Indoor Plant Design Trends for Orange County Offices and Homes

Interior Plants just like the fashion industry go through trends seasonally or every few years.  There are two main design factors that you can work with when interior plants are your focus.  The first is of course the type of plant and the second would be the container or planter you use.  Both of these design elements are key to making a modern impression and not creating an outdated indoor plant design disaster!  As an Interior Plant Service Company in Orange County, we have to keep up-to-date on the latest trends in our industry as well as the Interior Design Industry and the Fashion Industry.  It’s not a problem since all three industries interest me!  Here are some of the common trends in Orange County and Los Angeles County today.

Succulent Color BowlSUCCULENTS INDOORS!!  These little gems are HOT right now and Residential and Commercial Clients are demanding them on every nook of their home or office!  I’m a huge fan of succulents, but you must be forewarned that not all varieties will live or thrive in an interior environment.  Quite the contrary, most succulents don’t like to be indoors at all.  Here’s two articles I wrote about some of my favorite interior varieties that are tried and true.  Orange Country Plant Service Company Goes Gaga Over Succulents Indoors and More Succulents Indoors. Sanseveria Planters

MONOTONOUS Sanseveria Low Bowl PlanterPLANT DESIGN.  This may sound like a boring design trend, but it creates an incredibly dramatic modern statement when done correctly.  Using the same variety of plant in the same size with the same container IN MASS creates an entire sea of foliage in your office or home.   I recommend this type of design for clients that want to created a very modern and high-end appearance.

You can also get the same effect by repeating the same plant in just a single planter.  For a modern look, I love using different varieties of Sansevieria.  Sansevieria are low maintenance plants that can also handle low light.

LIVING WALL DESIGNS. Living Interior Plant Walls are huge in Orange County right now.  If you are tight on Living Wall Designspace or just want to create a LIVING ART PIECE on your wall, then this is perfect for you!  Living Plant Walls are a great way to add drama to an entry way and create a focal point that will wow your guests!

Creating this Living Wall Design was fun because it was for a hair salon and they wanted something unusual.  I used planter trays, so that I could design a living art piece that wasn’t a square or rectangle.  We added a pop of color to represent the funky style of the hair stylists in the salon.

Monotone Colors in a DesignMATCHING SHADES OF MONOTONE COLORS.  One of the most recent trends I’ve noticed is the use of monotone color in modern design.  More specifically, black, white and gray.  Creating a modern space where everything matches and nothing is flashy.  It definitely simplifies the design and modern design is about simplicity.  I don’t have any personal examples (yet), but look forward to creating something soon that follows this philosophy.

In this picture, it shows an extreme of white with white.  These would not be my choice of plants, but I love the concept.  Here’s the website where I found this picture.


Interior Plant Service Creates Decor for Girl’s Baby Shower with Succulents

pinwheels with succulents for baby showerWorking with interior plants, my friends assume that I must also be a florist.  This is flattering, but not the case.  Floristry is an exquisite profession that I have not mastered (but definitely something I may peruse in the future).

Anyways, when a best friend asked me to help decorate for her baby shower I was thrilled to put my creative touch on a room filled with lots of pink and girliness.   Although, since I was not using cut flowers as center pieces, I turned to my trusty succulent plants!pin-wheels with succulents for baby shower

As a busy and practical person, I saw one of the main advantages of using succulents as center pieces was their resiliency.  Succulents could be planted well in advance and would sit pretty for weeks or months before the event!  This is not the case with cut flowers.  Succulents were obviously the best answer!

I used grey clay pots that I had in my garage. Rose-colored reindeer moss to add a pop of soft girliness and of course pinwheels to keep in the baby shower theme.  Making the pinwheels was something I was also able to do in advance.  I used a great step by step website to create these adorable decorations.

Who knows, maybe ENVIRONMENTS BY MIKO needs to add party decorating to it’s list of services.  An Interior Plant Service Business with Interior Party Decor Services!  I like the sound of it!

Other fun decor ideas we incorporated into the party, as well as a pic of the Mama-to-be shown below:

Val baby shower -Dessertsval baby shower - party favorsval val party - cupsHershey'spink cookiesValerie - baby shower

Interior Green Plants that Bloom Indoors

Other than the trusty Orchid and trusty Bromeliad plants, clients always ask me what blooming plants we can bring into their homes and offices.  Interior spaces typically do not have ideal conditions for most flowering plants, but there are a few that I love.  I would recommend trying one or a few of them to see which does best in your indoor space.  Most of these plants will live for years if you care from them properly and give them the conditions they need.  Some of them will bloom year-round, while others bloom for a season.

Hoya_carnosaMy first Blooming Interior Plant has beautiful green succulent foliage year-round with the bonus of delicate flowers in the spring and/or summer.  It is the Hoya Plant.  This is by far one of the most interesting of the blooming interior green plants indoors because of it’s glossy succulent leaves and it’s unique flowers.  There are many varieties of Hoya Plants, they are also known as Wax Plant or Star Clusters.  Some varieties have variegated leaves, some have delicate thin leaves and some even have clusters of hanging branches that resemble rope!Hoya flower

They do great in hanging baskets in bright indirect light or on a shady patio.  The flowers only bloom once a year and you won’t want to miss the bloom! They look like little pink candies on an often furry star all clustered together.  Probably one of the cutest indoor plants with flowers!

Lipstick PlantAnother Interior Blooming Plant I love is the Lipstick Plant.  It’s name is a great descriptor of it’s flowers.  When the flowers first emerge they start as a purple lipstick case, then as it matures, you’ll notice the RED LIPSTICK coming out of the center part.  It’s definitely one of the coolest blooms I’ve ever seen.

