Bring on the big display. Add a third container (we opted for a vase-shaped copper pot), and include two more plants in the arrangement. Repeat the selections you already have instead of bringing different ones into the mix. Leave Look 1 in the original container with all three plants. Add a 'Limelight' dracaena to the second pot, and then include another 'Brasil' heart-leaf philodendron in the copper vase.
Why it works: We have three containers that are all in the same color family, even though the materials are different. The original pot and the copper one have similar shapes, giving the arrangement a well-planned appearance. Notice the placement of the plants: The dracaenas line up on one side, and the philodendrons on the other. Along with the palm, this makes a neat triangle of texture, which is restful to the eye.
- To lighten the load, fill the containers with enough packing peanuts to bring the rim of the largest plant's pot almost even with the edge of the decorative container. Place a plastic saucer on top of the peanuts to catch water. Elevate a small pot with a brick.
- If you can't find the perfect decorative container or if you have the right pot but it's the wrong color, do what we did: Spray-paint it. Our large plastic container started out orange. We updated it with a metallic bronze shade.
Why these three plants?
- The Chinese fan palm brings height and grace to the mix without overpowering the space.
- The 'Limelight' dracaena's brilliant green foliage brightens the arrangement and is a new look for an old-fashioned houseplant.
- The 'Brasil' heart-leaf philodendron links the others with the combination of dark and light green shading on its foliage.
How much do they cost?
- Chinese fan palm in a 10-inch pot costs between $15 and $20 at a nursery or home-improvement center.
- 'Limelight' dracaena in a 10-inch pot costs about $25 at a nursery. Choose a traditional dracaena from a home-improvement center, and spend only $10 to $20.
- 'Brasil' heart-leaf philodendron in an 8-inch hanging basket can be found for $10 to $15.
"Fill in the Blank With Houseplants" is from the January 2006 issue of Southern Living.