As requested, we’re back with some pictures of the plants in our house and a few ideas when it comes to the where and the what-to-put-them-in. We’re partial to clean white ceramic Ikea planters (which usually cost around $2-10). We love sticking the little ones in windowsills and on top of stacks of books and placing the big ones on the floor for some major air purifying action. They’re universal enough to work in any space and they sport nice clean lines to avoid that dated grandma-vibe.
Here’s a happy little burro tail in the guest bedroom. They’re super easy succulents (just a drop of water a week and they’re happy).
Oh and our paperwhite bulbs grew just in time for the holidays, and we even remembered to snag a picture for ya. The great thing about an abundance of house plants in white planters is that we can switch them around without ever worrying if the newly shifted plants “match” the new location- although in the case of the paperwhites we just moved our happy little burro tail over a few inches.
We also have a big Nasa recommended corn plant in the bedroom…
…along with a little English Ivy in the window:
Here’s another one of our burro tails (we can’t get enough of them) on our TV stand in the den. We used it to create an arrangement that feels balanced without looking overly symmetric (the ceramic horse head is a fun counterpart to the organic succulent).
We also have a few plants that are even lower maintenance, some dried grasses in our floating vases from CB2 and two big purple hydrangeas that dried out but kept their moody plummy color.
In the third bedroom we have an orchid (one of two that we recently snatched up when we realized how easy they are to care for- a bit of water once a week and some light and they’re just hunky dorey). The other lives on our fireplace mantel in the den.
And nothing beats a few (free!) leafy branches plucked from an evergreen bush outside and dropped into a short clear vase (they last forever in water and eventually sprout roots).
In the corner of the guest bedroom we also have a croton that gets fiery red variagated leaves throughout the year. Just $12 at Home Depot.
And here’s yet another burro tail on the sill in the kitchen, soaking up the sun (or lack thereof).
What about you guys. Any favorite planters? Specific plant varieties that you adore? Dish the house plant dirt.
For more info about plants you just cant kill, check out this article on about.com.
heather s. says
I’ve been looking high and low for burro tail and can’t find it anywhere so I’m incredibly jealous of yours! I always thought pots should have holes for water drainage but it doesn’t look like any of the white IKEA ones do. Is it really okay for them to not have holes? (I have a notorious black thumb and am trying whatever I can to keep my plants alive!)
I want a burro tail too! Please tell where you find yours :-) I love the ikea pots! I have one for my desk plant at work and a few at home too!
I do not have a green thumb so I am always looking for low-maintenance plants. Hope I can find a burro tail – where do you find them in Richmond?
My current favorite is Chinese evergreen. It may have an official name, but it is super easy to care for. And pretty!
Thanks for the tips!
I think as long as you aren’t soaking your plants. Just enough to wet the soil. Something I do with some of my pots is to put a layer of rocks on the bottom. Then, it gives the water a spot to drain. Be sure not to overwater though, because you don’t want to see the nasty stuff growing in the bottom or little bugs finding their way to your pretty plants!
Also, it looks like with the burro’s tail & corn plant they left them in their original containers from the store. Am I right John & Sherry? That would make for a super easy clean up if the plant died! I would kill it for sure! I am going to have to make some cutting from my mom’s burro’s tail..they are a great succulent!
I love your little burro tails too! I’m now on a mission to find some!
I’m a fan of philodendrons – especially the mottled pink or white varieties. Just water them when the dirt is dry, and cut them when they get too leggy. You can even just stick the cuttings in the dirt and they’ll eventually grow roots!
Brittany ZH says
in general, where are the best places to buy house plants in the winter?
Thank you thank you, this helps a lot! I knew you youngsters would come through!
Just wanted to say THANK YOU! The last three years I’ve been forcing paperwhites for the holidays and I’m always disappointed when the stems get so long and the flowers tip over. Never occurred to me to tie them with a pretty ribbon. Sometimes it’s the most obvious solution that’s the hardest to see!! Now, if I can just remember for next year…
Here’s the added plant info:
1. All the plants in our house (save for the orchids which hail from a local grocery store called Ukrops) are from Lowe’s or Home Depot. It might sound crazy but they have a year-long money back guarantee so it seems safest for us to invest in plants that we can return or exchange if they die (it really helped us discover which varieties worked best in our small semi-dark house). So as for where we shop for plants- winter, spring, summer or fall we’re at Lowe’s or Home Depot getting our plant on.
