Hilton Carter, a plant specialist, stylist, and OG plant influencer, can officially add teacher to his growing résumé. His new course Caring for Common Houseplants, airing on the Magnolia Network, is all about teaching plant parents the ins and outs of tending to the needs of common indoor plants, from repotting to propagation and routine maintenance.
However, unless you hire a professional plant sitter or luck into expert intervention of some kind, caring for houseplants can feel like its own DIY project. “There are so many things that an individual will find themselves taking on when it comes to caring for houseplants,” Carter says. “We talk about a lot of that in the second season of this workshop series.”
There’s never been a better time to take your common houseplants to the next level, and these DIYs are worth giving a try. Some of these projects hail from the newest of Carter’s three books, Wild Creations, which takes readers step by step through inventive approaches to displaying indoor plants. Below, he shares four of his favorite ideas from the book to help you stylishly bring greenery into your home.
Doubling as a magnificent art installation of sorts, this plant chandelier is an unexpected take on a hanging planter. “This project is one of the first things I’ve seen that almost replaces what you would typically expect hanging over your dining table. That’s the sort of presence it has,” Carter says. You could do what he has done and repurpose an old canoe or find your own vessel—perhaps some vintage wine boxes or old milk crates. (It all depends on the look you’re going for.) He adds, “If you want to be stylish and go for something a bit sleeker, try some vintage pottery to dress up the space, but it should also hold a plant very well.”
Of course, you want to make sure you are using the proper tools to safely hang your plant chandelier. “Plus you want to think about the right kinds of plants that would thrive in the lighting coming in,” Carter says. He chose a lot of philodendron and Chinese evergreens for his chandelier because they do well in medium or indirect light.
Paint by numbers
You could also add a lush landscape that doesn’t require houseplants at all. “There’s a plant DIY for everyone, even if you are someone who has a really dark space,” Carter says. “One of my favorite projects in Wild Creations is a DIY paint-by-numbers mural that’s basically lush jungle space made using whatever kind of paint colors you want.”