Bookshelf Styling With Plants

After living in our rental for the last 7+ months, I’ve learned our living room definitely gets the best quality light all day long. Therefore, being the perfect room to host a majority of our indoor plants. Hard to believe I’ve scaled down the quantity from 60 to 30 plants – but they now live in my mom’s garden conservatory for the time being. We also have two large plants at my In-Laws, simply because our ceilings aren’t high enough to host the extreme growth spurt of our Bird of Paradise (height) & Monstera (width.)

This one corner of the living room has been perfectly furnished by this 6-shelf asymmetrical bookshelf system, one of my most favorite Amazon purchases this year. It’s been so much fun decorating each of the spaces to accommodate our plants, as well as display our collection of coffee table books and knick-knacks from over the years.

If you’re looking to style a new or existing bookshelf with plants, here are some things to consider that will set you up for an aesthetically-pleasing, successful effort

Consider the plant’s needs when placing

How often does this plant need to be watered? Should it be located within ease of reach? Does it require ample light? Would it be happier closer or farther from the nearest window source?

If you’re uncertain on the care or even the type of plant you have, the Picture This app will help! I use it constantly whether it’s identifying a plant/flower in the wild, or if my plant has some sort of pest disease or situation – it’ll provide you with the proper care tips for both healthy or sick plants, doing all the hard work of research for you!

Display an assortment of plant varieties

Different leaf shapes, sizes, colors – all contribute a unique arrangement to the eye overall

Varieties of Plants Shown

Top Shelf: Ponytail Palm, Philodendron Silver Sword, Satin Pothos, Manjula Pothos, Golden Pothos

Middle Shelves: Philodendron Pink Princess, Moss Ball, Rhaphidophora Decursiva, Monstera Standleyana ‘Albo’

Lower Shelf: Philodendron White Knight, Assorted Air Plants

Thai Constellation Monstera (end table) & Snake Plant (standing)

Majority of these rare / uncommon plants I’ve purchased online – be sure to check out my list of favorite & reputable plant sellers

Space them out, less is more

Clutter isn’t cute. Some plants speak for themselves and don’t appreciate being crowded, especially if you want it to grow upwards/outwards. Also try to rotate your plants weekly to allow for full-bodied growth

Stack relevant books next to/underneath

Pro Tip: avoid placing a plant potted with a drainage hole atop any books – water will leak through and destroy cover/contents. Some of my favorites included in the shop slider below:

Play with vertical space & height

Put tall plants next to short ones – larger pots with leafy arrangements surrounded by tiny air plants. Allow vine-like plants to trail off the side from a higher post; loosely wrap them around the shelf’s supportive legs (if open concept)

Layer with decorative items & plant-related accessories

Shop around your home for existing pieces to add some dimension; showcase your collection of empty, attractive pots/vases; display your aesthetically-pleasing watering can or mister atop that stack of relevant plant books

Be mindful of curious pets & small children

Place plants well out of reach, especially if toxic or poisonous by consumption; remove any nearby ladders or easily-moved furniture that can be climbed up on; keep softer, less breakable items on lower shelves – can help “mount” certain items in place by using Museum Wax; most importantly, bolt/mount the bookshelf itself sturdily to the wall in the event someone tries to climb it or bumps into it hard enough