When you brought home your first couple of houseplants, it was probably pretty easy to find a place to put them. Set them down on a side table near a window, and they looked great. But as you add more and more houseplants to your collection, it can be challenging to figure out how to display them.
Lining them all up in every windowsill isn’t particularly creative or exciting to look at. Never mind that it makes it difficult to open windows and makes them an easy target for any bored cats looking to push things off ledges. Shelves are a fantastic solution to displaying all kinds of plants—and no pets are sabotaging your plant parent goals. Here are three core concepts to keep in mind while looking for shelf options, and considering styles.
Shelfie Plant Groupings
Plants tend to do better when they’re grouped in your home. This is because their leaf canopy helps to keep more humid air around them, which most houseplants prefer. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Think about the sizes of plants you want to group. A cluster of 3 tiny plants together works well when they’re slightly different sizes and heights. Grouping a pothos with a tall snake plant and a colorful begonia gives size and texture variation. But pairing your lithops collection with your 9’ tall monstera is like giving your lithops an invisibility cloak since the monstera will be the main attraction. A variety of leaf textures and colors helps catch the eye and keep it moving through your space; for example, imagine the tiny leaves of ‘baby’s tears’ near a Ficus benjamina or a jade.
The last thing to think about with groupings is needs. It will be easiest to perform your plant care routine when you have varieties with similar needs grouped together. They should also have similar light requirements. The bonus of plants grouped on shelves—it makes a fantastic background element for video calls or facetime chats.
Plants on all Levels of Shelves
The best part about shelves for plants is that you can have them at every level, from a top shelf or basket hanging from a hook or to a staircase of floating shelves. Be creative when you’re looking for shelves. It’s easy to default to the classic white floating shelves. They’re sleek, and they work. But keep your eyes open for shelves with more character.
Check thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales for unique bookshelves or cabinets. Cabinets with glass doors can also help keep humidity levels up for sensitive plants. Look for ladders, side tables, and trellises. Often you can mount small individual shelves to something like a trellis and hang multiple pots from it.
Having plants on every level, from the top of shelves to under a glass coffee table, brings a sense of life to your space.
Plant Shelf Decor Ideas
Plants are beautiful in their own right, but one of the best parts about houseplants is choosing great pots to style them in. Get creative, but try to stay within a theme, style, or color palette. Baskets are a fantastic and affordable option. Metallics look beautiful too, with an aged patina or crisp and shiny. Try old tins from tea or cookies for a vintage look, apple crates for a rustic look, or cement for industrial chic.
Embrace the idea of having a plant shelf, or 10, in your house, whether they’re wall-mounted or free-standing. If you’re going to mount shelves on the wall, be very careful about the weight you put on them. Ensure you check weight limits for shelves, use appropriate mounting hardware, and be very careful when you water your plants. Wet soil is heavy, so make sure your shelves are strong enough to hold the weight of each plant just after it’s been thoroughly watered. You may even want to weigh your plants after watering to make sure you can set them safely on your shelves.
For more fun plant decor ideas and inspiration, stop by Ted Lare garden center and check out our indoor plant collection!