There is some substance behind the common phrase "plants make people happy".  Since starting my own indoor jungle, I have seen the benefits of filling my rooms with greenery.  Not only do I get a special cozy feeling (especially after entering my home after a long day),  but seeing my three year old take an interest (and become educated) in caring for our plants, brings an immense amount of joy into my life.  For me, this is a journey of appreciation and growth that him and I can undertake together.


photo of my son hugging his
favourite plant and favourite pot 


Perhaps you are just starting your urban jungle and you don't know where to begin.   I have been successful in greenifying my home just by putting some thought into what kinds of plants I wanted to buy, where I wanted them to sit in my home and what I pictured my home looking like (all before I went out and physically purchased my plants).  I knew which plants I could handle (as far as their watering needs and the light I could provide them with) and what size of plants my space could accommodate. When I started creating my indoor oasis, I tried to be mindful of the steps below. 



The first thing that you should do is get an idea of the look that you want to achieve and the types of houseplants that you are attracted to.  A few good places to start looking for inspiration are home magazines, Pinterest and Instagram.  You can get a feel of what kind of style you are going for and which plants catch your eye.  With that being said, you must also take into consideration that space you have to work with (you might have your eye on that fiddle leaf fig tree, but the space you are working with is only suitable for a small snake plant).  Obviously the more room you have to work with, the larger you can go with your houseplants.  Be sure to do some research on which plants are pet friendly if you have pets, so you are not endangering your furry friends.



When you have mapped out where you are going to put your plant and what type of plant you are planning to care for, it is time to shop.  Be aware of purchasing plants that show signs of distress (avoid plants with tired or bare stems, dead or yellowing leaves).  Although plants are highly resistant, you want to ensure that your plant has its best start in its new life (new space).  By choosing healthy plants that show signs of growth, have perky leaves, are sprouting new buds and have moist soil, you will feel more comfortable knowing that you are getting the best return on your investment (and that your investment in your plant is well spent).  Make sure you ask the nursery/garden centre/local plant shop about any additional care information (that they can offer) before taking your plant home.  Plant care-takers are usually very knowledgeable when it comes to plants they care for and they may have some tips to help you be the best plant parent you can be.  



Once you have your plant, it is time to let the fun begin.  It is best to dedicate a little bit of time to the styling process and try not to rush it.  Ask yourself some questions:  Which pot you want to house your plant?  Do you want to put the pot on the floor?  Do you want your plant to sit in a plant stand?  Do you want it placed on top of a coffee table or mantle?  Try to remember that your plant accessories should compliment your plants (and the space they are situated in).  


As a footnote, I must add the disclaimer that caring for houseplants is very highly addictive.  I started with one plant and now my collection has grown close to 20 plants (within a period of less than 5 months) and I have no plan of slowing down.   I encourage new plant parents to begin your indoor gardening adventure and see where it takes you.  For me, it has been life changing and I can only hope that you develop the same appreciation for plants that my family and I have.