Creating Your Own Urban Jungle

Slow-climbing vines, flashes of green and gold, living forces that double up as space and chi litmus tests: plants provide us with the environmental essence we crave while mirroring our energy back to us.

I’ve always dreamed of creating my very own sacred space bustling with greenery from every visible crevice. The thought of bringing in these wild plants and fostering a new home for them lights me up and inspires me to consistently show up for them just as they’ve provided for me.

It’s taken me almost a year to get to where I am now. And just as seasons change, so do indoor plants and how they adapt to fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and sunlight. Some have flourished, while others have remained dormant until more favorable weather arrives once more. I try not to get discouraged; I’ve since learned that plants are simply reminders that blooms and wilts are inevitable. That we must remember to savor both components to fully honor the entirety of their existence.

“Nothing gold can stay.

IMG_8009.JPG

Start with one or two plants you resonate with. Repot them once they’re ready to move on.

Getting started is easy: purchase, borrow, find, save, or be gifted one plant. It could be a pothos or a succulent, a fern or a zz plant. Whatever speaks to you and brings you joy within your home. I like to line my plants up against the windowsill for maximum light during the winter months. I’ve also repotted almost all of my plants over the 7+ months I’ve owned them. To repot plants:

  • Notice if their roots are beginning to grow out of the bottom of the pot
  • Massage around the current pot to loosen up soil and roots, focusing on the lower half (where the roots are most taut
  • Turn 45 degrees and gently slide naked plant out from its home
  • Place in new pot and cover with potting soil (you can get a huge bag for ~$10 from your local garden supply store)
  • Add a stick of fertilizer and water thoroughly

IMG_8017.JPG

Get creative with your pots and water saucers.

I’ve gotten a good deal of inexpensive pots from HomeGoods, CostPlus World Market, and unused ceramics. Crème brûlée or quiche bowls are perfect for catching water under pots. Visit a local thrift shop or call up your mother to see if she has any laying around (odds are, she does).

Pictured above are a Swiss cheese plant (or monstera) and a peace lily. Peace lily’s are known for their space detoxification qualities. And Swiss cheese plants just look rad!

IMG_8020.JPG

Add dimension to your space with hanging plants, tall trees, and stools.

These rope plant hangers were only $8 from CostPlus World Market. I strung them on pre-existing hooks that came with my apartment (I think they’re supposed to be for TV or electric cables haha). The pothos plant creates a beautiful silhouette and continues to grow longer each day.

If you can afford a tree, go for it! However, they are a bit more difficult to take care of. I haven’t quite figured out how to balance sunlight, water, and humidity with this fiddle leaf fig, but it’s a work in progress. You can always ask your garden shop for gardening best practices.

IMG_8008.JPG

IMG_8014.JPG

Preserve flowers and reuse them as decoration. Fake plants also help add to the overall vibe while promising longevity and flair.

I learned this trick from my dad: when you notice flowers begin to droop, hang them upside down with tape or clothespins until they completely dry up. Drying time usually takes about a week depending on moisture. After that, you can place them in the same vase they came in, separate and layer them into smaller jars, peel the leaves apart to make potpourri, or throw them in your bath when you’re ready.

Additionally, I’ve purchased fake flowers from Michael’s or Jo-ann’s and taped them to my bedroom wall. I love how they add the perfect touch of color.IMG_8018.JPG

Hang eucalyptus on your shower head for a spa-like experience.

I learned how to do this from a fellow wellness blogger: LeeFromAmerica. All you have to do is purchase a bouquet of eucalyptus from Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Whole Foods, or your local farmer’s market and tie it around your shower head. As the hot steam radiates from the shower, the pores of the eucalyptus open and cast a lovely scent as you cleanse.

Additionally, ferns thrive in the shower and need to be watered as often as you do. ZZ plants also do well in low-light conditions. For this reason I keep mine in the bathroom, where natural light can be a bit sparse.

IMG_8023.JPG

AfterlightImage 2.JPGIMG_8019.JPG

Add pops of color and greenery to any area that feels bare!

As I mentioned earlier, you can split plants into several different decorative pieces by drying them, pairing them with other varietals (even herbs like thyme), or simply providing them with new pots. I will usually have a bouquet of flowers as a centerpiece on my coffee table, but I find that plants in unexpected areas really adds to the overall balance of my apartment.

IMG_8012.JPG

Let me know if you have any questions or want to learn more about my urban jungle! Thanks for reading.

Leave a Reply