Live Plants for Staging and Living

I love having live plants around the house.  I really look forward to new blooms on my flowering plants, the hibiscus being my favorite (yes, even in Colorado!).  I mourn the loss of the beautiful pink flower once it closes its petals for the final time, but take comfort in knowing that with a little love a new bloom will take its place soon.  I also relish the texture added by the various types of greenery I keep around (the Mother-In-Law’s Tongue is my favorite, and not just because of its name!).

When I was doing staging full time, clients often asked if I staged with live plants, and my answer was a regretful “no.”  If it were practicable, I would have – believe me.  Although there are many fantastic fakes out there, there’s nothing quite like a live, lush houseplant.  However, from a staging perspective, live plants are often impracticable.  If the house is vacant, who will water and monitor the plant?  If the house is occupied, the question is the same – we all have good intent, but, let’s face it, not everyone has a green thumb, and you’ve got a lot to think about besides caring for plants while your house is on the market.  On very high-end houses, the home owner might want to consider hiring a plant service or a local florist to keep up live plants in the house while it’s on the market.  Otherwise, I just don’t think its worth the effort.  And there are few bigger decorating downers than dead, wilted, ugly plants.  If a plant can’t survive in the house, how will the occupants fare?

As we’re all aware, lived-in homes aren’t staged homes, so I think the more houseplants the merrier.  If you don’t have the money to invest in furniture to fill spaces, consider houseplants.  For instance, I filled an empty, well-lit corner of our large great room with a bird of paradise.  While it hasn’t enjoyed the indoor Colorado climate enough to bloom, it is green and otherwise thriving, and looks great. It brings an ironic touch of tropical to the snowy mountain views.

Houseplants also filter out indoor toxins.  A great website explaining the best filtering plants is  It even provides some of the science and studies available to help you decide which plant is best for you.  A couple hints for all my Colorado readers:  I’ve had great luck with the mother-in-law tongue and dracaena here.  Also, keep aloes away from drafts and they will be fine.  Date palm trees, on the other hand, hate me!


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