Selection of indoor plants suitable for the conditions in your home
When buying indoor plants, we often succumb to impulses. But in the matter of finding the plants that are ideally suited to the conditions in your home, and in choosing a culture that perfectly fits into your interior, the main task (and the main guarantee of success) is a thorough analysis. Before choosing plants, you need to determine the characteristics of the place where it will grow. After all, the size of the room, and the color scheme, and the style of the interior, and even furniture play a role. There is nothing complicated in evaluating a room as a potential house for plants: you just need to carefully look around.
Evaluation of the interior and selection of those plants that will allow not only to decorate the room with living plants, but also to carry out full-fledged landscaping, harmonious design corresponding to the room itself and the tastes of its owners is not an easy task. And for each specific interior (and room) it must be decided in its own way. A comprehensive assessment and analysis, careful consideration of the room as a plant habitat is impossible without planning and analysis of all possible factors.
In the selection of plants for landscaping, it is important to find a balance of three main guidelines:
- preferences and tastes of the inhabitants of the house;
- style and character of the interior;
- illumination and other purely "practical" characteristics of the conditions for plant growth.
Harmony, balance must be achieved on all counts. Plants selected for the design of a particular room should meet all three indicators. And although the comfort of the conditions in which the plant will grow is the only vital factor, the other two should also not be ignored. After all, the tastes of all people are different. And for each interior there are those cultures that will harmonize or, conversely, argue with the interior decoration of their decor.
Lighting is the main landmark
Despite the importance of various parameters and the need to take into account dozens of factors when evaluating a room, lighting remains the key to selecting a plant and landscaping strategy for a room. The degree of illumination of a room, its orientation with respect to the cardinal points determines the ability to place indoor plants not only on the windowsill, but also in the interior.
When evaluating lighting, it is worth considering several factors:
- in which direction the windows are oriented (the northern rooms allow you to place plants only on the windowsill, and even then not all, or just next to it), the eastern and western ones are suitable for most plants, but only shade-loving cultures can be set in the interior, and the southern ones allow you to place plants in the interior in much larger quantities;
- how many windows are in the room;
- whether there are glass doors in the room, a balcony or a loggia that change the illumination inside the room to a more intense one;
- is it possible to provide photophilous cultures inside the interior with artificial illumination;
- how light it is at a small distance from the window or windows, at a distance of 1-1.5 m, in the middle and the far edge of the room.
The level of illumination is increased not only by the presence of several windows in the room, but also by white or light walls and the floor. In rooms with two south- or east-oriented windows or panoramic windows, even in the middle of the room, the light can be considered diffused and intense enough for growing light-loving crops.
The light meter will help to accurately measure the level of illumination in the room - a special device that can be rented today. For all light-loving indoor plants, the optimal level of illumination is measured by a minimum of 10,000 lux, penumbra is comfortable for plants with values from 5,000 to 10,000 lux, and for shade-loving plants, values from 1,000 lux to 5,000 lux are suitable.
Today, you can measure the level of illumination from photographs of a white sheet of paper in different places of the room (calculations by aperture value, shutter speed and ISO are carried out by online calculators), and even using special applications that are installed on a smartphone.
Depending on the characteristics of a particular room, zones of potential placement of plants are determined that are suitable for sun-loving, photophilous, shade-tolerant and shade-loving plants.
Too many plants are demanding for high humidity. And if in the kitchen or bathroom it is already high, then in the living room and living rooms this factor can become a problem. Evaluate the location of air conditioners and heating appliances, near which it is undesirable to expose any plants, consider the possibility of taking measures to increase air humidity (for example, you can’t spray on upholstered furniture, and humidifiers are also not always suitable). Mark the areas suitable for plants with different microclimate requirements.
The color scheme is not always obvious.
Indoor plants should be in harmony with the interior. And most often, speaking of harmony, they take into account the color of the plant and how much it matches the color concept of the interior. But in the case of indoor plants, the choice does not always have to be obvious and “direct”.
Decorative deciduous plants are the easiest to select. Pure green colors, regardless of whether a light or dark shade of green are involved, fit perfectly into any interior. If cultures have “colored” or originally painted golden, purple, silver, bronze leaves, then they will fit into the interior only under one condition: if the color or a similar texture will be repeated in the decoration of the room. So, plants with metal effects are good only in those rooms where a similar metal is used in the decoration.
With flowering plants, everything is more complicated. Such cultures are designed to create a certain effect, to add catchiness and expressiveness. The color scheme is selected, sometimes, violating the general concept of the interior, since flowering plants are inherent in:
- repeat the color of the accent color in the interior;
- represent a brighter version of the primary color;
- to place color spots contrasting with the main gamut - to bring in the atmosphere paints that are not enough;
- set seasonal color accents (for example, fiery - in the fall and winter and pink-white - in the spring).
