David Domoney provides advice on popular houseplants
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Houseplants are a bright, organic addition to any room of the house, offering rich foliage and oxygen-boosting qualities. Having multiple varieties spread throughout your property can be beneficial for a number of reasons – but clustering them together can offer even more advantages. From extra warmth to an impressive display of greenery, there are plenty of reasons to try it yourself, and this is how.
Grouping pots filled with plants, both big and small, is the perfect way to add a flush of colour into your home, without overwhelming a room.
Even in a minimalist property, a collection of plants rarely looks cluttered.
Mimicking the natural growth of different plants in the great outdoors can not only fill your home with a sense of nature, but it can even make some varieties grow more luscious and vibrant than if they were to stand alone.
Grouping houseplants is a no-brainer if you find yourself overrun with cuttings and established pots, but there should always be a method to the way you arrange them.
How to cluster houseplants
Placing several houseplants in one spot can be done based on a number of criteria, though the number one rule is to group similar plants based on their ideal growing conditions.
Group plants that thrive in indirect sunlight such as snake plants, philodendrons and pothos.
Arrange plants that enjoy direct sunlight in bright spots near windows and glass doors – cacti, aloe vera and jade plants are ideal pairings.
Keep tropical varieties together in moist areas of your home such as upstairs, where humidity levels are generally higher.
Succulents can be grouped together in less moist spots to thrive in a spacious room with good air circulation.
Bathrooms are a great place to group humidity-loving varieties such as:
- Spider plant
- Snake plant
- Pet friendliness
Keep toxic houseplants in one place and out of reach from your furry friends.
Clusters of potentially harmful plants like lilies should be kept on raised surfaces and in rooms that are off-limits to cats, dogs and other household pets.
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Humidity and sunlight levels have a lot to do with the temperature range of houseplants, so keep cold-sensitive plants away from drafty windows and move those that are heat sensitive well away from radiators, heaters or vents.
You might need to move the position of established houseplants as the seasons change, so now is the perfect time to move heat-loving plants to warmer parts of your home as we reach the peak of winter.
While watering should be significantly reduced during the winter, keeping similar plants in clusters makes them easier to water all at once.
Orchids require very little water and can be grouped together near windows for a low-maintenance display of delicate blooms.
Grouping plants based on looks
Once you have categorised your houseplants into groups which require similar care, consider how they look as a collection for a complimentary display.
Generally, plants which thrive together will look good together as they share common needs.
The most harmonious collection of houseplants will be made up of a mixture of leaf shapes and sizes.
Combine tall-growing plants with long-flowing foliage and aim to group plants in clusters of odd numbers.
Three, five or seven plants tend to look especially good – adjust the quantity based on the space you are looking to fill.
You can even take groupings to the next level by planting different varieties in one combined pot.
The following combinations work well for both indoor and outdoor pots:
- Hyacinths, daffodils and primrose
- Philodendron, pothos and spider plant
- Peace lilies, arrowheads and kalanchoe
- Episcia, calathea and lime pothos
- Moth orchid, parlour palm and southern fern
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