Exploring the Art of Plant Displays: A Comprehensive Guide

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Plants not only look beautiful, they actively clean the air around you, whether placed indoors, such as in the kitchen, office, or outdoor area. This comprehensive guide will provide all the information you need to create decorative plant displays that bring joy to your surroundings, we’ll cover;

Benefits of Plant Displays

The main benefits of plant displays go beyond their visual appeal. They work to improve the air quality of indoor spaces and can even boost mood and productivity. The following are some benefits of adding a plant display to your home’s aesthetic:

They Improve Air Quality

Plant displays absorb harmful pollutants in indoor air, such as carbon monoxide and benzene, and release oxygen as they photosynthesis. This process dramatically improves the air quality in your home. Your respiratory health may even improve if you display multiple indoor plants.

Plants Can Give You a More Positive Mindset

Surrounding yourself with plants in your home can have a significant impact on your psychological well-being. Home plants reduce stress and anxiety, and studies show they can even reduce fatigue and headaches by 20 – 25%.

Plant Displays Add Appeal to Your Home’s Aesthetic

Making your own indoor plant display allows you to inject natural décor elements and vibrancy into your home. Their lush foliage and textures create visually stimulating environments that captivate the senses and create inviting atmospheres. Whether it’s a contemporary office lobby or a cozy living room, plant displays effortlessly elevate the visual appeal of any setting. 

You Can Connect Better with Nature

Adding plant displays as part of your interior decor helps you connect better with nature in line with the biophillic principle. Bringing outdoor elements into your indoor space allows you to feel at one with nature, creating a sense of tranquillity and harmony.

Types of Plant Displays

When adding plant displays to indoor and outdoor spaces, you have plenty of flexibility depending on how much space you have available. Each type of display has its own unique aesthetic and style. Let’s look at the many kinds of plant display options on offer.

Indoor Plant Display

An indoor plant display brings the beauty of nature into interior environments, adding a refreshing touch of greenery to any room. Popular ways to display houseplants include:

Potted Plants

Potted plants are versatile and can be placed on tabletops, shelves, or the floor, adding greenery to any corner of a room. From small succulents to towering palms, the options are endless.

Terrariums

Terrariums are miniature ecosystems enclosed in glass containers, creating a self-sustaining environment for small plants like ferns, mosses, and air plants. They make charming decorative pieces for desks, countertops, or windowsills.

Terrariums can also be adapted to to be a practical use in the home, terrarium coffee tables are an interesting way of displaying indoor plants. Succulents such as Echeverias are a fantastic choice to display thanks to their glossy leaves and drought tolerance.

Vertical Gardens

Vertical gardens, also known as living walls, utilize vertical space to grow plants vertically on walls or structures. They not only maximize space but also add a striking visual element to indoor spaces, transforming bare walls into lush green expanses.

Hanging Planters

To add an extra dimension to your indoor space, consider using a hanging planter. These handy pots suspend your hanging plant from mounted hooks on your ceiling, perfect for holding trailing plants like pothos, ivy, or spider plants. Trailing plants create a cascading effect that adds visual interest to your home, working well in your kitchen or living room.

You can also create beautiful hanging displays with geraniums.

Outdoor Plant Displays

If your goal is to enhance your garden’s landscaping, creating a plant display can add more depth and interest. Here are some ideas for you to consider:

Garden Beds

If you have a sprawling garden, adding planting beds allows you to add a pop of color without disrupting the flow of your lawn. You can add anything to garden beds, from flowers, vegetables, herbs, and shrubs, giving you creative freedom.

You can choose to buy raised garden beds or plant directly into the soil already in your backyard.

Container Gardening

If you have a smaller garden like a balcony or patio but want to enjoy the beauty of flowers, you can always grow plants in containers.

You can effortlessly relocate containers, giving you the freedom to try out different setups to find the ideal spot for your plants. Using containers also lets you shield fragile plants from severe weather or regulate how much sun they’re exposed to.

