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Six ideas for creating a lush indoor garden in a small space

From trendy macramé planters to easy-to-care-for terrariums, gardening expert Meredith Kirton has some great ideas for greening up your home

30 August 2020 - 00:02 By Meredith Kirton
Variety makes for an interesting display: choose plants with a range of foliage shapes and colours.
Variety makes for an interesting display: choose plants with a range of foliage shapes and colours.
Image: 123RF/Sonja Chnyj


This is an easy-to-care-for indoor option. The enclosed environment means the plants can cope with challenges like heaters, air conditioning and chemicals, like room fresheners and scented candles, better than most indoor plants.

To create a strata effect to the soil, put down a layer of charcoal, then a layer of peat or sphagnum moss and pebbles. Succulents and air plants are good choices.

Suspend a terrarium for space-saving baubles of green and a different look.


When planting in large containers, imagine each one as a mini garden and position plants so there is a backdrop, a centrepiece and a cascading front runner. This will extend flowering potential and give more bang for your buck from each pot.


These miniatures make fabulous "pets" for the horticulturally inclined. While they need to be grown outside for good light and air, they can be brought inside as a display.

Bonsai like to be watered daily and both roots and shoots pruned annually to keep them in check. Many can grow for decades and become part of the family, being passed down the generations.

Hanging macrame planters are having a moment.
Hanging macrame planters are having a moment.
Image: 123RF/followtheflow


Suspending potted plants is a great way to use vertical space and bring greenery inside. Macramé hangers, baskets and jellymould-like planters are making a fashion comeback.

Try hardy indoor plants like devil's ivy and spider plant, or ferns on shaded balconies. In brighter areas, use creeping succulents like strings of pearls and chain of hearts.


Succulents are perfect for smaller vessels like terracotta roof tiles, shells and wall-mounted planters. They root easily from cuttings and come in so many varieties that their appearance ranges from looking like cabbages and roses to jelly beans and fuzzy felt.


Plants that grow up or down create vertical interest. Train climbing plants to grow over a wall-mounted trellis, an old window frame or a picture frame. Allow the fronds to spill down from an elevated pot placed on a high shelf or on top of a cabinet or bookshelf.

Lush leafy vines like devil's ivy and heart-leaf philodendron are fast growing and fairly indestructible and are among the best plants for purifying the air. Be aware that some plants may be toxic to pets. - Bauersyndication.com.au/Magazinefeatures.co.za