Painless Plant Projects

By Kristen Castillo

February 16, 2019 4 min read

Having greenery around your home or office can be very beneficial. Studies show plants release oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide and eliminate toxins in the air. They also boost your mood and your ability to concentrate.

So why not fill your living spaces with lush greenery that doubles as stylish decor?

*Up and Away

According to Pinterest, vertical gardens are one of the hot 100 trends for 2019. Searches for floor-to-ceiling green designs are up 287 percent.

Whether you choose to hang plants from a curtain rod on the wall, affix chicken wire to your wall and add vines or repurpose an old shipping pallet and adorn it with greenery, there's so much potential when you envision creating a vertical garden.

*Crazy for Cacti

Succulents are also trendy. Pinterest reports searches for cactus arrangements are up 235 percent. HGTV says DIY gardeners can make a cactus container garden in an hour in six steps: 1) choose a shallow container since cacti have shallow roots; 2) add gravel, followed by potting mix to the bottom of the container; 3) arrange the plants in their original pots; 4) once you like the arrangement, remove the cacti from their original pot; 5) add more potting soil and pat the soil; and 6) lightly water the garden. Be careful: Too much water and your succulents can rot.

*Mad for Moss

Christine Sloan Stoddard, an artist, author and the founder of Quail Bell Magazine makes moss animals, which can be displayed indoors or outdoors.

She starts by cutting out an animal silhouette from wood, cardboard or a similarly sturdy material. Next, she preps the surface and paints it green with acrylic paint. Then she glues moss to the surface and lets it dry.

"Decide if you want to add paint, such as a touch of gold or silver," she says. "You can use metallic spray paint for highlights or a sheer coat."

After the paint is dry, pick a place to display your moss animal. For an indoor design, spray it with fixative in a well-ventilated area. For an outdoor display, use a weather-proof sealant, such as Liquitex.

*Japanese-Inspired

Ikebana, the traditional Japanese art of flower arranging, dates back over 500 years and is focused on mindfulness and attention to detail.

"What makes Ikebana unique and different from conventional arrangements is the focus on shape, color, lines, and symmetry, along with the intentional purpose of placement," says Franzi Falkenberg of Tourist Japan, one of Japan's leading tourism information websites.

Ikebana is deeply rooted in seasonality and emphasizes the connection between humans and nature in meaningful and meditative practice.

According to an HGTV tutorial, in Ikebana, flowers are arranged in odd numbers only and by height to create depth in a small area. The first flower is tallest; the second is three-quarters the height and then the last flower should be half the size of the first.

*Terrarium Time

Create your own terrarium. Pinterest has lots of photos and DIY instructions on how to make your own terrarium. You'll need the basics: a clear glass container, potting soil, activated charcoal, colorful stones and your choice of plants. A tutorial on wonderhowto.com says to first layer the stones at the bottom of the container. Then add one-half inch of activated charcoal to keep the water clean, followed by an optional light layer of sphagnum moss to prevent the soil from settling. Next add a few inches of potting soil before adding plants and decorations. Lightly water your creation and keep it in moderate to indirect sunlight.

You don't need a green thumb to complete many of these DIY plant projects, but many are more involved than they seem. Start small and simple by first researching the projects and making sure you're up for the job.

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