A whole new look for just a few dollars

Inexpensive Decorating with Plants

by Barb Hoyer

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Decorating with plants in your home can save money, provide ever changing decor, and keep the air cleaner in your home.

Where to Find Plants

Many indoor plants can be purchased from a Home Depot or Lowes for $3 to $4. I prefer to buy the low light or medium light plants because it's easier for me to meet their needs. I also stick to the smaller less expensive sizes in case I am not able to provide proper care for the plants. If you're up for nursing a sick plant back to health, you can sometimes find larger plants in the clearance section for the same price as the smaller ones.

Another option is trading plant cuttings with a friend. Spider plants often produce lots of babies, which can be rooted in water and planted in a pot when the roots have formed. Many succulents can be potted and grown. Pothos, one of my favorite indoor plants, is a vine that can be rooted in water quite easily and grown in a hanging pot. It can also be trained to create a living sculpture. English ivy is another easy to root plant that works well as a living sculpture.

Don't forget to check out the annuals in the shady parts of your yard. Chances are they will transplant easily, or you can cut off a piece and root it. Coleus is one example. You can also try rooting and growing the smaller perennials and herbs like rosemary.

Don't forget to bring in your potted annuals for additional color when the temperatures start to cool outside. Just be sure to wipe the outside of the pot well to prevent any visitors. Do the same with the leaves to prevent white flies from coming into your home.

Using the Plants in Your Home

Always protect your floors and furniture from the pots with an additional layer. I like to use silver plate trays, which can be found cheaply in thrift shops; they add a nice sparkle to the pot. Cake stands will elevate a small plant giving it more definition when grouped with your favorite collection of tchotchke. A large pickle jar can serve as a terrarium for a small fern.

Hanging a plant in front of window adds visual interest and height to the window. A simple hanger can be tied together with twine for a rustic look, or you can find colored hangers at the store. Keeping the hanging plant trimmed to a certain length provides an endless source of new plants.

One of my favorite tricks is putting plants on small stands in front of the fireplace. I found a wrought-iron stand on clearance at the end of the summer at Joann Fabrics one year, which holds a Boston fern. Ikea carries small wooden plant stands for about $8. If you're feeling creative, try stacking larger pots and a large saucer to create a garden style plant stand. A cement block with a cloth draped over it makes a more elegant plant stand.

Whatever you chose to do with your plants inside your home, you'll find that they help keep the indoor air cleaner and remind you of summer when the winter days are long and dark.

Barb is a mom of five kids who spends her day keeping track of socks, stuffed animals, library books, and a three-year-old when she isn't writing about all the frugality, gardening, cooking, and reading she manages to fit in between the chaotic moments. See how she holds down the fort and saves a few dollars at A Life in Balance.

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