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“I would always suggest that you treat plants as a bold statement,” says Emily Mathison, the creative director for McQueens Flowers New York, a floral studio whose clients include Moda Operandi, Claridge’s, and Christie’s, among others. And just like with any bold statement, you wouldn’t want to overdo it.
“I would pick some specific areas, maybe trouble areas that need a bit of concealing but also areas that are kind of awkward areas,” she adds. Mathison, for example, admits to hiding her air conditioner behind a giant Monstera plant in her Manhattan apartment (“You wouldn't even know that there's an air conditioning unit behind it.”) She says that plants are perfect to “soften the edges” in an apartment and to “bring some character and energy into the space.”
“I always suggest using dark green leafy house plants that don’t necessarily flower because they are so much easier to look after than anything that flowers, with the exception of maybe a Peace Lily,” she says explaining that the white flowers on the Peace Lily are also a type of leaf.
Another reason to go for dark-leaf plants is that some of them have been proven to purify the air at home and absorb EMF radiation from your computer and TV (the cactus is a winner in this category).
When you are choosing houseplants, pick those with solid green leaves with no yellow or brown on them because that change of color may be a sign that they haven’t been well looked after.
When it comes to styling, Mathison suggests going for tree-like plants for your living room—they are the ones that have a central stem and large leaves that come off of it.
“The top-heavy plants look really well in living rooms, they are very chic. I really like Fiddle Leaf Figs and Monstera Plants,” she adds.
Opt for tropical plants that love humidity in your bathroom and hardier ones that can deal with fluctuating temperatures for your kitchen such as a Boston Fern.
Now, without further ado, take a look at some of the plants that will bring the outdoors in and add some extra oomph to your home.
Pink Mini Orchid
Orchids are the perfect plants for your bathroom because they love humidity—they perform best when the room humidity is between 50 and 75 percent. They flower about twice a year but their blooms last between two and three months.
Place several of them on a shelf in your bathroom to add a pop of color.
To buy: $45; proflowers.com
Indoor Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai
Bonsais are notoriously hard to look after but not this one. The Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai is a low-maintenance indoor tree that does well even in low-lit rooms.
Water it once a week or when you notice that the soil is beginning to dry out—the important thing to remember is to never let its soil dry out completely before you water it.
To buy: $40; proplants.com
Pink Prayer Plant
This is another hardy plant that needs high humidity and is tolerant of low light so your bathroom would be the perfect spot for it. Its name comes from the beautiful pink pattern of its leaves and the way they fold at night resembling praying hands.
This one also comes in a super chic mid-century modern ceramic planter.
To buy: $60; proflowers.com
This beautiful plant is native to the tropical forests of South America but has been brought to other places with a similar climate such as Hawaii and Seychelles.
Its most distinct feature—namely the holes in its leaves—has also earned it a rather funny nickname—the Swiss-cheese plant.
To buy: $41; thesill.com
Money Tree Plant
This easy-to-grow tropical plant is also tolerant to varying light and temperature conditions and is known to purify the air from various cleaning products and chemicals.
It has broad evergreen leaves and interestingly enough, it’s actually made out of multiple money tree plants braided together at growth. It grows up to about eight feet but in the wild, its height can reach 59 feet.
To buy: $34; proflowers.com
Bring a tropical vibe to your home with this easy-to-maintain parlor palm. It only needs to be watered every one-to-two weeks and repotted once a year. It is an incredibly resilient indoor plant and also purifies the air.
To buy: $31; thesill.com
Dracaena Janet Craig
There are low-maintenance plants and then there is the Dracaena Janet Craig. This Africa-native plant should really be in a category of its own when it comes to maintenance—it’s perfect for low-lit spaces and only needs to be watered every seven to ten days.
To buy: $195; bloomscape.com