Before getting started, consider the following tips:
- Rather than planting all together, leave each plant in its original container or temporarily unpotted with the root ball wrapped in plastic or moss.
- Selected plants should thrive in similar light conditions, but can have different watering needs if you are able to care for them individually. Of course, if the plants are intended to live together long term, they should be compatible in their light and watering needs for easier maintenance.
- Work with plants of varying heights and textures for a full, layered effect.
1. Choose a Container
The type of vessel to contain your plants can set the style or color theme of your creation. Since this may only be temporary, think beyond the typical plant pot—a beautiful ceramic bowl, a decorative serving dish or tray, a basket, or a repurposed container like an old ice bucket could be cool. Ideally, the container has a wide opening that has room for several plants.
- Protect the inside of the container, if necessary, by lining it with plastic or cling wrap.
- Consider setting it on a plant protector or coaster to protect home surfaces from moisture, condensation, or scratching.
- The size and shape of the vessel will determine how many plants will fit into your arrangement. Remember, you can temporarily remove the plants from their pots and wrap them in wet moss or plastic to help better fit into your chosen container.
- Use tall pots or plastic containers to prop up plants in tall vessels, or fill bottom with packing peanuts or Styrofoam for support.
2. Select Indoor Plants
- Work with plants of varying heights and container sizes.
- Use the “thriller, filler, spiller” concept to create lush, multilayered plantings.
- Show off a collection—assemble your favorite ferns, succulents, begonias, etc.
- Feature something blooming—surround an orchid with trailing golden pothos or place a grouping of maidenhair ferns around a blooming African violet.
- Use patterned foliage like that of a calathea, prayer plant, or aglaonema for dramatic contrast or to coordinate with colors in container.
- Consider foliage shapes and textures—upright (snake plant), shiny (ZZ plant), or frilly (fern).
3. Assemble the Arrangement
- If your container has ample room to accommodate plastic pots, they can be placed directly into the vessel (if the vessel is transparent, line the bottom with sheet moss to conceal the pots).
- If you are trying to fit more into a small space, it may be advantageous to remove plants from their pots and individually wrap their rootballs in plastic or wet moss secured with twine.
- Begin with the largest plant and continue adding plants by size, finishing with the smallest.
- Cover the base of the arrangement and conceal plastic containers with a layer of moss (Spanish, sphagnum, reindeer, or preserved sheet moss) for a finished look.
- Add stones, seashells, driftwood, crystals, or other natural items for visual interest, if desired.
Care & Maintenance
If your creation is intended to be a temporary arrangement, it should be disassembled and plants repotted after about 10 days to two weeks. If plants need care while on display, carefully remove each plant for watering to avoid damaging the container. If the vessel is water resistant, it is okay to provide small amounts of water to plants while leaving them in place or misting the arrangement to help keep plants hydrated.
If the grouping is meant to be more permanent, monitor each plant for watering needs and care for as needed. Occasional fertilizing, turning, and grooming will help each plant achieve balanced and healthy growth.