Dwell On This: It’s Time to Rearrange Your Plants

Dwell On This: It’s Time to Rearrange Your Plants

Need a change of scenery? Try forming new plant cliques.
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At a Glance


  • Unless you're afraid of change, anyone can shake things up.


  • Work with what you've got.


  • Knock this out in an afternoon.

Sometimes reaching for low-hanging fruit reaps the sweetest reward, and rearranging your houseplants is low fruit indeed. Instead of placing plants around the house piecemeal, group them together. The effect of a verdant corner can be as dramatic as any piece of furniture or decorative item, and it also won’t cost a thing. And unless you’re an avid collector of the largest specimens, arranging plants can be done without accosting a significant other or roommate for help.

But before you begin moving your chlorophyll collection around willy-nilly, remember: Plants, like high schoolers, like to stay in cliques. The amount of light and heat they receive throughout the day will in turn affect how much moisture they’ll require and retain between waterings. Plants of hardier stock can endure more frequent moves and variable conditions, while sensitive species might best be left alone. We use color-coded label stickers to mark which plants favor similar conditions—low, medium, or high light (if you don’t know, try the PlantSnap app)—and group accordingly.

Knowing whether a plant likes to grow higher up or hugging the ground in its natural habitat not only benefits its health, but should determine where each plant is placed in its grouping. Once you’ve got these details down, you can get down to the satisfying process of arranging by shapes, color, and sizes. Remember your school class photo? Layer by height, placing larger plants at the back or hanging above, with smaller specimens up front. Ceiling hooks, shelves, side tables and stands all certainly help, but try to make best with what you’ve already got for a fresh new look.

Illustration by Sophia Yeshi

Related Reading: 

The Beginner’s Guide to Propagating Houseplants

5 Houseplants You Can’t Kill

Gregory Han
Co-author of Poketo's Creative Spaces: People, Homes, and Studios to Inspire Find me at @DesignMilk /// @Wirecutter /// @dwellmagazine /// @dominomag


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