Many people don’t have access to a garden, or if they do it is a small, paved one. Container gardening is perfect for these situations as cooking herbs can be planted up to provide culinary additions and splashes of colour. If the winter gets you down, plant up some evergreen shrubs like Fatsia ‘Camouflage’ to help fight off the winter blues with constant lush foliage

Living Walls

Living walls are plant arrangements that grow on external and internal walls or structures. Indoors, they act as natural insulation, improving the purity of your indoor air and bringing a hint of nature. Outdoors they provide extra planting space and act as a privacy screen on patios and balconies. Although various plants are suitable, a Moss wall is trendy and particularly suited for growing this way.

Landscaping with Plants

Organic landscaping is all about carefully choosing and organizing your plants to work harmoniously with your outdoor environment. You could select ornamental trees and shrubs or create vibrant flower beds and ground covers. Choosing ground-cover plants is an ideal way to suppress weeds.

Mixed borders are a fantastic way to encourage wildlife into the garden, having herbaceous perennials such as Lupins or Salvias will provide food for bees and butterflies whilst structural plants like ferns and Hostas can provide hiding spots for beetles and other insects.

Choosing the Right Plants for Displays

After considering many ideas, the next step is putting it into practice. To ensure your blooms are well cared for, only choose plants that can thrive in the environment you plan to place your display in. Other considerations are:

Lighting

Assess the available natural light in your space. Some plants thrive in bright, indirect light, while others prefer lower light. Matching your plant’s light needs with your space will help it to thrive and prevent any issues like sunburn. For example, ferns should be kept in shady conditions, but cacti enjoy sunlight.

Space

Consider the size and layout of where you’d like to display your plants. Choose plants that fit proportionally and won’t overcrowd your space as they grow. You may even want to consider using a vertical space or hanging or climbing plants if you don’t have much room. Always be sure to research any plants before planting, people are easily stung by planting what they think is a small tree or shrub which will end up growing many feet into the air!

Maintenance

Evaluate your ability to care for the plants regularly. Some plants, like orchids and ferns, require more frequent attention, and you might be tied to watering or pruning your plants regularly. Others are more low-maintenance, like snake plants and succulents. Choose flora that aligns with your schedule and level of commitment to your garden so you’re not overwhelmed with the responsibility of taking care of them. Be aware of your physical capabilities, do not plant plants that are going to require weekly maintenance if you are not capable of keeping up with it. Many people want plants that can go in the ground and forget about them

The Best Low-Maintenance Plants for Beginner Displays

If you’re new to the concept of plant displays, opt for low-maintenance greenery that doesn’t require regular upkeep. Our resilient plant ideas need little attention and will flourish if you forget them for a few days. Our top picks for beginner-friendly plants to use in your displays include:

Snake Plants (Sansevieria)

A staple in easy care indoor gardening, the snake plant can thrive despite occasional neglect. Its tall, striking leaves come in shades of green and yellow, making it a visually appealing addition to your display. Snake plants can live in low-light conditions and will tolerate sparse watering. This makes them ideally suited for busy people who are more prone to forgetting their plant care duties.

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

The ZZ plant is known for its indoor resilience. Its glossy dark green leaves and high growth bring a touch of sophistication to beginner plant displays. ZZ plants do well in low to moderate indirect light and need minimal watering, making them an excellent choice for beginners.

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Also called Devil’s Ivy. Pothos is a versatile and forgiving plant ideally suited to both novice and experienced plant parents. Its charming heart-shaped leaves come in different shades of green with variegated patterns, adding a splash of color to your indoor plant display.

Pothos can tolerate dim light to bright indirect sunlight and sporadic watering. If you’re a new gardener, Pothos may be your best choice.

Succulents

Succulents like Echeveria, Haworthia, and Sempervivum are known for their ability to store water. They’re highly resistant to drought and easy to take care of.

Available in many shapes, colors, and textures, succulents are visually appealing and easy to care for. They thrive in bright, indirect light and are an ideal choice for indoor plant displays.

Echeveria are a fantastic option as they come in a huge range of shapes, sizes and colours.

Spider Plants (Chlorophytum Comosum)

Spider plants are tough and adaptable, perfect for beginners. Their arching leaves add a playful touch to your home. Spider plants do well in moderate to bright indirect light and prefer consistently moist soil. They can cope with occasional dry spells, so they will likely survive the occasional missed watering.

