We know that houseplants are popular, and people are creating striking displays in their homes. From living walls to hanging art made from air plants, there’s so much creativity involved in creating a spectacular indoor garden. Make the most of every inch of your home by designing a staircase garden with these tips…
Under the stairs
If you have space under the stairs, you can transform this little nook into an indoor garden haven. You don’t need a huge space to spare, but remember that you need to have sufficient sunlight for the plants to thrive. However, depending on the sunlight that reaches the area, you can adapt the plants in the spot to suit it best.
Depending on the desired design, there are many routes you can go down. For example, create a zen style garden with light coloured pebbles, stones, or sand as the foundation.
Place a potted bonsai or Dracaena sanderiana (lucky bamboo) in the area, and embellish with ornaments, statues or art that complements to design for a peaceful oasis.
For a busy household, you can’t go wrong with low maintenance succulents. Haworthia truncata (horse’s teeth) is a little bit unusual with the tooth-like shape, and the translucent parts of the leaves that aid photosynthesis.
What would a succulent display be without an Echeveria? Echeveria elegans, or Mexican snowball, has grey-blue foliage that has a magical effect, especially when contrasted with other coloured foliage.
For more fun and interesting foliage, Sedum morganianum ‘Burrito’ has bubble-like leaves that trail and cascade out of the pot. This makes it a great plant for hanging baskets, which will bring another dimension to your under the stairs garden display.
Of course, natural sunlight is needed for the plants to grow their best, and more plants prefer bright but indirect sunlight. However, grow lights can be installed if you want to turn under the stairs into a glorious garden but don’t have optimum sunlight.
LED grow lights could be a worthwhile investment to brighten up the area and keep the plants happy.
When choosing and positioning grow lights, it’s important to bear in mind a few things. For example, the size will depend on how many plants need cover, as well as the type of light fitting needed. There are options that hang down, or ones that screw into place like a normal light fitting.
The grow lights should be positioned around 2 feet away from the plants, so there needs to be sufficient space to accommodate this.
Stairs to success
If you have a smaller space and want something less permanent, you can still achieve a striking staircase garden.
Create a separate compartment by outlining the shape and adding edging or a large container to fit the display. Lay then with white stones or gravel to emphasise and highlight that area. Then, simply top the stones with neutral ceramic planters filled with peace lilies, orchids, and ferns for a soft and calming impact.
Alternatively, go for bold containers filled with colourful plants such as Aechmea fasciata (urn plant) for structural beauty and Aglaonema crete (red Chinese evergreen) that brings a bold boost of colour and doesn’t demand much.
Up the walls
However, if you don’t have an alcove, or even a staircase, you can utilise wall space with mounted shelving a living art to bring the outdoors in.
Gallery walls going up the stairs have always been popular, and they’re seeing even more of an increase in interior design. So, why not put a horticultural twist on it and create a living gallery wall full of mounted plants.
Fit Tillandsia to a piece of driftwood and attach it to the wall for a natural piece of living art. As long as they have access to sufficient light and humidity, they will be quite happy.
A living frame can be filled with succulents like Echeveria, Sempervivums, and Pachyphytum bracteosum (silver bracts). The succulent foliage means this would be a low maintenance installation to your home, so it delivers a lot but doesn’t demand much.
Make the most of every nook and cranny in your home by transforming your staircase into a marvellous indoor garden, filled with flowers and foliage to help bring an air of tranquillity to your home.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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