The kitchen is a fairly functional space. And most often it grows out of an ordinary catering unit and becomes a kind of small living room – a place for rest, communication, receiving guests, intimate conversations and songs with a guitar. And therefore, often in the kitchen you can find not only a TV, but also a sofa, a magazine rack, shelves with books. Each hostess tries to give her kitchen maximum coziness and comfort, decorating it with paintings, decorative accessories and fresh flowers. If you see your kitchen as more than just a place to eat, try decorating it with houseplants. Well-chosen and correctly placed plants are able to animate and bring harmony to any interior. Let’s see what kind of plants are suitable for your kitchen.
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Where to start selecting plants for the kitchen
No need to rush to the store for flowers and pots. First, you need to make the simplest measurements of the zones where you plan to place the plants, evaluate the illumination – a vital factor for all plantings. Plants that love light feel best near windows facing west, east and southwest. Therefore, these window sills can comfortably accommodate decorative leafy orchids and succulents. Places with high illumination are also preferred by azalea, agave, aloe, euphorbia, cacti, passionflower, catharanthus, cyclamen, calceolaria, and plants of the jungle family.
Only shade-tolerant plants develop well on the northeastern and northern windows. These are monstera, ficus, ivy, fittonia, pilea, shefflera, spathiphyllum, sansevieria, arrowroot, pteris, ktenante, nephrolepis, aucuba, aglaonema, buddlea, aspidistra and some varieties of dracaena. The farther from the windows, the weaker the effect of life-giving sunlight. That is why, in north-facing or shaded rooms, it is recommended to place plants as close to windows as possible or to use additional lighting.
The temperature regime is also very important. Window frames must be insulated. When ventilating the kitchen, you need to ensure that cold air from the street does not get directly onto the plants. To maintain the necessary moisture, pubescent plants are planted in boxes with wet peat or moss, and spraying is regularly performed. Plant pots should not stand on a cold windowsill – this can lead to hypothermia of the root system, and, consequently, reduce the intensity of the plant’s nutrition with moisture and minerals.
Even root decay is possible. Plant pots are placed on special wooden stands. If, on the contrary, the window sill overheats due to the steam heating battery located under it, foam plastic is used to create thermal insulation. Usually, the kitchen is the warmest place in the apartment, so it is not suitable for those plants that require a lower temperature (up to 10 degrees) in winter. This group includes camellia, agave, myrtle, cacti, yucca, fuchsia, cyclamen, azalea, clivia, pelargonium and other plants whose vegetation slows down in winter.
Food plants can rightfully take their place in the kitchen. Usually garlic, onion, basil, watercress, thyme, marjoram, parsley develop remarkably on well-lit windowsills. Some housewives arrange whole multi-tiered structures in the window opening, for which low-growing bushy varieties of these plants are well suited. These plantings are not only pleasing to the eye and smell, but also allow you to harvest a small harvest of fresh greens from your home plantation every day.
Citrus fruits and peppers are very popular. They look very original even separately. These plants are quite capricious, but the fruits are not only an ornament, but also a source of pride for a home gardener. Culinary and floristic compositions are a fashionable novelty. For example, a lemon tree combined with porcelain tea accessories and beautiful tea packages, a coffee tree and a nearby coffee grinder. The composition can be supplemented with miniature plants of appropriate style in original pots or pots – cyclamen, uzambara violets, saltyrolia.
The main requirement when decorating any premises with living plants, including kitchens, is the unity of style. It should be borne in mind that curly, hanging or creeping plants in a free silhouette enhance the element of ease and naturalness in interiors decorated in a fantasy, romantic or country style. Here, by the way, ginura, indoor bamboo, maidenhair, streptocarpus, asplenium, pellea, nephrolepis, saxifrage, ceropegia or hypestes will come in handy.
Plants with clear outlines – dracaena, calathea, aspidistra, alocasia, strelitzia, fatsia – are perfect for a kitchen room in the techno style. Placing them in metal buckets, pots or planters of the correct geometric shape will only enhance the feeling of minimalism. It is recommended to choose neutral or, on the contrary, bright colors. When choosing plants, it is necessary to take into account their growth rates in order to provide for the timely replacement of pots or pots, which must necessarily be combined in style and color with the furniture and decoration of the room.
Plants are also used for zoning the kitchen. For example, you can isolate the eating area from the work area to create the most relaxed and comfortable atmosphere possible. It should be borne in mind that a large number of plants bring the kitchen closer to the winter garden. High humidity may require special wall finishing, floor waterproofing and additional lighting. When organizing such a green corner for relaxation, you will have to foresee a lot of nuances, think over not only technical aspects, but also the background, lighting, pots, pots, flower beds, materials used.
