I was never much into plants. My mom was a huge fan always and growing up I remember she would decorate our home with indoor plants and she would always a huge collection of outdoor ones too. When I got married and starting setting up my own place, I discovered my love for interiors and my own style started to come into shape.
I would now describe my decor style as happy modern, midcentury modern, a bit inspired by country-style, a bit rustic, with a touch of bohemian. What an absolutely precise description, haha. But thats what it is. I can’t be confined to one genre of decor. So i do my own take and am not hesitant to step out of boundaries. For me, my house has to look lived in. Not too perfect and resembling the lobby of a hotel. But warm and fuzzy and inviting and cozy.
Nothing says ‘lived in’ better than plants which are breathing life into your surroundings. They are also never too perfect with some withering leaves and some outgrown branches and their lively presence. They are the perfect accompaniment to my kind of house decor.
While living in Karachi and Riyadh, I only ever had a few artificial plants. There was always a crawling baby or a misunderstood toddler who liked to explore and tear things apart. So I never went down the plant-road. I figured it was best to wait than to be frustrated all the time. My house essentially had no decor on ground level or which could be accessed by those tiny hands.
But when we moved to this country-style house in Melbourne, things were different. My kids were old enough not only to understand but also to appreciate the plants. My younger one was still just 2 but he has always been wiser for his age (Mashallah) so I was tempted to try. I also talked about plants and their needs and how they are living beings to the kids which they found really fascinating.So slowly but surely I embarked upon my plant collecting journey. I started with one big and a couple of small ones. I didnt want to tempt fate and would be devastated if I couldn’t keep them alive so i started slow. And took it from there. A month with those first ones, and i could see that I can do this. The plants were happy, the kids were not being wild about it. That gave me a go-ahead that I needed to go chase my dreams of indoor garden.
The thing that has really helped me in this journey is the large open windows that run the length of most of the walls in this house and the truckload of sunlight that this house gets at all the time! The way this house is built, with a deck and a big backyard at one end, and large shady trees and an open frontyard on the other end, it already feels like you are sitting outdoors (just with central heating and comfortable chairs), adding plants to it just enhanced that feeling.
I now have, in my growing collection, about 25 plants which are dispersed in nooks and corners of all the house. Some are even dangling from the ceiling. A few points below on how i choose and care for them (as i got some questions about the plants when i share on social media):
- Be careful about the plants that you bring home. You don’t want the fussy ones. Choose the ones that do well in shade and filtered light and if they can go for a long time without water as well, thats a plus. Be mindful to only buy those in the start which require minimum care and are able to thrive on it.
- Make sure you read the instruction card that comes with it as that tells all about the plant needs and care. The amount of water, sunlight, shade etc it requires. And if it needs fertilizers etc.
- Keep the corner of your home in which you want to put the plant in mind, and then buy according to it. For example, does that area get enough light? Too harsh? Too little? Always buy according to the light in that area. So the plant can thrive.
- Have a pot of indoor plant fertilizer on hand. I always put a small handful to the plant when i bring it home during the first water cycle. You only have to fertilize every 6 months or so mostly.
- The most important thing is WATERING! Most of the indoor plants die because of over watering. Over watering is worse than under watering. I water all my plants only once a week, on a set day. I take them out of their containers, put them in the sink or out on the deck and then water just enough till the water drips from the holes in the pot at the bottom. I then let the plant sit their for a few hours to air dry the roots. And then put them back in their spot once they are dry from beneath.
- Keep an eye on your plants and notice for the drooping or color change of the leaves as that can tell you a lot if its getting enough water or light or care.
- Remove the dead leave and branches and clean the leaves gently with a damp cloth just so the plant feel loved and refreshed. ( i don’t know if it makes a difference, but i like to think it does.)
I love my plants so dearly, i feel like they are a part of my family. They make me really happy. If you have any particular question, drop in the comments below. 🙂