Low-Maintenance Live Plants to Freshen Up Your Space

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Live indoor plants are a great way to incorporate a splash of color or add a touch of life and vibrancy to just about any space.

Don’t let the idea of maintenance deter you, says Meredith Boudousquie, owner of Decorating Den Interiors – Plume Home Group. With a little planning, it’s possible to select plants — whether a small colorful cactus, a flowering plant or even an indoor tree — that add to the overall aesthetic of a room and thrive without the close attention of an experienced green thumb.

“I’m really big on plants that need very little love,” Boudousquie says. “There are many varieties of live plants that can thrive in shaded areas and require little attention. Because of this, they can make great accessories and are an inexpensive way to add liveliness and color to a space.”

When considering plants for an indoor space, Boudousquie says it’s important to avoid making impulse decisions based solely on how something looks. Taking a little time to research the typical upkeep and consider any possible allergies related to a particular plant will lead to a better outcome. Even the prettiest plant may not be a good fit for your home.

When Boudousquie meets with clients for the first time, she discusses any concerns over live plants, along with other natural materials that could aggravate allergies. As the project progresses, she works with her clients to select plants and materials that are best suited for each space and the people who call it home. “What I do is incredibly personal,” she says. “Every project is custom, each family is unique and every household runs differently. That’s the exciting part of what I do and why I love it!”

Still, there are several combinations of plants and spaces that tend to work well for many people. Boudousquie says she finds herself often placing colorful varieties of plants in empty corners of dining rooms to add a splash of color. She’s also fond of plants that are not only beautiful, but functional, such as mold-absorbing varieties of ivy in bathrooms and small herb plants in kitchens.

Here are a few of her favorite low-maintenance plants to liven up your living space.


Available in an endless array of colors and shapes, and nearly impervious to even the most inept of gardeners, succulents like aloe vera and cactus have exploded in popularity in recent years. Boudousquie recommends these types of plants because they are available in a wide range of colors and sizes, which makes them a versatile tool for decorating with any design style.

“Succulents can start off small and depending on what size pot you put them in, can grow quite large,” she says. “For added color and drama, different varieties of succulents can be potted together for a more dramatic look.”

Some varieties can adapt well to low light, but most succulents generally need about six hours of sunlight a day. Keep them close to a window if possible.

Flowering/Colorful Plants

Flowers are one of the easiest ways to incorporate a touch of color into your indoor space without making a large financial commitment like painting walls or buying pieces of furniture. “Starting with a simple plant on a side table or in an empty corner of the room, is a noncommittal way to introduce color into a space without spending a ton of money,” Boudousquie says. “If you don’t like the color, you can easily exchange it for another plant in a different color or variety.”

Flowers are notoriously fickle and labor-intensive, but there are several varieties that offer a bright punch of color without trying your patience. Geraniums, African violets and peace lilies are all low-maintenance and beautiful options that offer a good starting point for incorporating flowers into any interior design.

If you’re looking for color, don’t limit yourself to only traditional flowering plants. Available in a diverse palette of colors, bromeliads can provide an exotic tropical feel to any room, Boudousquie says. These indoor champs are easy to water, resistant to low light and generally flexible and hardy. They are quite varied though, so be sure to ask your local nursery for a variety that works well indoors.

Small Indoor Trees

Boudousquie says that incorporating small trees into indoor spaces is becoming popular again. Among the most popular, she says, is the fiddle-leaf fig, which produces large, violin-shaped leaves that offer a striking impression of green. Other popular indoor tree options include yucca trees, rubber trees and even olive trees. “All of these are very versatile and can blend in with any design style,” she says.

Boudousquie says small citrus trees have become increasingly popular options as indoor plants, offering a living green element and a pleasant aroma to a space. If you’re looking to try an indoor citrus tree, a ponderosa lemon may be a variety to consider.

“Lots of people would like to bring the outside in, but don’t know how” she says. “What a cool concept to bring something that traditionally lives outdoors, into your home!”

Contact Decorating Den Interiors – Plume Home Group to learn how you can incorporate live plants into your home.