We love a good #plantshelfie. My one-bedroom flat in London has four different plant shelfies—in the bedroom, living room, and kitchen—and it’s the best thing ever. There’s just something about picking an aesthetic, choosing the plants and pots that will make up your shelfie, and then styling it (and styling it again, and again, until it’s perfect).
We're not alone in our love for a good plant shelfie. There is a whole hashtag dedicated to the perfect #plantshelfies on Instagram, where we see how other people are using plants to make a decor statement. We talked to a few plant parents who know how to style a great shelfie. They shared their tips and tricks so you can create an epic plant shelfie at home.
Tip 1: Curate a Diverse Set of Plants for Your Shelfie
Who: Dorrington Reid of @dorringtonr
His plant shelfies are so full and lush, you can barely see the shelves—just the way we like it.
Tips from Dorrington: “I think a good place to start is by using a mix of different types of plants. Different growth structure, different leaf shapes, colours, and textures. I like to mix more common everyday plants like philodendron Brazil, hoya carnosa, and pilea peperomioides with some of my more uncommon/rare plants like anthurium crystallinum, fernleaf cactus, and cercestis mirabilis.”
How he updates his plant shelfie: “About once a month I remove everything from the shelves so that I can clean the shelves off and I’ll usually take that as an opportunity to restyle things.” It’s important to keep your plant shelves clean since soil can get everywhere, so this is a great time to shake things up.
Tip 2: Create Balance in Your Plant Shelfie Arrangement
Who: Caitlyn Kibler of @ohokaycaitlyn
This has to be one of the most unique plant shelves we have ever seen. Her shelves actually frame a staircase.
Tips from Caitlyn: “It’s all about balance! I prefer to evenly space out the larger and smaller plants so one spot doesn’t look too “weighed down.” The plants with longer vines are placed higher up on the shelf so they can really hang to their full potential and create a jungle vibe. It’s also important to take good care of your plants by making sure they have adequate light (hence the not-so-cute track lighting that has helped so much!), and by watering once the top two inches of the soil are dry. That way, they’ll look their prettiest when you snap that photo.”
Her lighting setup: Because of her lighting situation she chooses to keep low-light plants on the shelf. “There are several types of pothos (aka scindapsus and epipremnum for plant folks out there!), also some maranta and trailing philodendron. Trailing, long, plants definitely look best—their leaves fill in the gaps on the shelf and create a really pretty “plant wall” feeling.”
Moving her plants: Caitlyn frequently moves her plants around but she said that now that spring is coming she doesn’t want to disturb them. “They get shuffled around pretty regularly, but the bigger plants (like the loooong golden pothos) have their assigned spots and mostly stay put. I like to detangle or “fluff out” each plant every once in a while to make sure the vines aren’t getting too tangled over time—it can be a pain in the butt but really makes such a difference in keeping them looking lush & healthy.”
Tip 3: Different Plant Sizes and Shapes + Books Make for the Perfect Shelfie
Who: Aina of @planterogplaneter
The variety of textures and the additions of the books are just perfect.
Tips from Aina: “For me a shelfie is best if it’s filled with plants of different sizes, patterns and leaf shapes. Trailing plants are truly the key to create that urban jungle vibe, so in my opinion no shelfie is complete without them.
"I also love to combine my plants with book. Books are the perfect way to create some extra dimension, and they make such good plant stands!”
Updating her shelfie: She changes up her shelves frequently. “This happens at least once a week, but to be honest, during the summer season it might change daily. It’s just such a pleasure to play around with them and see who looks best where. It’s kind of meditative.”
Right now, her shelf is filled with “Philodendron micans, Ceropegia woodii, Scindapsus pictus, Scindapsus treubii, Alocasia black velvet (such a favorite at the moment!), Lepismium bolivianum, some Begonia maculata cuttings and Philodendron tortum.” It’s a lovely collection of textures and patterns which is so important when styling that shelfie.