FIND­ING YOUR ROOTS

The chicest plants for your home—and how to keep them alive.

ELLE (Canada) - - Lifestyle -

WHETHER IT’S THE PAN­TONE EF­FECT

(the Color of the Year is “Green­ery”) or the in­flu­ence of nest­ing-ob­sessed mil­len­ni­als, plants are trend­ing. They’ve be­come as es­sen­tial to stylish home decor as tex­tured wall­pa­per or a sub­way-tile back­splash. Here’s why: “Plants func­tion in the same way as a paint­ing or sculp­ture, bring­ing colour and tex­ture through the leaves and through the ves­sels they sit in,” says Michael Leach, owner of Dy­nasty Toronto, who has wit­nessed first-hand the In­sta­gram­driven buzz. (Even Drake and his crew are into na­ture— Leach does the plants for the OVO Sound record­ing stu­dio.) “Just hav­ing one plant, such as an ar­chi­tec­tural piece in the cor­ner, com­pletely changes the feel of a space.”

Peren­ni­als change how you feel too. Thanks to a lit­tle thing called pho­to­syn­the­sis, plants are oxy­genat­ing, can re­duce the pres­ence of cer­tain pol­lu­tants and are proven to make peo­ple more re­laxed––which we need now more than ever in our largely con­crete ex­is­tence. NASA re­search sug­gests one plant per 9.3 square me­tres is op­ti­mal for the above health ben­e­fits. (Fol­low­ing this ra­tio will pre­vent your place from look­ing like your grandma’s house.)

Black, white, mar­ble or pink planters feel fresh­est, but your fig should be about twice the size of the con­tainer. “Find con­sis­tency in your planter style,” says Adam Mal­lory, co-owner of Crown Flora in Toronto. “You want the plant, not the pot, to be the focus.”

1. PHILO­DEN­DRON

“BRASIL” “Hang­ing plants are a great way to fill a cor­ner of a room and cre­ate some drama,” says Leach. ($30, at Poppies Plant of Joy, pop­pies­plantofjoy.com)

2. AFRICAN MILK TREE

This prickly plant prefers sandy soil. ($80, at Sta­men & Pis­til, sta­me­nand­pis­til­b­otan­i­cals.ca; ce­ramic planter, $60, Quince Flow­ers, quince­flow­ers.com)

3. STAGHORN FERN KOKEDAMA

Short on space? Opt for a kokedama, a plant grown in a moss ball. It can be mounted on the wall or sit on any­thing from an an­tique teacup to a beau­ti­ful plate. Wa­ter it in the shower or sink, or wet the roots us­ing a spray bot­tle. ($60, at Botany Flo­ral Stu­dio, botanyflow­ers.ca)

4. HY­DRO­PONIC POTHOS

You can grow many dif­fer­ent types of green­ery in these stun­ning soil-free, wa­ter-based glass ves­sels. Min­er­als are typ­i­cally added to the plant’s wa­ter sup­ply, negat­ing the need for soil. ($95, in­clud­ing plant, glass and metal stand, at Crown Flora, crown­flo­ras­tu­dio.com)

5. POTHOS

The leaves of this easy house­plant can be cut and re­planted so you can share it with friends. ($10, and ce­ramic planter, $18, Dy­nasty Toronto, dy­nasty­toronto.com)

6. FID­DLE- LEAF FIG TREE

This leafy trop­i­cal is the cur­rent It plant of In­sta­gram. Be warned: It’s very finicky. (From $65, at Crown Flora, crown­flo­ras­tu­dio.com)

7. HANG­ING TERRARIUM

Build your own ecosys­tem. Co­ral jade, lace aloe and pen­cil cac­tus horse terrarium ($80, at Sta­men & Pis­til, sta­me­nand­pis­til­b­otan­i­cals.ca)

8. SPLIT LEAF MON­STERA

“These pro­duce a lot of oxy­gen and are very easy to grow,” says Mal­lory. ($28, and metal planter, $40, Dy­nasty Toronto, dy­nasty­toronto.com)

9. SNAKE PLANT

This one is ideal for new­bies be­cause it needs fewer nu­tri­ents, sur­vives in low light and has leaves that re­tain wa­ter well ($28, and ce­ramic planter, $40, Dy­nasty Toronto, dy­nasty­toronto.com)

10. GHOST EU­PHOR­BIA

When you wa­ter your cacti, pour slowly, says Leach; other­wise it will col­lect in the bot­tom of the planter (be­cause the soil is so parched be­tween drinks). ($45, at Sta­men & Pis­til, sta­me­nand­pis­til­b­otan­i­cals.ca; ce­ramic planter, $25, Quince Flow­ers, quince­flow­ers.com)

11. AIR PLANT AND MOSS TERRARIUM

Many plant stores now of­fer terrarium-build­ing work­shops. ($150, at Poppies Plant of Joy, pop­pies­plantofjoy.com)

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