Funky ways to display houseplants - Plantsmith
Mini terrarium

Funky ways to display houseplants

Houseplants literally breathe life into our homes filling blank spaces like botanical sculptures but there are so many ways we can utilise houseplants rather than simply placing them in a pot. If you need some inspiration for funky ways to display houseplants then read on…


Terrariums are indoor container gardens perfect for slow growing plants with fascinating foliage (see main image). The system can be open or closed. Open terrariums allow condensation to evaporate and are less likely to attract fungal diseases but closed environments create a humid environment generating their own ecosystem.

Terrariums come in all shapes and sizes from large glass units to repurposed jam jars. As there are no drainage holes, absorb excess water by putting a layer of small stones or clay pebbles (also known as LECA, lightweight expanded clay aggregate) in the base followed by activated charcoal which acts as a filtration system to soak up gases and contaminants, essential for closed units. Pop in a thin layer of moss and top up with peat-free cacti and succulent compost then enjoy filling your new indoor mini garden with plants.


Have you ever thought your houseplants are as pretty as a picture, well go the next step and create live houseplant wall art. Frames are a great way to emphasise plants as a feature. Online systems can be costly so try a simple alternative and do it yourself. 

Living plant frame
Living frame. Image: Debi Holland

Mount a deep box frame on the wall and take your houseplant collection vertical. If the frame is deep enough a narrow pot can be sat on the base then cared for as normal. If you have deep pockets then there are some exciting living wall frame systems available which incorporate water reservoirs so the unit can be in place for weeks without intervention.

Or if you fancy some DIY, nail a pocket planter into a box frame to make a living wall. Mesh hanging storage pockets for shoes are ideal or try wall mountable, eco-friendly felt pockets. This allows growing space for larger foliage plants but be warned, water is likely to escape out the bottom so install a drip tray below or hang in a conservatory rather than a carpeted lounge.

Succulents, air plants or moss lend themselves well to living in a box frame due to their compact size and low requirements, but if mounting on the a wall seems a challenge for gravity and watering, then why not create a moss table display. 

Buy a deep glass container and layer the bottom as you would a terrarium with small stones or LECA then peat-free compost before arranging the moss over the surface. Bun moss, the type you find on roofs, is ideal. Harvest moss from the home or garden or buy from sustainable sources online. Mist everyday to keep moss moist.

Macramé plant hanger

Macramé is the art of knotting cord, popular in the 70’s, as a funky way to make plant hangers and popularity has soared with houseplant lovers in recent years. Macramé offers an alternative way to display houseplants, vertically, suspended from the ceiling or a curtain rail.

There are numerous free patterns online to get you started where you can learn the difference between Lark’s head, square, half knot and half hitch. Before you know it you will be knot master producing your very own practical works of art.

Macrame plant hanger
Macramé plant hanger. Image: Debi Holland

Succulents in jars

Succulents like sempervivum, aloe or echeveria are simple to look after, require little water and have shelf appeal with their spiral of architectural, fleshy rosettes. Glass jars are a clean, contemporary way to show off succulents. Buy beautifully crafted orbs, mason jars or recycle glass dessert jars. Play around with suspending pots on hooks from shelves, on a rail or from a frame.

Succulents need good drainage and gritty soil so as jars have a sealed base care will be needed to not overwater and rot roots. Wrap moss around the edge of the jar, this will not only keep roots hydrated but suck up excess water to prevent soil staying soggy.

Succulents in a jar
Succulents in jars. Image: Debi Holland

Air plants on wooden mounts

Air plants, Tillandsia spp. are tropical epiphytes that cling to trees for support. They obtain all their food and water from the air around them rather than their host tree, making them a versatile houseplant as they can be situated virtually anywhere on anything as long as they can get bright indirect light, in a warm humid space. Misting is a must!

Air plants
Air plant on wooden mount. Image: Debi Holland

Spanish moss, Tillandsia usneoides, looks like it comes straight from the set of the sci-fi movie but this impressive plant can be hung from large houseplants like Monstera deliciosa or try branches of contorted hazel to mimic their natural habitat of large trees in the deep south of America and Mexico.

Cheats Kokedama

Kokedama is the Japanese art of planting in pot-less balls of soil wrapped in moss but if that sounds a challenge then buy a ready-made Kokedama coconut fibre hanging planter.

Complete with tied hanging string these handmade sphere planters are made from natural coconut fibres complete with a coated paper pot to retain water and minimise dripping.

A contemporary statement suitable for even the smallest of spaces.

Kokedama coconut fibre hanging planter
Kokedama coconut fibre hanging planter. Image: Debi Holland
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