Table of Contents
- Scindapsus pictus (Satin pothos)
- Dracaena trifasiata (Sansieveiera or Snake Plant)
- Philodendron erubescens (Prince Of Orange)
- Monstera Deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant)
- Epipremnum (Devils Ivy)
- Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)
- Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (ZZ)
- Yucca filamentosa (Yucca)
- Ficus elastica (Rubber Plant)
- Calathea lancifolia (Rattlesnake Plant)
- Nathan’s top tips
Nathan has transformed his house into an leafy haven (Picture: Nathan Thomas / Metro.co.uk)
Want to create your own urban jungle but not sure where to start? Plant stylist Nathan Thomas reveals his top tips for indoor plant design.
You can never have too many plants, says interiors’ plant stylist Nathan Thomas.
At the last count he had 120 pots in his fabulous three-bedroom home. And his collection is still growing.
‘When the floor space and shelves were full, the only way was up,’ he laughs.
His own urban jungle is a huge hit on Instagram where he shares his growing and styling tips with his green-fingered following.
‘Of course there are lots of tricks of the trade to creating and styling an urban jungle, but the key is to fill your home with the plants you really love,’ he says.
Nathan’s house is a true tropical paradise (Picture: Nathan Thomas)
‘With lots of practice, trial and error you can get pretty good at understanding not only your plants’ needs, but where they look good when styling the room.’
‘The best way to learn is from experience,’ says Nathan. ‘And while the failures lead to successes, it’s always tough to see a plant die.’ So here’s Nathan’s top ten easy plants to get your urban jungle off to a strong start.
Scindapsus pictus (Satin pothos)
Climbing plants are essential for an authentic jungle feel (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo)
‘Trailing plants are essential for an authentic looking jungle and these really know how to climb!
‘Attach to a moss pole for dramatic height or leave hanging over the side of a shelf or table.
‘Scindapsus prefer shade so will take off around the room if you use sticky back cable clips on the wall. Add more clips as the plant grows longer.’
Dracaena trifasiata (Sansieveiera or Snake Plant)
If you always forget to water, these are very hard to kill (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo)
‘Strong, robust, striking and almost kill-proof, Sansieviera are drought tolerant so if you forget to water they won’t hold it against you.
‘Happy in bright or shaded positions. These guys can grow tall so a deep planter is a good choice to help hold their roots in place.
‘Buy big and you have a dramatic standalone that looks great in a bare corner.’
Philodendron erubescens (Prince Of Orange)
Who doesn’t love a burst of colour (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
‘With every new leaf this one will produce a burst of vibrant orange before it turns dark green almost overnight.
‘Its big dramatic leaves grow wide, not upwards – making them a great plant for small compact spaces.’
Monstera Deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant)
No, they don’t grow cheese, unfortunately (Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)
‘The ultimate jungle plant with big, green leaves full of character and drama as they grow tall and wide. Position away from direct south-facing light so the leaves don’t get scorched.
‘These guys are climbers so a strong moss pole is recommended. Look great in a floor pot and up against a wall, which will give extra support.
‘A few smaller versions dotted around adds cohesion.’
Epipremnum (Devils Ivy)
Devils Ivy is a staple favourite for any plant lover (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo)
‘Super fast-growing trailing vine and a must-have for a jungle vibe.
‘They say this one ‘grows in the dark’ and that may be right. It could survive happily on a window ledge in a basement.’
Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)
The leaves are gorgeous (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo)
‘If the leaf variegation doesn’t win your heart, the fact it flowers throughout most of the year will. They drink a lot of water but are forgiving if you forget.
‘Place on a sideboard or a dresser to keep low to appreciate the beauty of the leaves.’
Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (ZZ)
These will look stunning on a windowsill (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo)
‘Extremely drought tolerant, you can pick these up in the classic green or black raven variety. Either one will make a statement for a small price.
‘Happy in a bright sunny position – the black raven is great for grouping with smaller plants with vibrant green leaves.’
Yucca filamentosa (Yucca)
Don’t underestimate these yucca plants, as they just grow and grow (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
‘A yucca will give your indoor jungle an added tropical vibe and with regular feeding and the right pot size, can grow over ten feet tall.
‘They do well in bright positions, are drought tolerant and benefit from regular re-potting – check underneath to see if the roots have outgrown their pot.’
Ficus elastica (Rubber Plant)
Understated but classic, the ‘rubber plant’ is a great addition to your jungle (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo)
‘These guys are best positioned in brightly lit spots but do well in lower lighting, too. Can grow very tall with the right care and great for corner grouping.
‘For added drama buy three and plant them in the same pot to create a bigger plant. It’s also cheaper than buying a more mature plant.’
Calathea lancifolia (Rattlesnake Plant)
These are what tropical dreams are made of (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo)
‘With striking variegation and deep aubergine undersides, this has got to be
the easiest Calathea to take care of. It grows on the forest floor and the lancifolia have adapted well to the drier, brighter conditions of the home.
‘Place on table tops, or group in odd numbers for added wow factor.’
For more plant inspiration visit Instagram @bohemiahousejungle.
Nathan’s top tips
Tone and texture
Have lots of fun with the foliage, says Nathan. ‘Don’t be frightened to mix things up with textures, colours and size.
One of my favourite things to do is mix flowering or coloured foliage plants with heavier, dark green foliage.
Indoor Hydrangeas or Crotons are stunning to sit amongst your green jungle giving you an instant shot of colour and fun!’
Trailing plants add drama and can turn your home into an Amazonian oasis, says Nathan.
‘Layers are vital – hang plants in lightweight pots from wire cage light fittings, curtain poles, on shelves and window ledges, or put some hooks in the ceiling.
If you are renting, use adhesive cable clips as these won’t put holes in the wall.’
Dress a bare corner
For instant impact, start with a tall plant like a Yucca or rubber plant, says Nathan. ‘Lifting larger plants off of the floor onto a table brings their leaves above head height, which creates an instant canopy.
‘Pop a couple of trailing plants on the table, to hide the legs. Start layering by placing low, wide plants underneath to disguise the table.
‘Keep adding plants until you cover the last planter. This softens the floor line and gives the illusion everything is growing from the ground.
Be bold with where you put your plant pots (Picture: Nathan Thomas)
It’s tempting to spend big on bold pots: ‘But for a jungle vibe, make sure the plants are the star of the show, not the planters.
‘Keep containers neutral so they blend into the background. I mostly use greys, natural woods and woven basket style planters.
‘Experiment with shapes, textures and materials.’
‘Creating triangular shapes is a really simple aesthetic technique that all the best designers and high street retailers use when styling. Always group in groups of threes or fives as odd numbers provide balance.
‘There’s no set pattern – the triangle can be vertical, horizontal or off-centre.’
Get green fingers like Nathan and never look back (Picture: Nathan Thomas)
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