A Quick Guide to Choosing Plants for Your Environment

Selecting the right plants for your environment is crucial to their future health. Consider factors like your light levels and humidity to ensure the best growing conditions for your plants. Here’s a quick guide to choosing plants based on your environment:

Low Light

In spaces with limited natural light, it’s essential to choose plants that can thrive in low-light conditions. Look for plants that can adapt to shade or indirect sunlight, such as:

  1. Peace Lily Spathiphyllum
  2. Philodendron Philodendron
  3. Cast Iron Plant Aspidistra Elatior
  4. Prayer Palm Maranta Leuconeura
  5. Monstera Monstera Deliciosa
  6. Parlour Parm Chamaedorea Elegans

Full Light

In areas with lots of sunlight, choose plants that thrive in bright, direct light. These plants typically require more watering and will need pruning. Options include:

  1. Jade Plant Crassula Ovata
  2. Succulents Echeveria, Aloe Vera
  3. Geraniums Pelargonium
  4. Rosemary Rosmarinus Officinalis
  5. Hibiscus
  6. Croton

Low Humidity

In environments with low humidity levels,  pick display plants that can tolerate dry conditions and don’t require lots of moisture in the air. For colder areas, choose:

  1. Cacti
  2. Zebra Plant Aphelandra Squarrosa

High Humidity

In areas with high humidity levels choose plants that thrive in moist environments and can survive in damp conditions. For hotter climates, choose:

  1. Ferns Boston Fern, Maidenhair Fern
  2. Calathea Calathea

Popular Plant Species for Your Displays

We’ve covered the best low-maintenance plant options and which blooms and succulents thrive in various conditions. Now it’s time to pick your favorites – whether you’re looking to add greenery to your indoor space or make a statement in your garden, here are the most popular species for displays:

Indoor

  • Fiddle Leaf Fig Ficus Lyrata
  • Swiss Cheese Plant Monstera Deliciosa
  • Pothos Epipremnum Aureum
  • Succulents Echeveria, Haworthia, Sempervivum
  • Snake Plant Sansevieria
  • Peace Lily Spathiphyllum
  • ZZ Plant Zamioculcas Zamiifolia
  • Spider Plant Chlorophytum Comosum
  • Parlour Parm Chamaedorea Elegans
  • Prayer Palm Maranta Leuconeura
  • Stromanthe Triostar
  • Lucky Bamboo

Outdoor

  • Petunia Petunia
  • Geranium Pelargonium
  • Lavender Lavandula
  • Marigolds Tagetes
  • Salvia Salvia Officinalis
  • Coleus Plectranthus Scutellarioides
  • Snapdragons Antirrhinum Majus
  • Primrose Primula
  • Alstroemeria
  • Nepeta
  • Agapanthus
  • Ajuga



Our interior expert Lydia, has picked some of the best boho and rustic planters to suit every type of space.

Design Principles for Plant Displays

Creating visually appealing plant displays involves more than simply selecting beautiful plants; it also requires an understanding of core design principles so you can arrange them harmoniously.

You can create dynamic and engaging arrangements that enhance any space by incorporating balance, contrast, color harmony, scale, proportion, and focal points into your displays. Consider the following design principles:

Balance and Symmetry

To create a visually appealing plant display, you must achieve a sense of stability and harmony by balancing visual weight evenly.  Symmetry plays a role in mirroring elements on both sides of a central axis. Look for example at these Ikebana Flower Vases.

Contrast and Texture

To add visual interest, use contrast to highlight subtle differences in your plants’ color, shape, or texture. All plants have different textured foliage, from smooth to rough or glossy. Combining plants with different textures adds depth and more appeal to your displays. Long strappy shrubs like Phormiums look great next to rounded plants like Pittosporum.

Color Harmony

To keep all your display colors harmonious, select plants with complementary colors to create a more cohesive and pleasing color palette. Think about the mood you’re aiming to convey.

Colors like red, orange, and yellow bring a lively and dynamic feel to your display, whereas shades like blue, green, and purple offer a sense of peace and tranquility. Opt for similar hues for a soothing and balanced feel, or choose contrasting shades to make your display more striking. Use colours to make the garden feel longer and bigger, light foliage extends the view whereas dark leaves make things feel more condensed, but can be great to make nooks feel cosy.

