How to Create a Plant Shelf That Doesn’t Get Dirt All Over Your Bedding
The authors of a new book give their tips.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:51 AM
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Even if your bedroom barely fits more than your bed, it’s still totally possible—even easy—to fill it with plants. Sometimes the solution just lies in aiming high. “A shelf above the bed with trailing tropicals is a beautiful option and an amazing feature,” plant experts Lauren Camilleri and Sophia Kaplan write in their new book, Indoor Jungle.
In this room, belonging to horticulturist Thomas Denning, a lush collection of plants both big and small, sprawling and hanging, makes for a dramatic above-the-bed accent. According to Camilleri and Kaplan, it’s simple enough to install a similar setup in your home—and without ruining your duvet cover. Use pots with saucers to catch excess water; opt for varieties that require less water to begin with; and make sure, above all else, that the shelf is properly installed. You’ll also want to mix and match plant types and textures to create a diverse mix of greenery. Here, in their own words, the authors share their top recommendations.
As a general rule, the thicker and more succulent the leaves of a plant, the less water it requires. These types of plants have the ability to store water in their foliage, giving you more time between waterings. Hoyas are an indoor gem adored for their waxy, trailing foliage and stunning, sweet-scented blooms. They are available in an incredible variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures, from the tightly curled leaves of the Indian rope Hoya (Hoya carnosa Crispa) to the patterned foliage of the variegated Hoya (Hoya carnosa Rubra).
When curating a plant shelfie, play with height variations to add interest. Mix trailing species with more upright varieties such as the snake plant. It’s great for air purification, and the graphic shape of the plant creates height to balance trailing foliage. We love the moonshine variety for its subtle sage green stems.
A velvety goddess, the philodendron gloriosum is a glorious plant indeed. The velutinous surface of the heart-shaped leaves is etched with striking pink or silvery white veins that get brighter with age. The incredibly sumptuous texture of this philodendron beautifully offsets the glossy foliage of other plants, such as devil’s ivy and monstera. The gloriosum is a slow-growing philodendron that requires a little more maintenance than your standard houseplant, but it’s absolutely worth the extra work. Bright light is essential, as is consistently moist soil and high humidity.