Take a closer look at your kitchen. It may not be as spacious as you would like, but it also has room for green spaces. Floor, walls, window and door openings, furniture surface – everything will do, but only taking into account the lighting requirements. Even with the help of an elementary shelf or whatnot, you can create a green corner in the kitchen, giving the room warmth and coziness. When placing plants, do not forget that any compositions and free-standing plants should not hinder your movements when moving in a confined kitchen space.
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Where is the best place to place plants in the kitchen
Plants are best placed, of course, on a wide windowsill. A wide variety of plants can sit next to each other: violets, cacti, ivy, freshly rooted cuttings of propagated plants, herbs, green onions, indoor tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants and lemons. Pots with ampelous plants (passionflower, stephanotis, drooping begonia, etc.) are good to put on shelves or hang in wall pots.
However, do not forget that the kitchen is not a very large room and hanging baskets should not interfere with movement. Don’t put the pots on the top of your cutting table either (although it looks pretty in magazine photos). Practice shows: it is inconvenient for both the owner and the plants.
It is better not to force the entire kitchen with plants – a carefully thought-out option will look much more interesting, which can also visually reduce or enlarge the room. High ceilings will be lower if you hang a basket with hanging plants, and a kitchen with low ceilings will be higher if you place a pot with a large tall plant on the floor. Arched stems and small leaves will visually expand the narrow space.
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What kitchen plants don’t like
Do not place flowers next to a sink. The humidity here, of course, is ideal, but splashing water mixed with dishwashing chemicals will not add health to the plants.
Plants also suffer from the smallest droplets of fat, which cover their leaves with a sticky film. As a result, the flowers begin to suffocate. They grow worse, the foliage becomes dull, in the end they may even die. Therefore, at least once a month it is necessary to arrange a “bath day”. Large leaves are gently wiped with a cloth dampened in a mild soapy solution. Plants with small leaves are first sprayed with the same solution, and then rinsed under a shower with water at room temperature. By the way, this will protect plants from many pests.
What can you choose from plants for the kitchen
Plants with glossy leaves (ficuses, monstera, palms, philodendrons) are suitable for the kitchen. They retain a large amount of dust on the leaves, but they are convenient to wash and wipe.
From spicy-aromatic herbs in the kitchen are appropriate: coriander, parsley, basil, thyme. They are both beautiful and have phytoncidal properties, and their practical benefits are undoubted – fresh herbs on the table.
But for cacti and subtropical plants that need a cool winter, as well as many types of bulbs, it can be too hot and uncomfortable in the kitchen.
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Variety of kitchen design using plants
The image of the kitchen can be different, and, probably, everyone has their own. Someone loves a smoky hearth, and someone needs snow-white sterility. The kitchen can be either the warmest and coziest place in the apartment, or the coldest hi-tech giant. Naturally, the plants that decorate it must clearly fall into the style.
Any indoor flowers are suitable for an ordinary cozy kitchen. The requirements are simple: there should be no bare earth, the pots should be whole containers, not pots with pallets (there are still products nearby), something must be blooming (Saintpaulia, hibiscus), something fruit (pepper). You can also plant a lemon, if you are not embarrassed by the pleasant, but very strong smell of flowers. You can even arrange a mini-garden, but rather decorative than utilitarian in nature.
If the kitchen is conceived as a medieval inn with false beams on the ceiling, “brickwork” or stone on the walls and accessories appropriate to the spirit of the times, there should be a minimum number of plants, because in reality these were very dark rooms. The ivy hanging around the wall and the beams is enough.
Another thing is the light southern European version. You can decorate your kitchen like an outdoor pergola curled with grapes. Textured snags are attached to the walls, imitating the lower thickened trunks of vines, and indoor grape trees are launched along them (ideally, tetrastigma, but you can also roicissus).
In a “sterile” kitchen, it is good to keep orchids planted in artificial orchid chips or bromeliads in a decorative hydrogel. However, ordinary, only very neat specimens of plants will do.
If you are leaning towards minimalism, you should choose one or two plants, but very high quality and interesting. Pay attention to the coffee tree – very unpretentious, unusual shape, constantly blooming, with dark red fruits.
Fantasies – as many as you like. Tropical display cases, bromeliads, succulent compositions, water gardens – all these can decorate your kitchen and give it shine and originality.
With the right approach, any kitchen can be turned into a stunningly beautiful place to relax.