Scale and Proportion

Scale and proportion are crucial elements to get right in a plant display. Ensure your plants are proportionate to the space, and avoid overcrowding the area with oversized elements.

Focal Points

Adding focal points attracts the viewer’s gaze and acts as the main visual focus of your display. They establish a hierarchy to direct the eye to the center of your display. Add lofty vegetation and captivating foliage with an ornamental detail in the middle to keep your display interesting. Palms (if you can fit one in) are a popular choice of focal point, but people can use any plant they love. fruit trees are another popular choice

Maintaining Your Plant Display

Caring for your plants is the next priority after creating your plant display. Here’s a closer look at how you can maintain and show off your display to its full potential:

Watering

Make sure to water your plants regularly, according to their requirements. Keep an eye on the soil’s moisture levels, and only water when the top layer feels dry to the touch. This will help to fully saturate the soil without causing root rot. Learn to recognise the signs of over-watering, which is commonly displayed by leaves going brown but soft to the touch, or the outside of leaves turning yellow as all the nutrients in the compost are being washed away.

Pruning and Grooming Routine

Regularly prune and groom your plants to maintain their shape and overall health. Remove any dead or yellowing leaves, spent flowers, or damaged parts to stimulate new growth and prevent the spread of pests and diseases. Trim any overgrown branches to make your display look neater.

Dealing with Pests and Diseases

Keep a close watch on your plants for any signs of pests or diseases like yellowing or wilting leaves. Address any issues promptly to prevent them from spreading further. Use natural or chemical treatments as required, according to manufacturer instructions. There are many insect traps available on the market that you can use over chemicals. It’s always a great idea to research what pests and diseases can affect the plants you are adding to your collection so that you can recognize symptoms quickly.

Caring for Soil Health and Fertilization

Opt for a high-quality potting mix that drains well or soil enriched with organic matter. Regularly fertilize your plants during their active growth phases to replenish essential nutrients, and choose a balanced fertilizer appropriate for your plant types. Read more about Does Fresh Flower Food Make Flowers Last Longer?

Adhering to Repotting Instructions

Monitor the root growth of your plants and repot as needed to avoid overcrowding roots. Select pots with drainage holes and fresh potting mix to ensure proper air circulation and drainage to help the roots develop healthily. Read our helpful guide on what to do after transplanting your plant.

Creative Ideas for Plant Displays

Express your artistic side by trying out different plant display concepts yourself. Infuse some character and warmth into your surroundings with the ideas below.

Plant Display Ideas

Seasonal Displays

Embrace the beauty of each season by curating displays that portray spring, summer, fall, and winter through a mix of seasonal flowers and foliage. Add decorative accents like:

Themed Displays

Immerse yourself in themed displays inspired by different natural landscapes. Depending on your tastes, this could be anything from tropical paradises to arid deserts and Valentine’s Day Orchids. Select plants and decorations that harmonize with your chosen theme to create captivating displays that reflect your favorite natural settings.

Hidden Meaning of Houseplants

While the hidden meaning of flowers (floriography) is well known, think red roses representing love. There is also a hidden meaning to houseplants. The following are a few examples you might like to add to your indoor plant display.

  • Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomiodes): This evergreen plant has long been associated with money and wealth. It is a easy-to-grow plant with coin-shaped leaves and a semi-trailing habit.
  • Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena braunii): Symbolizing good luck and longevity. It is the perfect plant to give to someone about to start a new adventure.
  • Bonsai trees: These miniature trees represent the need for a balanced life, symbolizing harmony and wisdom.
  • Prayer Plants (Maranta leuconeura): Prayer Plants have striking foliage and are associated with gratitude and devotion. They are also considered to promote positive energy. 

Combining Plants with Your Decor

Effortlessly blend plants into your existing decor by positioning them in key spots around your living space or workspace, like shelves or windowsills. Use plants to introduce pops of color, tactile elements, and vitality to shelves, tablesides, windowsills, and other surfaces.

