Here's a fun concept to kick off our Build Your Own series...let's talk Plant Cave! We recently helped a friend convert a sunny family playroom into a functional indoor jungle...slash family playroom. Picking the right spot in the house was tricky until we started asking the right questions. Here are the top three questions (and answers) that helped us make it a success:
Where do you have the most natural light?
Plants need light, so take the best advantage you can of your natural light opportunities. Consider whether you can add shelves/tables near windows or use the window sills. Artificial lights can be used [we use LED grow lamps] to brighten dark corners and windowless walls. They are essential in our home during winter due to limited natural light.
Where do you have space for plants?
Try to look at your options with an open mind about where you can make room, not where you have room. Consider how you can add storage in well lit spaces. A project like this usually starts with limited space, so being creative is critical. Try to create more efficient storage like shelves, hangers, or side tables. You’ll be surprised by how much room you can make. In fact, you may need more plants now...hehe.
What is the proximity to your best plant care spaces?
Whether you water your plants in the sink, tub, or outdoors, you’ll want to build their new jungle quarters with easy access to where you do your dirty work. Our first choice is to locate them near an exterior door where we have additional plant storage and water options. We live in the south where we move plants in and out all year long to take advantage of mild conditions.
After asking and thoroughly answering the above questions, we knew exactly what we wanted to do. With the mix of a custom built plant shelf feature and metal racks from the home improvement store, we had plenty of storage with easy mounting for the grow lights.
Once you’ve established your new indoor plant cave, group your plants by lighting and humidity preferences. Tight groups of like plants can create microclimates that make plant care even more simple. Misting clusters of tropical plants is as therapeutic for us as it is for them. Thoughtful design will set you up for success in surprising ways!