Workshop on Styling Home with Plants

Plants can add so much character to a room, they liven up a space. Whether you’re a longtime plant parent or just beginning to build a collection of green friends, plants deserve a prime place in your home. How can you decorate with them and add a little extra personality to your space? We’ve got you covered.

Watch our workshop on “Styling Home with Plants” with our speaker Sitha Vineesh. She is a home decor enthusiast and a passionate plant mom. She loves experimenting with the look of her home. Her philosophy starts with enhancing the features already found at her home and helping objects uncover their own story. You can check out her beautiful home styled with plants on her Instagram page “sithavineesh”

Sita and her ways of decorating home with plants:

“Hello, everyone. Welcome to another workshop by TAOS. Today we have with us Mrs Sita Vinish. Let me introduce you to our audience. She is a plant mom and also an enthusiastic home decorator. Today she will share with us how we can use plants to decorate our homes. Let’s get started,” said Zehra.

“Hello, everyone, I am Sita Vinish, a plant enthusiast, and I will discuss things to consider while decorating your home with plants. I started rather recently, during the lockdown. I do not have much variety of plants at my home. I started out with two pots of money plants and then kept propagating them, and you can see how well they have now grown. Your home will look very beautiful when you give it a touch of green,” said Sita.

“Most people think growing plants need a lot of space. You have broken that myth, and the plants are growing so well,” said Zehra.

“Thanks. I will be giving tips on how to grow money plants beautifully. So, I’ll take up the topics in this order:

  • Secrets to my lush and bushy money plants.
  • How to select plants for your room.
  • Some DIYs to enhance your home.

Little care is required for money plants. The first thing to care about is the right resources. 

  • Proper fertilizer is the primary requirement here, which you have to use about once or twice a month. I use seaweed solution or vermicompost for this purpose. About two scoops of it are sufficient. 
  • The next important criterion is sunlight. They need indirect sunlight, so try to keep it in a place where it gets ample sunlight. 

“What about places that do not get much sunlight?”

“It can grow in low light conditions, but then I won’t grow that big or green. If there is less sunlight, then it is best to keep it outside, on the balcony, presumably.

  • So, the next important thing is water. While it is important, remember not to water your plant too much. Water only when the soil feels dry. During winter, I water my plants once a week, while the rate increases to two-three days a week during summer. You can use the sticky test, where you dip your finger in the soil; if the soil is dry, don’t water it. 
  • Fourthly, pruning is money plant essential to initiate side growth and produce more branches, giving it a bushy look. You can simply cut the stem anywhere, and new growth will start soon. You can propagate the cutting as well. 

“You had said you have propagated all your money plants from just two of them you had initially. How long would this process of propagation take?”

“It would take about 8 to 10 months. Some waiting period is involved in the process.”

“Do you use any homemade things like banana peels, etc., on your plants?”

“No, I haven’t used them much. Instead, for pests, I normally use neem oil solution. To make that, we need 3ml of neem oil in some water and any soap or shampoo. Then, you can spray it on your plants to keep the bugs away,” said Sita.

“Coming to the next topic, how to select plants for your home. If you are a beginner, you can start with one less maintenance plant and then go for more. 

  • One such low-maintenance plant is the Zi-Zi plant, which many people must have heard of. It requires very less light and water. It will survive for almost two to three months without water. You can propagate this easily as well.
  • The next one in line is the money plant. It will need water once a week and will survive on less water and sunlight.
  • You can also go for the Spider plant, Peace lily, or snake plant, which is another easy-to-grow plant.