DIY Plant Display

Get your creative juices flowing by undertaking a DIY project. Try showcasing your plants by building terrariums or plant hangers. Environmentally conscious gardeners may enjoy creating displays from upcycled plant containers. Dive into our online guides for more sources of inspiration.

Air Plant Displays

Air plants showcase Tillandsia, which doesn’t require any soil to grow. Inventive ways to showcase your air plants include:

Hanging Air Plant Terrariums

Make your own hanging terrariums by using glass orbs or eye-catching geometric containers. Fill them with decorative sand, stones, or moss, and hang air plants inside for a stunning visual display.

Mounted Air Plant Arrangements

For DIY air plant holder ideas, secure air plants onto driftwood, branches, or charming rocks using wire or adhesive. Arrange them in clusters or flowing designs to give your display depth and dimension.

Artistic Living Wall Displays

Make living wall art by mounting air plants on wooden frames or wire grids. Arrange the plants in different sizes and shapes to make your own living masterpiece.

Air Plant Displays with Naturals

Get creative by adding natural objects like seashells and driftwood or vintage containers you’ve picked up at the second-hand store to design one-of-a-kind air plant showcases. Mix and match textures and materials to infuse your displays, creating a unique air plant display.

Plant Display Examples

Still stuck for ideas? Check out our curated list of examples from other gardening enthusiasts:

Raised Outdoor Plant Display

In this DIY display, the gardener chooses to raise some of their plant pots to add depth and visual appeal. With over 38 plant varieties of different heights, colors, and textures, this display is eye-catching – almost like a tropical rainforest!

Staging is the star of the show here. “The key to visual appeal is elevating plants to different heights, which the author accomplishes by using risers.”

If you’re an avid gardener with spare time, this display could elevate your garden to new heights.

Indoor Succulent Windowsill Display

If you don’t have much room, try arranging different succulents on your windowsill, like the example above. Use different-sized pots and mix up your succulent types to add depth and dimension to your display.

Front Garden Flower Displays

London homes are known for being short on outdoor space. If you need more room, consider decorating your front garden by resting planters on your front windowsill. This example also shows how flower baskets can add extra depth and dimension. Vibrant flowers can also add color to planters for your front yard landscaping ideas. There are many low-growing shrub options such as Euonymus, Escallonia, Pittosporum, Diervilla, Distylium which can provide shade, shelter and privacy in a small garden

Large Garden Display with Seasonal Flowers

This display shows a colorful combination of tulips and alliums, set against a background of evergreens that add extra depth and dimension. Varying heights has been created by combining smaller and larger pots to add extra balance to their plant display. If you have a more extensive garden, opt for pots of varying dimensions and combine seasonal plants for added appeal.

Indoor Living Room Plant Display

This living room display plays with color and texture to create a visually appealing corner. Using aspidistra and spider plants creates dimension by playing with different colors, while the light pink and purple houseplant pots add a touch of vibrancy. To recreate the look, upcycle a wooden stool or shelving unit and add a variety of succulents.

Resources and Tools For Plant Displays

If you want more help and guidance when it comes to creating and maintaining your plant displays, check out our curated list of resources below.

Resources

Our top resources you’ll need for making intricate plant displays:

  • Gardeners Yards Plant Growth & Care Guides – In-depth advice on caring for your plants and how to help them grow optimally
  • Our Pinterest is full of interior inspiration, design ideas and tips and tricks.
  • Follow our Instagram for our interior picks of the week, where our design expert choose their top 5 interior finds of the week.
  • Our TikTok features the GY team in action, creating informative and exciting videos to educate, entertain and grow our Gardeners’ Yards community.

Tools

Check out our top tool picks you’ll need to create a plant display:

Final Thoughts

Using our comprehensive guide to make your own plant displays will enable you to become more creative and connect with nature. Now that you know how to make your own plant arrangements, you can explore, experiment, and fully engage in creating artwork with flowers and succulents.

Whether inside or outside your living space, plant arrangements revitalize your indoor and outdoor areas and enhance your well-being, making them a valuable asset to your home and garden.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our plant display guide. If you like this, check out our other gardening resources for more helpful advice.

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