How to transform your home into an urban jungle with house plants

Want to create your own urban jungle but not sure where to start? Plant stylist Nathan Thomas reveals his top tips for indoor plant design.

You can never have too many plants, says interiors’ plant stylist Nathan Thomas.

At the last count he had 120 pots in his fabulous three-bedroom home. And his collection is still growing.

‘When the floor space and shelves were full, the only way was up,’ he laughs.

His own urban jungle is a huge hit on Instagram where he shares his growing and styling tips with his green-fingered following.

‘Of course there are lots of tricks of the trade to creating and styling an urban jungle, but the key is to fill your home with the plants you really love,’ he says.

‘With lots of practice, trial and error you can get pretty good at understanding not only your plants’ needs, but where they look good when styling the room.’

‘The best way to learn is from experience,’ says Nathan. ‘And while the failures lead to successes, it’s always tough to see a plant die.’ So here’s Nathan’s top ten easy plants to get your urban jungle off to a strong start.

Scindapsus pictus (Satin pothos)

‘Trailing plants are essential for an authentic looking jungle and these really know how to climb!

‘Attach to a moss pole for dramatic height or leave hanging over the side of a shelf or table.

‘Scindapsus prefer shade so will take off around the room if you use sticky back cable clips on the wall. Add more clips as the plant grows longer.’

Dracaena trifasiata (Sansieveiera or Snake Plant)

‘Strong, robust, striking and almost kill-proof, Sansieviera are drought tolerant so if you forget to water they won’t hold it against you.

‘Happy in bright or shaded positions. These guys can grow tall so a deep planter is a good choice to help hold their roots in place.

‘Buy big and you have a dramatic standalone that looks great in a bare corner.’

Philodendron erubescens (Prince Of Orange)

‘With every new leaf this one will produce a burst of vibrant orange before it turns dark green almost overnight.

‘Its big dramatic leaves grow wide, not upwards – making them a great plant for small compact spaces.’

Monstera Deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant)

‘The ultimate jungle plant with big, green leaves full of character and drama as they grow tall and wide. Position away from direct south-facing light so the leaves don’t get scorched.

‘These guys are climbers so a strong moss pole is recommended. Look great in a floor pot and up against a wall, which will give extra support.

‘A few smaller versions dotted around adds cohesion.’

Epipremnum (Devils Ivy)

‘Super fast-growing trailing vine and a must-have for a jungle vibe.

‘They say this one ‘grows in the dark’ and that may be right. It could survive happily on a window ledge in a basement.’

Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)

‘If the leaf variegation doesn’t win your heart, the fact it flowers throughout most of the year will. They drink a lot of water but are forgiving if you forget.

‘Place on a sideboard or a dresser to keep low to appreciate the beauty of the leaves.’

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (ZZ)

‘Extremely drought tolerant, you can pick these up in the classic green or black raven variety. Either one will make a statement for a small price.

‘Happy in a bright sunny position – the black raven is great for grouping with smaller plants with vibrant green leaves.’

Yucca filamentosa (Yucca)

‘A yucca will give your indoor jungle an added tropical vibe and with regular feeding and the right pot size, can grow over ten feet tall.

‘They do well in bright positions, are drought tolerant and benefit from regular re-potting – check underneath to see if the roots have outgrown their pot.’

Ficus elastica (Rubber Plant)

‘These guys are best positioned in brightly lit spots but do well in lower lighting, too. Can grow very tall with the right care and great for corner grouping.

‘For added drama buy three and plant them in the same pot to create a bigger plant. It’s also cheaper than buying a more mature plant.’

Calathea lancifolia (Rattlesnake Plant)

‘With striking variegation and deep aubergine undersides, this has got to be
the easiest Calathea to take care of. It grows on the forest floor and the lancifolia have adapted well to the drier, brighter conditions of the home.

‘Place on table tops, or group in odd numbers for added wow factor.’

For more plant inspiration visit Instagram @bohemiahousejungle.

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