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Using Plants for Interior Design

local plant experts lend their advice

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by Ben Rueter

A loft at the current Volume One Headquarters, this is an example of what plants can do for your interior. These were installed and are maintained by Tropical Interiors.
 
A loft at the current Volume One Headquarters, this is an example of what plants can do for your interior. These were installed and are maintained by Tropical Interiors.

Remember that surge of warm weather we had recently and maybe you thought this would be a great time to get a head start on beautifying your home’s exterior with the flower garden? That warm weather ended and now it’s back to normal spring temperatures. Which means you are desperately covering your plants trying to save them from the early morning frost. Because many of you may have fallen victim to Wisconsin’s bipolar weather, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to try adding pizzazz to your home’s interior instead.

Brent Stelzer, of Brent Douglas Flowers for Everyday, said interior plants are a great thing to change the feel of a room and clean the air. “It brings a softer element to a room instead of everything being hard and crisp,” Stelzer said.

But if you’re looking to start using plants for interior designs, there are a few things to avoid.

Plants need water, but not too much or too little. Stelzer said people will tend to over-water a plant and let them sit in it, essentially drowning the plant. While other times people will only water the top layer, which will evaporate and never reach the roots.

Beverly Powell, who runs Tropical Interiors and installs/maintains several local plant displays, said that soil plays a major role in interior plant care. She said to look for the “fluffy” soil like Miracle Grow.

Just because you are indoors it doesn’t mean pests can’t reach your plants. Powell warned to look out for mites and gnats that can damage your plants and soil.

Stelzer encouraged dressing up your plant in funs ways like adding peacock feather to add some more color. “Little gourds or something like that for the fall to give it a more seasonal flare,” Stelzer said.

One thing not to avoid when starting an interior garden is local flower shops and specialists, Stelzer said. You may be able to look at something and judge if it fits a color scheme or particular room, but that plant may not be the most practical for your needs. And big department stores may not have the knowledge of how to properly equip your indoor garden.

There’s a reason medical offices and restaurants have plants, Powell said. They make you feel comfortable and welcome. Andisn’t that exactly how you want to feel at home?

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