more plants. You’re right: all in all, they’re a great decorating deal! If you’re in the market for a good houseplant, try golden pothos. Foolproof and just beautiful.

  10. I love live plants! I have a ton of them. My favorites are vines cause I can’t seem to kill em! :) And they are so easy to start a new pot! I love how you added the bird nest on that one…giving me ideas….

  11. I’m not so good at keeping plants alive, but I love fresh cut flowers and greens! Makes the whole house seem happier!

  12. I’m an Ivy lover. It’s a tough one to make last but sometimes I’m successful. Plants and flowers add alot to your decor. Well worth the little effort and little expense.

  13. I have a black thumb, hand and arm, so the fact that my rosemary is still alive is testiment to the reslient nature of the plant. I’d love to get more green-non toxic to cats-plants to cleanse the air in our home, but at the same time look great and doesn’t irritate my hubby’s allegries or the cat’s asthma. Sigh…those two make it hard to have lovely scented flowers :\

  14. Oh, I agree, I have Green and my Favorites, Orchids all over. Just something about a little color in the house all year long. I have several succulents all around the yard, being here in Southern Cali they do so well. I ignore them all the time and they always look nice. They bloom too! When it gets a little bigger you can break off stocks and just stick them in a pot or the soil too. Fun!! Jamie

  15. Currently, I’m growing narcissus bulbs in a few different containers and those things are shooting up like crazy! Now I’m just anxious for them to bloom! I also just purchsed a simple tiny potted palm for my coffee table and he looks adorable sitting in a little $5 galvanized bucket I snagged. Now that I have those under my belt I’m currently looking for something to go in our bathroom (difficult because there’s basically zero light in there).

  16. I have never been able to keep plants alive mainly due to watering.. I completely forget. Or my husband and I both “remember” and the poor thing drowns. BUT my husband got me an orchid from Krogers and it has lived since Valentines day because you water it with ICE. Three cubes once a week. I pop them in the planter every Friday and they melt and water the plant. It is blooming like crazy. It may still die, but this is the longest a plant has lived in my house!

  17. I have a palm tree that my maid of honor and I split. It keeps growing and growing — I’ve even split it! I love plants — they make everything a little bit better :]

  18. I am definitely trying to add more “real” green to my rooms. I love the look and feel of fresh flowers. Thanks for the ideas!

  19. I think the key to successful house plants is to do a little research before hand and buy plants that will thrive in your environment. I am a big fan on Peace Lilly’s you see these everywhere… some are HUGE some are small. Basically a bunch of green leaves and if you are lucky you’ll get a bloom or two (a tall white flower). These can live in complete artificial light but like indirect bright light. You also can forget to water and they won’t die. They are really hardy and an added bonus is the help to clean out the air. I’m a big fan, can you tell? :)

  20. love this post…I’m a fan of real plants in the home, too..

    Where did you find your gorgeous lamp? They have some at Tj Maxx that look like yours…but not in cream….

  21. I am loving rosemary in my kitchen right now, and spring blooms on our breakfast table – thanks to you and your link to Manuela @ Pleasures of Homemaking.

    Planning on using some succulents this year too, just haven’t gotten around to adding them yet.

    Great tips!

  22. My forsythia bushes are just about in full bloom. Can’t wait to bring in some of the branches.

  23. Duuuumb question, but what kind of plant is it that’s pictured in the 2nd photo?It’s so pretty. I have a hard time keeping plants alive, inside or out. ;) I love wave petunias b/c they are almost impossible to kill. ;)

  24. Another tip is to give your plants drainage. If your pretty pots at home don’t have drainage or you don’t want an unsightly catch plate underneath, just move the plant into a slightly larger nursery pot that will fit into your own pretty pot. That way, the plant (which has been in a tiny pot its entire life and has too many roots suffocating underneath) can breathe and will live a little longer. Some plants, such as herbs, can’t stand to have wet roots. So if your pot has no drainage, at some point you’ll accidentally overwater it and it’ll die.

    Also, if you have a hard time keeping plants alive but don’t like the look of cacti, try sedums. There are many shapes and sizes of them, and they’re also succulents. Many of them even bloom!

  25. oh, and the reason Bradford pear branches stink like fart is that they’re pollinated by flies instead of bees – so to attract them they stink like rotting meat. Ugh. On top of that, they’re overused and have a 45 degree base of the branches, which makes them break more easily than other trees – many a car has been smashed by half a Bradford in a snowstorm.

