The need for a qualitative expansion of the area on which indoor plants can be displayed sooner or later arises in front of every florist. Replenishment of collections with novelties and “fashionable” plants, forcing bulbs for the holidays, increasing the number of plants after their separation increase your collection from year to year. And if there is less trouble with cultures placed inside the interior, then it is very difficult to find a new place on the windowsill. The area of these brightest places in the house is more than limited. To find a way to place more plants on the windowsills, you need to rationally approach their placement and look for an opportunity to bring collections to new levels.
Indoor plants on the windowsill
Despite the wide range of indoor plants that feel great in partial shade and shade, many indoor stars belong to light-loving indoor crops. And the main place for such plants in many houses and apartments remains only window sills – the only places where without artificial lighting, you can meet the requirements of blooming and decorative deciduous non-shady stars. If the windows face north, west and east, then moving away from the windowsill is undesirable due to a sharp decrease in light intensity for most plants. And with the onset of winter, window sills become the only option for almost all cultures, because the reduction in the amount of light must be compensated for by rearranging to more illuminated places, even for fans of partial shade.
For those who have a moderate number of cultures in their collection, and only a few containers with spectacular sun-worshiping stars are placed on the windowsill, it is much easier than the owners of extensive collections. But if you don’t have enough room for new experiments or acquired stars, don’t despair: there are great ways to increase the nominal area of the windowsill. They are suitable both for those who have the problem of having a place with suitable lighting constantly, and for those who have such difficulties only periodically – for example, during the growing season of seedlings, when permanent indoor residents are forced to move to free up space for its crops.
Placement options for additional plants are almost always associated with finding a way to use vertical space, placing plants on the upper levels. Streamlining the placement method also makes room for several new plants. Let’s take a closer look at the 5 best ways to increase the usable area of the windowsill.
Method 1. Racks and shelves
This option is well known to everyone who grows seedlings: in order to place a lot of cut plants on modest window sills, temporary shelves are often built for them – a rack of 2 – 3 shelves on which plants can be placed. Shelves and racks, in fact, duplicate the window sill itself and add a few more horizontal planes.
It is not at all necessary that the shelves be equal in length to the windowsill itself. You can place a small shelving unit in the corner of the window by adding a few more shelves of 2-3 plants each. And if the shelves are made of glass or acrylic instead of wooden, then the negative impact (shading) will be minimal. The construction of a simple rack is within the power of even those who are little familiar with the solar business. Moreover, today in the shops of furniture accessories you can find a huge number of supports, blanks, fasteners and decorative materials that will allow you to assemble a shelf like a designer.
Shelves and racks of various sizes are more suitable for placing not too massive and tall crops – for example, a collection of cacti or Saintpaulias.
Method 2. Stands and flowerpots with legs
The second option does not require any special tweaks and skills. Today on sale you can find a variety of both size and style stands for indoor plants. Along with “tripods” and large complexes for 5-7 crops, there are original compact stands for one plant. And the choice of flowerpots with legs, with an additional base, elongated shape, double containers allows you to look for options that allow you to raise plants higher and reduce the area they occupy on the windowsill to your taste and budget.
It is necessary to place flowerpots on stands or change the usual pots to raised ones when the too spreading, lush, massive crown of a plant takes up too much space on the windowsill and significantly exceeds the volume of the container itself. Plants with large leaves or cascades of shoots descending to the windowsill thanks to the stand will not interfere with neighbors who are placed tightly to them. And the place that was previously occupied by their greenery on the windowsill will be freed up for other cultures.
Strictly speaking, this is one of the variations of plant shelves, but due to a completely different nature and much less shading effect, it should be considered separately. Today on sale there is a large selection of so-called vertical shelves, on which you can put up to 12 plants. These are demountable structures, which consist of steel sections installed one on top of the other and fasteners for plants. When fully assembled, such a vertical shelf-rack occupies the space between the floor and the ceiling (the height is very easy to adjust). But if you use part of the structure and remove some sections, then it can be placed in the corner between the surface of the window sill and the upper slope of the window. The graceful vertical support does not take away a lot of light, but allows you to place plants in a fairly large number. On the windowsill itself, it takes up only the place of one flowerpot.
The vertical stand for the entire height of the window is perfect for the kitchen: you can place on it not only a lot of beautifully flowering accents, but also pots of greenery, which otherwise will occupy the entire window sill. This is a kind of vertical garden that can be used for a mini-vegetable garden.
Ampel culture is a great way to reduce the load on the windowsill itself. Several reliable mounts and graceful hanging baskets will allow you to remove some of your pets from the windowsill and take them to the next level. And a large selection of the style of the pots themselves will allow you to emphasize the style of the interior as best as possible. Hanging shoots or just lush bushes with elongated and arcuate curving leaves – the plants that can be grown in ampels are very different. But they always look special: romantic and elegant. It is better not to overdo it with ampels: the maximum number of hanging baskets is 3, medium-sized. But even one plant, which was removed from the windowsill, will free up a considerable area.
This is the simplest and most obvious, but by no means less effective way to increase the area of the windowsill. Rationally placing containers and displaying crops in such a way as to use every free centimeter is not easy and requires constant trial (and error).
Placing plants strictly in rows or, freely, most of the space is left empty. If you place the plants more strictly, but shift in relation to each other so that the plants in the next row are located in the gap between the pots of the previous row, a kind of checkerboard or zigzag, you can place much more crops. At the same time, each row seems to capture half of the previous one. For this placement option to work, you need to carefully select the plants: crops with lush bushes should be located in one row, more elongated and less voluminous in the next. The size of the pots also matters. It is better to place large plants in the first row closest to the glass, smaller ones in the extreme. But finding a balance is far from easy. After all, all plants are special, you need to take into account not only their size, but also preferences for lighting and other features. You cannot create a densely packed collection in a day: you may have to swap the plants several times, alternate, rearrange, until the perfect balance is found.
Rate all pros and cons
Before taking action, assess all the pros and cons of the solutions. If the advantages of increasing the number of plants on the windowsill are obvious, then the disadvantages are sometimes noticeable only after a while. And they concern not so much the plants themselves as their owners.
The increase in the number of indoor plants on the windowsill is associated with three negative factors:
1. The amount of light that enters the room is reduced. This will not only affect the plants placed at the window and in the interior, but also the atmosphere, the opportunity to engage in creativity or work, your feelings. Reducing light in the room negatively affects you and me no less than hanging thick heavy curtains. And before deciding on such a step, think about how much it will affect you.
2. The accumulation of a large number of plants on the windowsill suppresses the space. The room narrows, becomes visually smaller, there are illusions of a lower ceiling, massive furniture more “presses” on the situation, the harmony of perception is disturbed. And the more plants, the higher they rise, the greater the effect of “compressing” the space is created.
3. Placing a larger number of plants in a small area leads to the fact that air circulation is disrupted, the risk of spreading diseases and pests increases, the collection will have to be monitored more carefully, more often to dust off the leaves, and additional measures to increase air humidity. The lighting that plants will receive will not be as uniform as when placed more freely; some parts of the crown may even be in the shadow of a neighbor, and if the plant is very demanding on light, this option will not work for him.