In my mind, no home is complete without a plant. For starters, they are a little piece of nature that we can bring indoors. Adding them to our home always has something of a grounding effect and ties us closer to Mother Nature.
Since they are living things, they also have a unique energetic vibration that has an effect on the space around them. Plus they are also provide a boost for your health: they actually help clean the air as well as reduce electro-smog (an unfortunate side effect from our modern electronics). After much research, NASA even released a list of indoor plants which are the most effective at treating indoor air pollution (including benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde).
From a Feng Shui standpoint, plants represent your finances as well as your ability to thrive. So it’s great to keep a few healthy plants around – the more the merrier of course but only if you can care for them all properly. Dying plants are thought to deplete your energy and your bank account, so if you have any it’s time to throw them away.
Now it also bears mentioning that I do not have a green thumb. I actually have a pretty horrible tendency to kill any plant entrusted to my care, except for two plants I had for a couple of years back in Vancouver. I vacillate wildly between neglect and over-watering, a pattern that always leads to a swift plant death. But I’m working on it slowly, as was evidenced by those two plant survivors. So basically, if I can do it so can you.
My go-to picks for a modern look are the snake plant (preferably tall and spiky with super variegated leaves) and the succulent (sculptural, easy to care for and they look awesome in a terrarium situation).
I also love orchids on occasion too (yes still!). They are a bit on the pricy side usually but when you compare the cost to a few weeks of fresh flowers the orchids suddenly seem like a bargain. (I know you can revive them too after about a year but I admit that I lack the patience. Plus I’m not a big fan of the barren stick look.)
Air plants are super-cool and trendy right now. But yes, I’ve even managed to kill a few of those (plus at a certain point one of my cats decides they are ripe for eating). But the look of a few of these displayed in pretty glass hanging containers is pure goodness.
I also really adore the look of a fiddle leaf or fig tree but since they are tricky to care for I haven’t tried them myself yet. (I know my limitations.) But if you have a green thumb and an empty sunny corner you might want to give them a try.
Fresh cut flowers are also a wonderful treat, just as long as you are sure to turf them once they dry out. There’s nothing pleasant about stinky water and dried-out brown leaves. My favorite cut flowers are big fluffy pink or white peonies but I’ve also been known to do some interesting modern displays with giant tropical leaves in glass containers.
As for providence, plants are pretty darn easy to get a hold of these days. A large garden center will always have a better range of stuff to choose from but over the years I’ve bought house plants everywhere from Ikea (orchids) to Home Depot (snake plant) to Trader Joe’s (also orchids). So if you need to save money it’s definitely worth a trip to the big box store.
As always, let me know if you have any plant-related (or otherwise) questions and I’ll do my best to respond.