2. Specifically the burro tails are from Home Depot. We were there recently (picking up the corn plant and the rubber plant) but we noticed that there were none to be found. Maybe in the winter they cut down their house plant varieties? But definitely keep an eye out for them in the spring or check out a fancy nursery which will probably have like a million varieties for you to choose from. Oh and at HD they actually come in these weird hanging planter containers with hooks but we took the hanging hooks off and popped them (planter and all) into our white Ikea planters. Easy peasy. So when you’re looking for them, check the hanging baskets at HD as well as the shelves and table displays. Happy hunting!
3. We leave every plant in our house in the original plastic container that it comes in (which has drainage holes) and slip it into an Ikea planter (without drainage holes) so any excess water will be caught by the Ikea planter. Excess water in general is a terrible idea though, because plants that sit in even an inch of water will die super fast, so be sure to lift your original planter out of the Ikea pot to make sure there’s no standing water in there. Yuck! We’ve learned that it’s far better to underwater than to overwater, and a splash once a week for all the plants in our house is more than enough.
4. As for the no-plants-in-the-bedroom rumor, we’ve heard that one too. But countless studies show that house plants give off far more oxygen than the small amount of carbon dioxide that they briefly emit (they do much more good to the air than harm) so as long as you’re not sleeping in a jungle you’ll be a-ok. To put it into perspective, your husband/dog gives off far more carbon dioxide than a whole gallery of plants ever could. And it’s still totally safe to sleep with the hubby and the puppy. Oh and having a carbon monoxide detector in the bedroom is a must, so that should also ease your worries of a silent but deadly plant attack.
5. I forgot to include our lovely boston fern in the den on the fireplace surround – she’s are one of our favorites so I can’t believe I left her out of the plant roundup! Keep an eye out for one of those babies for instant “botanical” style thanks to the feathery leaves and the lush, full shape. Love ’em.
I heard (or read??) somewhere that you shouldn’t have plants in bedrooms where you sleep because of the nitrogen give off? Is this true or do I have it wrong?
I’ve had a cyclamen growing on the windowsill above my kitchen sink for the last 3 years. It’s great because it blooms in the winter — just when I need a splash of intense color!
I’ve created a garden corner in our apartment complete with a Swedish Ivy over flowing atop a 3-tired shelf; some English ivy plants; a small palm tree with pink, white and green variegated leaves; an elephant ear plant; a bamboo plant; and a very happy medicinal aloe plant. I also have a small cactus, a peace lily, a rubber plant, an Oncidium orchid (just in bloom, fragrant and pink small flowers), a wandering Jew (hard to grow though in my experience), a spider plant, a Christmas cactus/orchid hybrid… I think that covers it. Most of these plants I love b/c I can easily give clippings away that can be rooted in water. I make up low concentration plant food and water with it each time (about weekly as the plants dry out to the touch). We have huge windows facing different directions which helps with light issues. I also enjoy forcing bulbs and have paper whites this year. I’ve also tried my hand at growing an avocado tree from the pit… moderate success so far.
The plant you have in your guest bedroom is a Croton. I buy them every summer for our deck. I’ve never tried bringing them in over the winter but next year I will try to make room for them – I already have 6 full-time indoor plants they would have to compete with in my tiny house. Oh, and don’t forget orchids are great for bathrooms because they love the humidity.
Those all look great – you have inspired me to add plants to our house! I was wondering about sources of light for the plants, since some of them seem to not be right in front of a window (at least in the pictures). My house (a ranch too!) has limited windows, and very high ones in the bedrooms. Any advice?
Hey Amanda- Thanks for the hint about the croton! We updated the post with our new found plant knowledge.
And Mary- We’ve learned to watch the patterns of the sun and place each plant where it’ll get at least a splash of sun every day (although none of our plants get direct sun for more than about an hour they seem to be quite happy). Our house gets more light in the front of the house in the morning and a lot more light from the back of the house in the afternoon- so we’re sure to open all of our shades when the light is streaming in for our little plant babies (any room with a shade that’s always down is no room for a plant!). The varieties listed above all seem to be a-ok with our limited amount of light so maybe starting with a few easy-care succulents (like a burro tail or two) along with some hardy english ivy or a corn plant or two is the best way to go? Good luck!
