Elegant clusters of gorgeous greenery always seem to make a room feel polished, welcoming and lively. From modern or bohemian to traditional or refined, there is an indoor plant just for you. And with this how-to guide on DIY planters, you can make it exactly the way you want it! First, match your lifestyle and living space to a plant’s maintenance demands, then the rest of the process is all about creativity with colors, containers and presentation.
Today, Lydia Pursell—owner, head buyer and gardener of Leaf & Petal and freelance stylist—gives us a behind-the-scenes peek and some insider secrets to creating planters and arrangements that elicit high praise and infuse your interiors with a graceful finishing touch. From simple and easy to creative and complex, this DIY planter guide will give you the tools and insight you need to create something stylish that perfectly suits your lifestyle and decor.
Effortless Elegance with Air Plants
Air plants are ideal for those who are style-hungry for gorgeous greenery, but time-starved for plant maintenance. These interesting plants require no soil and derive all of their nutrients from the moisture and air around them. Lydia suggests placing them in a bathroom, where the moisture level mimics the tropical climate indigenous to these spiky plants. If your coffee table is incomplete without your favorite new air plant, Lydia recommends soaking the root of the air plant in a bowl of water for 2 to 3 hours once a week. These DIY planters incorporate items from the sea—an abalone shell, barnacle planter and driftwood vase—making for an interesting and romantic sea-meets-air motif. Find these planters at Leaf & Petal or keep a beachcombing eye peeled for a vase-like treasure on your next seaside getaway!
In the Home
In the Home
In the Home
Air Plant Maintenance
Water: If the arrangement is in a moist environment, like a bathroom, no water is needed. If it is in a spot with three or more hours of direct sunlight, mist your air plants every couple of days. If it is placed anywhere in an air-conditioned or arid environment, soak the root in a bowl of water for two to three hours once a week.
Light: Air plants need bright, indirect sunlight.
Splendidly Simple Succulents
Succulents, sometimes called fat plants, have fleshy leaves used for water storage in their native arid environments. These resilient, low-maintenance beauties come in so many varieties, from tight geometric, kaleidoscopic works of art to long, spilling tangles like a splatter from Jackson Pollock’s paintbrush. Lydia takes a laid-back approach when asked about succulent maintenance, saying, “Just water them when the soil gets dry”—proof that these funky plants crave the home decor spotlight. Plant an array of succulents bunched together in a planter for a wildly popular look that can be achieved in large centerpiece bowls or humble wooden boxes. Get creative with your containers!
PLANTER: ANTIQUE VESSEL
In the Home
Water: Water succulents when the soil gets dry.
Light: Succulents crave as much bright light or filtered sunlight as they can get, indoors or out.
Tip: Outdoor succulent planters definitely need somewhat rocky soil and drainage holes, so that a heavy rain doesn’t result in root rot.
The orchid bloom has a delicate, yet sophisticated, beauty. For an arrangement that wows, Lydia recommends orchids without hesitation. “They’re stronger and more resistant because they are bred in hothouses now,” says Lydia, adding, “and, if properly taken care of, they’ll really last.” Lydia says for a quick fix for an upcoming party, orchids are always a great choice. Let’s get an insider look at how to make a jaw-dropping orchid arrangement of your own!
In the Home
Water: Water orchids when the soil gets dry. Stick your finger 1/2 inch into the soil to determine if the soil is dry. You can water orchids by placing two to three ice cubes atop the soil every two to three days.
Light: Orchids need bright, indirect light.
Tip: Orchids enjoy cooler temperatures. When watering, avoid getting the leaves wet, and do not allow standing water to contact the base of the orchid. If this happens, soak up standing water with a paper towel.
Try these creative and fun DIY planters for yourself! Or, if you’re not the DIY type, Lydia and her fellow gardeners at Leaf & Petal regularly create potted plant arrangements—from succulents in family heirloom pottery to last-minute orchid arrangements for parties. Customers let her know the colors and height they want, whether their desired presentation spot gets high or low light and a desired price range and the Leaf & Petal team creates stunning centerpieces and sideboard arrangements just like these!