    Can you tell my husband is in landscaping? :)

  26. I didn’t know that about the spider mums. Great idea!

  27. I can normally leave my plants outside but this year wasn’t the case. I have been wanting to make a trip to the home improvement store to check out the new Spring arrivals! Thanks for the kick start!

  28. I think that this is a very pretty way of decorating. I love decorating with plants when they’re real. I just don’t have a green thumb, I can’t keep a plant alive for nothing.

  29. I love to see plants in other peoples homes, but I am terrible with them myself. I don’t seem to have a problem with a garden and have a lovely one.

  30. I have such a brown thumb, but maybe I could manage to keep succulents alive? They look so fresh and pretty!

  31. I have two huge peace lillies and a schefflera that are all older than my youngest child – she turned 13 in January! I’m sick of the schefflera and it just won’t die!

    I believe that’s a kalanchoe in the second photo.

  32. Rosemary if my favorite herb and I especially love growing my own and pinching it off when needed. ♥

  33. Philodendrons are always easy to care for. I like succulents too. Anything simple is best! I love how you’ve potted your plants! They look great!

  34. Great post Nester! And thanks for backing me up on the Bradford pear branches. P.U.!
    :-)
    Layla

  35. Please remember to periodically remove the cloche over the succulent. Live plants need access to fresh air for gas exchange and transpiration (water evaporation – notice the condensation?).

  36. They look beautiful. I’ve been thinking that I’d like to add some live plants to my home too. I really want some succulents and a tall green palmy type thing. I’m not great on growing things, so it’s not easy. I also want a bowl of moss…sounds silly, but I can’t get it out of my head. :-)

    -FringeGirl

  37. I have a green thumb outside but not inside. I love plants but can’t grow them in the house.

  38. Nope. This is not for me!
    I can’t do real plants-I kill everything with this brown thumb.
    The only real plants I have are cut flowers I get at Costco…
    But YOURS are great!

  39. Thanks for the pointers, advice. I SO don’t have a green thumb, what stinks is I love plants, flowers and gardening. Some day I’ll have the time to learn more so I can’t keep something…anything alive for more than a day. :) I think I’ll stick to cacti.

  40. I love white flowers, they really add a touch of class to any room. The only greens I’ve managed to grow without killing are oregano plants and fortune plants… lol :P

  41. My hubby does all the indoor plants..he has quite the green thumb ;-)

  42. Is that succulent sitting on a little pillow? Sweet succulent.

    We have a Bradford pear in our front yard (thanks to our builder, so does everyone else on our street) and it is gorgeous when it blooms, but the whole street stinks for several days.

    I like cut flowers, I buy a cheap bunch at Trader Joe’s and spread them out between several rooms. We have also had good luck with a plant that looks kind of like a tiny palm tree. We have been able to keep it alive for 4 years.

  43. Nadir@hodgepodge says:

    I love having fresh plants all over my house & enjoy watching them grow. :-)

  44. My favorites are aloe and jade because I can ignore them for months at a time and they are fine! I have an aloe in a short, wide vase on my mantel.

    I’d like to try growing some herbs – I LOVE to cook with rosemary – it’d be fun to have them in the kitchen and maybe even save me money buying the dried ones!

  45. i should plant some rosemary in the house. maybe it will cancel out the 24/7 poop/toot/burp/male smell we seem to already be over-producing. and boys can’t break plants. (right?)

  46. I have a purple african violet tipped in white in a milk glass vase right be my kitchen sink. It always makes me smile! I try and try to grow ivy indoors (no problems outside) but I always get that white spider mite stuff on them. Then they turn brown. Anyone know why? I end up throwing them out and buying more. And my poor peace lily gets quite the abuse but doesn’t die!

  47. Pothos! That is one plant that you can’t kill…trust me…I kill everything else. When it starts to look lifeless, give it water and it perks right back up. :-) Plus they are usually CHEAP!

    I LOVE plants indoors!! My decorating philosphy is to add a plant to almost all flat surfaces. It instantly adds life and warmth to a space. When I take all my plants outside sometimes to spray the dust off them, my house just looks blah.

    I recently got a succulent and I must admit, I’m thinking about trying a few more of them. They are smaller than the pothos, so I can tuck them into the smaller vignettes. And so far no trouble keeping it alive.

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