So pretty! I read an article in the very last issue of Cottage Living about Paperwhites. It inspired me to grow some and they were perfect for the holidays and beyond. Now I’m inspired to get some burro tail too. We’re having a pretty brutal winter here so these plants will be the perfect pick-me-up!
I just started amassing a plant collection this past year, so mine is just growing…
A small ivy sits inside a little wooden wishing well my mom made in our dining room.
The poinsettias are still doing well (to mask the ugly foil wrapped pots, I stuck them pot and all inside hammered metal serving bowls.)
A couple transplants from my mom (names unknown to me) came in ugly yellow plastic pots so I simply tucked them inside black wicker baskets from Ikea and they look perfect in our living room.
All the rest of my pots have been from Walmart including my favorite outdoor pots: beautiful ribbed looking pots with an opalescent turquoise glaze that are currently holding my rose bush, a juniper bush and a lily until we move to a permanent home with garden this summer. I have one Ikea pot that holds all new plants until they grow out of it :) She’s our “Starter Pot” lol
I’ve never known what to do with plants, but I’ve gotten some good ideas from this post. I’m going to try that burro fellow…
I have a big variety of laqured pots. I love the way the different colors look under the glaze. Most of the pots were bought to match a certain room. Red pots in the office for example. We have at least 3 in every room. I think I read somewhere awhile back that it takes 3 plants to “clean” a large room so I went with that.
I wanted to add-don’t forget about your work! When my husband changed offices I went to see it and was overwhelmed by the fumes from the paint and new furniture. Ugh, it was terrible. I immediately bought him two ferns and a peace lily and it’s much improved!
I had no idea that’s what a burro tail is supposed to look like.
I think mine has mutated.
Beautiful post! I just recently decided to bring more live plants into our home, and your pictures were a great inspiration. Thanks!
So what do you do when the plant becomes too big for the plastic container it originally came in? My Snake plant has grown like crazy and there’s no way I could keep it in the small container it came in so I repotted it in a much larger pot. I really liked the large white ones from my local IKEA but alas, no drain holes.
Heather S says
Plants are are so great inside and they give such a calming + serene effect. BTW Sherry where did that fantastic woven ottoman come from?
We have spider plants seemingly everywhere. You only need to buy one – they constantly sprout new plants that you can divide off and replant!
Oh – and your new floors are looking fab in the pictures! :)
I dug up some burro tails on Amazon for anyone who can’t seem to find ’em locally. Here’s the link.
As for the woven ottoman, it was a 50% off steal at Michael’s (crazy, right? who knew they sold furniture) so hopefully you can find something similar (especially come spring).
Oh and as for what we do when we need to repot something, we actually keep all of the plastic pots from our outdoor plant purchases (which promptly get discarded when we pop our bushes and flowers into the ground and luckily tend to range in size) in a nice tall stack in our garage, so we steal a few from there whenever our house plants get too big for their plastic planters with drainage holes from the store. And thanks to Ikea’s ceramic planter variety, it’s easy to place things in bigger ceramic pots when the time comes too (although many plants like orchids and burro tails appear to like their original planters very much and never seem to outgrow ’em). Hope it helps!
that plant in the guest room is pitiful! It looks sad sitting on the floor in the corner. You need a plant stand or something like it. Do you talk to your plants? If this one could talk back it would cry, “help me! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Give it some love and a better view of the room!
I love your blog. thanks for postin often.
With my cat she would devore any plant I did have in house. Besides I am a horrible “plant mom”. Those white IKEA planters you guys used do look very nice, neutral and go in any room you choose, good idea. I used to have cactus in my home, I used these lovely hand spun pots I bought from a local artist for around $20.00/piece. Various bright colors, in face I still have a few around my home to this day. One of those rare finds you just adore and can’t part with. My cat uses the one bowl to sleep in. LOL
Those burros are great!
One of my favorite plants kicked the bucket while I was on holiday. I think it got too cold in the house and it just shrank. So sad.
But I think I’ve found a replacement in the succulant!
