If you know me, you’ll know I’m notorious for my inability to keep plants alive. Yes, I’ve managed to take down even the lowest maintenance of living greens (ahem, cacti). Over watering, under watering, not enough sun, too much sun . . . it’s hard staying green! But after many failed attempts and now, a newfound motivating force, I’m happy to report that 2016 has been off to a relatively good start in the quest to cultivate my green thumb. It all started with an infatuation with handmade ceramics after taking a pottery course last fall. The understanding of the patience and tenacity required to throw clay successfully has given me a new appreciation for the art of pottery making. Not only do I hold the few pieces I’ve created near and dear to me, I find myself addicted to scouring Etsy and shopping from an immense array of talented ceramic artists. So what was I to do with my growing collection of hand crafted pots and vintage vessels? Fill them with happy plants and use them to enliven my home, of course. And no, I’m not ashamed to admit that my dedication to indoor gardens started with my love of ceramics and vintage vessels first. Plants second. Nonetheless, here are two ways in which even the blackest of thumbs can maintain an indoor garden:

Plant Shelfie: Plants are perfect for filling empty spaces on bookshelves, accent tables and even bar carts. I love using vintage brass vessels, found on Etsy, as unexpected planters. I also love the idea of clustering plants of varying heights together but also using really low and flat vessels for cascading succulents that can spill over an edge of a shelf. You’ll need drainage so I recommend punching a small hole with a hammer and nail, or drill, at the bottom of thin brass bowls and cups.

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Bathroom garden: A minimalist, indirect light-filled room, like a bathroom, is the perfect place for an indoor garden. Plus, those morning showers make for a great daily reminder to keep those plants thriving! As it turns out, succulents and cacti flourish well in unglazed and glazed ceramics so I was excited to style all of my favorite, neutral grey and black clay pots from Etsy together. The end result is lush and gorgeous but it also takes some thought and care in considering the amount of humidity and light a bathroom gets. If you’re mixing cacti, succulents and tropical plants, just be sure the environment is right. For example, I like to open a window at least once a day so my succulents can dry out a bit between waterings. And that coconut palm in the back? I move it forward while I’m showering so that it gets the most warm water. How’s that for multi-tasking?

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A few extra tips:

  • Keep a journal: I found that keeping a watering journal in my calendar has been very beneficial, especially in the beginning. I water my plants on certain days of the week just to keep it habitual and consistent.
  • Research: Each plant variety has different watering and light needs. Stick with low maintenance plants to start but also, do your research before buying them.
  • Name them: Naming your plants helps you remember specific needs. Plus, it also helps you grow attached to them – even better motivation to keep them alive!

(art direction by HonestlyWTF, styled by Bianca Sotelo, photography by Ashley Batz; Taule Bar Cart via Lulu & Georgia, this post was created in partnership with Etsy)