7 Easy Ways to Decorate With Houseplants

Use these fresh ideas to spruce up your bedroom, office, bathroom, and more.

Decorating with Houseplants
Photo: Getty Images

Longing for a little indoor greenery, but less than confident when it comes to picking, potting, and caring for houseplants? Here are some of our best ideas for gorgeous yet low-maintenance houseplant displays—plus tips on how to keep them growing strong. From spruced-up supermarket flowers to an artful arrangement of succulents, these are simple ideas even beginner plant parents can pull off. Adding an indoor garden to your home is much easier than you thought.

01 of 07

Create a Curtain of Plants

Real Simple Home Bedroom with plants
Christopher Testani

By suspending a variety of plants in this bedroom window, designer Mandi Gubler of Vintage Revivals added some privacy, while positioning the plants for maximum sunlight. To get the look, choose low-maintenance tailing plants, such as pothos, and arrange them at varying heights in hanging planters.

Care: Pothos can do well in full sun or even partial shade, making it ideal for both bright windows and those that receive indirect light. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

02 of 07

Take a Plant to New Heights

Real Simple Home Kids Bedroom with elevated plant stand
Christopher Testani

A towering indoor tree creates a statement, but it can also be a challenge to care for (not to mention, expensive to buy). Another option: Get an easy-to-care-for, medium-sized plant, like a rubber plant, and elevate it using a stylish plant stand.

Care: Set your rubber plant in a spot that gets bright, indirect light. Water it about once a week, keeping the soil moist during the growing season. As needed, gently dust off the leaves with a damp cloth.

03 of 07

Style a Shelfie

Trailing Ivy Plant on Shelves
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If you have a set of bookshelves in your home that receives at least some sunlight, let it serve as your new favorite plant display. Trailing plants, such as ivy, create a dramatic look. You can direct the tendrils to grow along the shelves, reach down to the floor, or trim them to any length you like.

Care: English ivy prefers bright, indirect light. Plant in a pot with drainage and water regularly. Fertilize ivy about once a month during the growing season.

04 of 07

Dress Up Supermarket Flowers

African violets
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Plant African violets in a wide, shallow ceramic pot with a drainage hole. These popular purple blooms are widely available at plant nurseries, and can even be found at many supermarkets. Cover the rest of the pot with sheet moss (sold at nurseries) to add a cozy feel and to help hold in moisture. When properly cared for, these flowers will bloom indoors for most of the year.

Care: Direct morning light. Protect from bright afternoon sun. To water, lift the moss so you can soak the soil. Keep the soil moist all the time, but try not to get the leaves wet.

05 of 07

Stage a Still Life with Succulents

Mini cacti and succulents on a table
Margarita Terekhova / Unsplash

Like intricate little sculptures, mini cacti and succulents make an intriguing assemblage. Mix round, pointy, shiny, and matte plants, unifying them with pots in a cohesive color palette.

Care: Direct light, like on or near a windowsill, is best. Let the soil thoroughly dry out between waterings.

06 of 07

Consider a Shower Plant

Phalaenopsis orchid
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Think of a phalaenopsis orchid as a long-lasting bouquet: It's magnificent for a month or so, and then the blooms are gone. Phalaenopsis are fans of light and humidity, so they do well in a sunny bathroom. Because they come potted in a fast-draining medium (a mix of peat, charcoal, and bark), they can be a challenge to keep hydrated—water seeps out the bottom quickly. To trap moisture, set the pot on gravel in a low glass cylinder; as water evaporates, it will be caught by the glass and reabsorbed by the orchid. Choose a plant with bright, shiny, firm (not droopy) foliage and only a few of the lowest flowers open.

Care: Direct morning light. Protect from bright afternoon sun. Allow the top half-inch of medium to dry out before watering again.

07 of 07

Buy in Bulk

Decorating with Houseplants, Snake Plant Display
Getty Images

There's no rule that says you can only get one of each type of houseplant. In fact, even a common plant, such as a snake plant, appears more interesting when several are arranged at varying heights. Even better: you'll soon become an expert on that specific plant variety and won't have to worry about memorizing different watering schedules for each plant.

Care: Set snake plants in bright, indirect light. Make sure you're using pots with drainage holes and plant in well-draining potting mix to avoid root rot.

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