A side note- I have a few IKEA pots, and I use one of the small ones to hold all my lipstick on the bathroom counter. It’s so simple and clean.
No way Liv! We totally use a small white Ikea planter to corral our toothbrushes and toothpaste in our doorless bathroom closet and also have two more of them (stuffed with cotton balls and q-tips) on the CD storage shelf that we hung on our bathroom wall above the toilet. It’s such a small world!
heather s. says
I just wanted to say that I went to my local Home Depot this past weekend and they just got a shipment of succulents in – I bought three…one of which was the burro’s tail! I’m so happy.
bridget c. says
i recently bought several plants for my house and wanted to find out you guys’ suggestions on getting rid of pesky fruit flies/ fungus gnats that seem to be attracted to the plants.
Hey Bridget C,
We wish we could be more helpful but we’ve never had that problem. Perhaps you could water your plants less since it seems like soggy soil would be attractive to critters who like to breed in moist environments. We only water our plants deeply once every week or two. We’ve heard numerous experts say that’s better than more frequent watering- and plants often die from overwatering so it’s a safe way to go (not to mention less effort). Maybe you can google “natural fruit fly remedies” or call your local nursery and ask someone there what they recommend. Good luck and let us know what works so we can spread the word!
She probably won’t come back to the thread… but for future FYI —
To get rid of fruit flies, this is my mom’s tried and true method. She uses a wine glass that has a rim that is slightly bent in (as opposed to fluted out or straight). You want the opening to be narrower than the bowl (maybe a bottle would work as well).
Then you keep a small amount of a very sweet wine in there. Like an inch or so. Rose is good. Moscato. Boones Farm. etc.
The flies are attracted to the wine. They fly in and can’t get out and eventually drown in the wine (what a way to go!).
Switch out the wine periodically to get rid of the corpses. Ici voila.
I’m just So jealous of all this cool Ikea stuff you guys
get. No store here, and much of what I like isn’t offered
online. Love your burrow tails too. I’m totally sold on the
clipping plants and growing new in water. I combined some philly plant rootings with a little clump of that plant, can’t think of the name now…the one that looks like tall spears (you see them in grocery stores all the time as $9.99 big plants)…anyway, just rinse off the dirt and put in a pretty glass container along with the root cuttings. They will live quite happily there in the water forever. That’s the perfect solution for those who kill plants from over-watering! as you say, easy peasy lol.
I know this post is very delayed, but I love all the plants in your home! I wish I could have plants, but I have two black thumbs; I can’t keep anything alive.
One time, I got a pot full of small plants for free at work. I put it in my car and forgot about it for 3 days in the middle of summer, and most of the plants died except for one. I loved that plant because it was a survivor… until I killed it by going on vacation and forgetting about it :(
The only thing I can keep alive is a philodendron vine, but I just stuck it in a jam jar full of water, with no soil, and left it.
I think I might try getting the corn plant. Maybe it’s hardy enough for me!
Quick question for ya guys. How do you avoid mold or overwatering in your cute little ikea pots? I just picked up a few for myself and I’m not sure what to do with ’em w/o the hole on the bottom. I kill everything so I’m determined to get this right.
We actually slip already-potted plants into our Ikea pots (they usually come in plastic pots from Lowe’s or Home Depot with the holes on the bottom so we leave them in those containers and slide them into our Ikea pots. That way there’s still a bit of drainage (water can pass out of the plastic containers through the hole and collect in the base of the Ikea planter, which we can empty when we notice it to avoid overwatering. We have never had an issue with mold so it seems to work! Hope it helps!
Wendy F says
I know this post is an oldie (and a goodie!) but I was wondering if you had any tips on how to get your orchid to rebloom? I have one that is healthy (nice roots and green leaves) but won’t produce any more buds. I have google and searched orchid message boards with no avail. I hope you’ll be able to lend some advice. Thanks! :)
Good question! Unfortunately we don’t have any answer for you. Ours rebloom after a while, so perhaps being sure yours have ample water and sun will help. Plus you can drop in on any local nursery and ask them (perhaps you can pick up sone fertilizer or something). Good luck!
I was empathizing with Becka from earlier and feel similarly about my plants. Do you have any suggestions for those of us who love our cats, but not their tendency to eat our plants?