Interior features compensate or emphasize by plants
When choosing plants, it is worth considering whether their nature matches the style of the interior. Nostalgic or old-fashioned cultures will not fit into the high-tech style or other modern interiors, and obviously exotic cultures will not be too good in nostalgic design.
For classics and baroque style, you can choose only cultures with the classical form of inflorescences and impeccable, strict leaves. And for the modern interior - plants with bright colors, unusual structure or expressive form.
But these are not all the factors to consider.
- If the room has a simple, plain wall decoration, you can choose light, lush and elaborate plants with voluminous crowns, lace or openwork plants. For rooms with interesting wall decoration, plants should be more concise and expressive, the beauty of clean lines is preferable to the abundance of details.
- In rooms with an explicit emphasis on textiles, plants are selected so that the leaves and their patterns are in harmony with the used fabrics (for example, velvet is emphasized with pubescent leaves).
- Winning and empty moments in the room are beaten the same way - by plants. Catchy and massive, exotic cultures focus on the best places in the room. An empty chest of drawers or a boring corner transforms an established elegant plant, and those places that need to be masked, hidden, distracting attention from them, are easily compensated by lush, large, but discreet plants or a group of cultures.
- High ceilings allow you to use any kind of plants, but low ones require the choice of only those cultures that do not narrow the space and do not negatively affect its perception: i.e. plants visually light or with the ability to visually increase the size of the room, "push the walls."
The largest interior items that determine the perception of a room are the main landmarks for landscaping. Plants compensate for the massiveness of furniture, soften its lines, emphasize style and purpose. And ignoring furniture when looking for plants for the interior would be a big mistake.
Ornamental deciduous plants are suitable for absolutely any furniture, regardless of style and materials. But with blooming, everything is far from simple. Flowering houseplants are good only on large planes, where there is no accumulation of details and there is scope that allows you to admire the plants themselves. But there are other selection features:
- massive pieces of furniture are combined with large plants, which in a peculiar way balance their effect on the room and serve as a visual “buffer”;
- dark and massive furniture is compensated by the choice of airy, light plants, while glass or elegant furniture is emphasized by crops with large leaves and massive silhouettes;
- sharp corners, shelves, large planes mask and compensate with the help of crops with drooping leaves and shoots, complex longline silhouettes.
Places and a strategy for a win-win landscaping
Ideal locations for plants in a room will always be:
- its center (or visual center), the place of greatest attention (usually they are recognized by the main upholstered furniture);
- large pieces of furniture;
- corners of the room.
By filling and supplementing them with plants, they create a “frame” of landscaping, and then they inspect the room and evaluate in what places it would be good to revive the situation. Often such points that need a live soloist are: the entrance to the room, the transition between the zones, the table and tables, the space between the table and the window.
In the description of each plant today they most often mention its effect on the interior, in particular, indicate whether the culture is suitable for small rooms or in what type of rooms it is better to use it. There are favorites for the living room and kitchen, bedroom and study, nursery and even bathroom. And such crops are indeed in their nature better suited to solve the problem of landscaping individual rooms.
In landscaping, it is desirable to use plants not only of different sizes, but also of a different nature and type of growth. Combine woody and grassy plants with curly and rosette or ground cover “crumbs” to create a sense of dynamism and diversity. The optimal strategy is to have at least one plant from each group present in any room. The number of plants is easy to determine.
The minimum number of green pets is determined by 1 plant for every 10 square meters of space, but it is better to use a different formula: calculate the number of large pieces of furniture (table, sofa, chairs, chest of drawers, etc.) and add 2 plants to them for the role of accents. So, for a standard living room, landscaping of 6-7 (or more) plants placed both on the windowsill and inside the interior will be harmonious. The maximum number of plants in the interior is not limited, but it should not be 2 times the minimum norm.
Plant size and role
When selecting plants, it is immediately necessary to determine the functional or interior task that they will perform. After all, each plant should fit the place in which it will be located and fully correspond to the role that should play in the decor of the rooms.
Conventionally, all plants can be divided into several categories:
- large dividing, zoning or determining the structure of the room elements - giants and giants, or collections of plants collected on one stand, in one flower girl, which can conditionally be equated to pieces of furniture by their effect on the perception of space (here you can also include plants that create a green background, screens or walls);
- color accents or spots - plants placed separately and complementing the color scheme of the interior, compensating or harmonizing the imperfections of the decor itself, replacing and complementing decor and accessories, bringing revival to boring or dark corners and linking together pieces of furniture and wall decoration that play with light, the size of the room and giving character and style to the design;
- seasonal plants that are placed with an eye on a certain time of the year (for example, autumn or winter to compensate for dull colors), festive accents, etc.