Going for easy-to-grow plants will instil confidence in you to go for better and bigger plants. Now, we will cover where to place the plants in your home. If there’s less space, try with two or three plants. Don’t stuff the space with too many plants. If you have a big space, then you can try more space where you can keep your plant. That depends upon your will. You can keep it in your bedroom, or living room, anywhere for that matter. Coming to plants for the living room, you can keep them in the corners, or set up trailing plants on the bookshelf or curtain rods, etc. If you are choosing the living room, taller plants will look better. So, areca palm or Fiddle leaf fig. Both of them would look very nice when kept in the corners of your living room. You can also use money plants. For the bedroom, you can use smaller plants like the Zi-Zi plant, spider plant, Aloe vera, etc., which are good air purifiers. Then, coming to the kitchen, small plants which can be kept in jars would be preferable. You can keep money plant cuttings in them,” said Sita.

“All of these kitchen plants are in the water?”

“Yes, they are all in water.”

“They thrive well in water also?”

“Absolutely, they thrive very well in water.”

“Do you add fertilizers in the water?”

“No, when growing plants in water, I do not add any fertilizer to it.”

“What is the soil mix you use for the potted plants?”

“For potting mix, I use normal garden soil and add some cocopeat in it.  I also add some vermicompost, and that’s all.”

“Did you notice any difference between the plants grown in water and the ones grown in soil?”

“Yes, the ones growing in water show sluggish growth, while the ones in soil show vigorous growth. That is why for growth, I always prefer soil over water. Initial growth in water is okay. Also, if you are going out for a long time, then it is okay to keep them in water,” said Sita.

“Next, coming to bathrooms, you just need to have a window to provide sunlight to the plant. If it’s too dark, growth will be less. You can keep the Zi-Zi plant or the money plant. Also, too much water should not hit the plant,” said Sita.

“In the bathroom, do you prefer soil for the plants or water?”

“Soil will make it very messy. Water is preferable for plants in the bathroom.”

“How long does it take for a money plant to grow in water?”

“It depends upon the size of the cutting, but it won’t grow much in water. Placing it in the soil will give it more growth.”

“What to do when leaves are dying?”

“The primary problem is because of sunlight. Keeping it in the dark regions will make it yellow, and it will gradually die. Also, it might be due to overwatering. So that needs to be prevented.”

“When growing plants in water, how much of the jar do you fill up?”

“About 3/4th of the jar. Dipping the root in water is what’s necessary. Nothing more. So, filling it to the brim isn’t recommended,” said Sita.

“So, coming next to the DIYs. I’ll show three simple ones. The first one will be a poster. This is an mdf poster I bought from outside. You just have to paint it white first, using acrylic paint. Then, we will décor wash it. We will need glue, a brush, and any colourful paper. Even a newspaper would do. I’ll use mod podge glue here. Pour a small amount of glue on your poster, and then stick the paper to it. Then you have to apply a thin coat of glue again on the poster and let it dry. Once it’s dry, you can give it the final level of varnish to make it look glossy. That’s all. 

Then for the next one, we will need an mdf tray. We will need to use white acrylic paint to prepare a basecoat. Again, you can use any paper, which you have to paste into the tray, following the same process as before,” said Sita.

“Can we use the decorative tissues or party napkins as well?”

“You can, but it will be very thin so that it may tear apart. That is why thicker material is preferable. So, once you have pasted the sheet, you just have to colour all the sides with the same colour paint as the page. Then, just apply varnish to it, and that’s all. I apply three coats of Varnish. You can even apply more.

The third DIY would be a planter. On the pot, first, apply the white acrylic paint. I will use rice paper on it, any napkins can be used for the purpose. Tear the paper into small pieces, then cover the pot with glue. Then stick the papers anywhere on the pot. We will fill the gaps with paint. 

“Why do we need to tear the paper and not wrap it around the pot?”

“Tearing the paper adds to the design; also, when we will dab some paint on it, it looks stylish. So, when you are done with sticking the paper, paint the gaps with a similar colour to that of the paper. I will be using chalk paint on it and applying it with a sponge,” said Sita.

“Why aren’t we using a brush?”

“To get a better finishing. Using a brush won’t give a great look, so we use a sponge,” said Sita.

“Thank you so much, Sita, for showing us such beautiful DIYs. It was a lovely session. Thank you for joining us.”