Hmm, we’ve heard they don’t like citrus so maybe you can spray them with lemon scented water or even put a few slices of lemon in the pot with your plants to help your kitty adapt to leaving them alone? Just a thought, but maybe you can google around for more ideas. Hope it helps!
The orchid is lovely…do you still have it?
We do! It’s not currently blooming (so sad that they don’t blossom year-round) but we’re anxiously awaiting new flowers.
Katie Pack says
For anyone still looking for the adorable Burro Tail. The employees at our Lowe’s had never heard of it, but then I found it in the high light loving succulents, cacti and jade plants but was labeled as Burrito Plant. Small container for $4 or $5.
That’s so funny! A burro tail masquerading as a “burrito.” Love it. Thanks for the tip!
As far as other names to search if anyone’s looking for burro tails – where I got mine it was called ‘Chicks and Hens’ – guess Vermont never got the memo about the Spanish-themed names :)
That’s too funny!
More on burro tail — growing up we called it donkey tail. My mom bought 2 huge ones at a garage sale. They were in large pots, very full with numerous “tails” up to 3′ long. We had it as an outdoor plant hanging from the beams on our back porch. Full disclosure — this was in Southern California. It would take many, many years to grow one to that size in this part of the world (I live just south of the Richmond metro area), if it were even possible.
I picked up a few of those burro tails. However I can’t figure out if I’m over watering or under watering. How often/how much do you water them?
Just a splash of water once a week. Hope it helps!
To keep water from collecting in the bottom of those wonderful IKEA pots, put a layer of pebbles in the bottom of the IKEA pot, then put the plant (still in its plastic pot) on top of them. Then a little excess water won’t be standing around the roots. This is also good for plants that like moist (but not sopping wet) soil.
Love it! Great tip!
I know I asked you before how often you watered your burro tail. Mine keep dying on me. I’m using tap water which I think may be the problem. Do you use your rain barrel water? If you water weekly how much? 1/4 cup, until the water runs through the bottom? Keep a sista informed!
Oh gosh, I just water it a splash (with tap water) every week. Maybe about a tablespoon? It’s not a lot at all. Nothing runs out at the bottom. They’re succulents so they like things dry. And they like to be in the sun. Hope it helps!
Hey youngsters! I’ve coveted your burro tails for well before the almost three years since this post.
And last night, I was at a store and they had a small one- ecstatically bought it. Then TODAY I was at another store and they had a nice lovely larger one- got that too!
I feel like I need to reevaluate my whole life- so much energy freed up from the coveting now. :)
Cheers from Austin!
Haha- so glad! Congrats!
Kiwi Gardener says
Here’s another way to deal with long paperwhites … by keeping growth compact …
When the first roots are showing and sprouts reach 2-4″, replace water with 9 parts water:1 part alcohol. Use this solution for further watering and the result is about a 33% more compact display with just as large, long lasting fragrant flowers!
You can use rubbing alcohol if you don’t want to share your gin/vodka ;-)
love your houseplant overview!!! i saw some great ideas. placing cuttings in water is one of my favorites!
I just wanted to comment quickly on the Croton. I grew up in FL and we had these outside – if the leaves snap and you get any sap on your clothing it will stain very, very badly. So take care! Also, they are EXTREMELY poisonous, so please make sure that your little girl and dog don’t decide to taste the leaves.
Thanks! That guy has since died (after we moved he didn’t seem to like the new house) so he’s long gone!
I just wanted to let you guys know that you have a big fan from Down Under. I absolutely LOVE your website and I think you guys are the cutest couple ever. Your posts fills me with so much inspiration! Today I’m working on some frame arrangements on our very blank lounge room wall and succulents for the bathrooms and guest room. Keep up the amazing work!
You’re too kind Amy! Thanks for taking the time to write!
I had no idea that orchids are easy to care for. I had always assumed they were finicky flowers and had avoided them. I will have to pick some up and give them a try! I will need to get some burro tails as well. They hadn’t appealed to me before but your post sure makes them look like a perfect plant!
I so envy you guys… my cats eat all my indoor plants… I tried spraying the cats with water… snapping my fingers and telling them no… but nope… they will chew on them all. I have one left and it’s living outside until frost… then will bring it in and put it on a high shelf… but you can’t really see it..