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ORNAMENTAL or houseplants remain the cheapest and easiest way to brighten up and decorate interior spaces. They literally breathe life into any room they’re in and bring a touch of nature indoors.

Houseplants come in an amazing variety of shapes, sizes and even colors, and it doesn’t take a person much imagination to decorate a house quickly using houseplants. Interesting specimens can make dramatic focal points on top of the coffee table while bigger varieties fill in the corners or background wonderfully. The dark pastel colors of the leaves and bark are the interior decorator’s dream – matching any wall color, furnishing, or style in the home, or you can use them to hide unsightly elements like a crack in the wall.

Houseplants have been used for therapeutic purposes, for decoration, or simply to set a certain mood in any location. Because of houseplants are cheap and so inviting, they encourage impulse buying. How many times have you come across a regal looking plant and thought how nice it would look beside your settee? Or you saw an unusual flowering species and you just had to have it on top of your dining table for the scheduled party? Or you fancied a tiny bonsai tree, imaging how it would sit on your study table?

But more often than not, people mistake houseplants for furniture. Once again, remember that houseplants are living organisms with specific needs. Impulse buying can lead to disaster, especially if you are blissfully ignorant of a plant’s required climatic conditions. For instance, placing a houseplant near a window that gets direct sunlight is recipe for a quick demise for the plant.

Ornamental Plants Location and Condition Tips

Today we’ll discuss about suitable conditions and locations for houseplants in your home.

For starters, you need to consider a plant’s three basic needs – how much sun it requires, how much water, and the right pot for it.

Contrary to popular science belief, you can actually tell how much sunlight a plant needs just by looking at it – or rather, looking at its lighting conditions at the place you bought it. For example, if you’re shopping at a nursery and saw a plant displayed in a shady and cool area, chances are it’s a shade-loving plant. Conversely, a plant displayed in full sunlight will grow sickly in the shade.

At home, give thought to the location you intend to place the plant. Is the area facing east? Does it get very hot and bright in the afternoon? Is there strong artificial lighting? Does the artificial light generate too much heat? Match the correct plant to the correct location and you’d save yourself a ton of frustration and trouble.

Watering is an issue that, surprisingly, the most educated of Malaysians can’t seem to demystify. Over watering is still the biggest reason of plant collapse. Here’s a rule of thumb – water a plant only when the topsoil in the pot is dry to the touch.

For location ideas, it is generally prudent to place the plants within easy reach. For hanging baskets or places high above reach, choose plants that can go without water for a few days.

Group plants in a “nursing area”. Not only do plants look better in a bunch, but it also makes watering easier, and the plants are healthier. The humidity around a group of plants is more than around a single plant.

For special occasions, you can deck all areas of a room with plants, aiming for maximum display effect, but remember to return the plants to more suitable locations after the party.

At the end of the day, as much pleasure as the plants give you, remember that the plants need to enjoy themselves as well with the right environmental conditions.

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