The Lipstick plant does great in a hanging basket or in a bowl on a table where it’s arms can hang down.  It loves bright indirect light and blooms typically in the Spring and Summer.  I feel especially bonded to this plant because growing up, my Mom had one growing in our bathroom for years and since it had a perfect environment, it seemed like it bloomed year-round!Purple-Anthurium

A tried and true blooming plant that seems to last forever is the Anthurium Plant.  These beautiful plants sit upright and come in Red, White, Pink and Purple.  Florists use them for their long lasting blooms.  The leaves and flowers have a glossy, almost waxy sheen.  I love finding unusual colors and sometimes I come across flowers with color combinations!

Keep your anthurium on the dry side and give them bright indirect light.  I’ve had anthurium plants that live for years and bloom all year!

SpathiphyllumI can’t leave out one of the most common used interior blooming plants on the market, the Spathiphyllum Plant aka Peace Lily.  This beautiful blooming plant has dark green glossy foliage and elegant white blooms.  It LOVES water and will talk to you if you don’t water it enough!

Spathiphyllums come in different varieties with different size leaves.  Typically, the smaller the leaf, the more blooms you’ll get.  So, although the large leaf varieties are gorgeous just for their leaves, if you’re looking for flowers, then choose a variety that has smaller leaves and you’ll get flowers most of the year.

One plant that you really can’t ignore despite that fact that your Grandmother or Mother African_violethad a collection of them in a bay-window throughout your childhood, is the African Violet Plant.   When this plant is happy it blooms all year-round!  And you can’t deny that the flowers and furry leaves aren’t adorable.  I just love the bright purple varieties.

African Violets don’t like their leaves wet, so they prefer to be watered from a saucer or self-watering container.  They love the morning sun.  So find a window that gives good morning sun and they will thrive forever!

Goldfish PlantLastly, a discrete bloomer, the Goldfish Plant.  It has small orange flowers year-round!  It’s nice to have a plant that blooms consistently with glossy healthy leaves year-round.  Many people buy this plant just for the foliage and then the flowers are an extra perk!  I love how low maintenance this plant is because although it drops flowers, it’s easy to maintain.  Initially it will grow upright, but eventually, the arms will sprawl and crawl.

What’s your favorite Interior Blooming Plant?



Low Maintenance Easy Design Tips with Succulents in Exterior Containers

Succulent-fountain.jpgSucculents are your best friend if you live in Orange County and are looking for a low maintenance plant.  They are versatile and can live in almost any type of container with very little water.

Here is a picture of a Succulent Fountain we planted about 3 months ago.  It does not have a lot of root space or soil, but it does have drainage holes (drilled).  The plants are thriving and by not having a lot of root space, the Kalanchoe thyrsiflora (aka Flapjacks) has turned red and the Crassula ‘Campfire’ is blooming and sprawling all over.  We water this succulent fountain once a week and check for insects regularly.  So far, it has been insect-free and is in full sun by the coast.

Make your boring containers pop by planting succulents around the Succulents to underplant a shrubbase of your tree, shrub or this bird of paradise plant!  It’s one of the easiest and most cost effective transformations you can make to your container plants.  This once boring bird of paradise is now a focal point in the garden.  We took different shades and sizes of succulents with the same basic shape (rosette) and planted them all the way around at the base.  In this container we planted Aeonium zwartkopp, Aeonium urbicum, Aeonium kiwi and Sedum clavatum.  Have fun with it, but it’s best to have a plan.  Either stick to a color theme and/or shape theme.

Succulent plants in exterior containerThis next exterior succulent container was planted as a flat container landscape in a pot.  As I said before, you should always have a ‘plan.’  In this plan, we used the color of the purple Echiveria to create an ‘S’ shape down the center of the round pot and then we build around the ‘S’ with a similar Echiveria in blue with Jade ‘golem’ around the outside for some contrast.  Picking only three species of succulent and repeating them creates a modern design and look.  Creating a living succulent design can be that easy!

My final tip to create a dramatic succulent container garden is to create something spectacular and repeat it!  As you can see these matching tall vase planters have virtually the same succulents planted in each container.  They are lining the entry way to this home in Newport Beach, CA.  As you walk up, you can’t help but notice the color, shapes and texture of these interesting plants.  Best part, is their low maintenance and year-round interest!
Modern Succulent pots


Light-Weight Tillandsia Living Wall Art – soil-less

Tillandsia Wall ArtLiving walls are all the hype right now, but unfortunately they are not practical for all areas of indoor living.  My client asked me to create a succulent wall for her that was light-weight and easy to hang.  I knew off that bat that the room was too dark for succulents, so that was out of the question. My mind went immediately to Tillandsias aka Air Plants!

Tillandsias are epiphytes, which are plants that grow without soil.  They also drink water from the humidity in the air, so a weekly mist usually is sufficient for watering.

I used old picture frames to Tillandsia living wallcreate a unique boarder for the living walls.  I think it adds a lot of character to the 3 pieces.  Although next time, I’d like to try something more modern.

Using two different types of moss also added a second texture to the living wall.  But honestly, there are so many possibilities with this kind of live wall art.  When you don’t have to worry about the soil and excess amount of water in the frame, it’s almost limitless!

From an interior plant maintenance prospective these are pretty easy and definitely low maintenance.  I bought an Epiphyte Fertilizer that I’m MIko with tillandsia living wallgoing to mist regularly with.  I think the key is, that if you live in a dry area, you’ll have to mist more regularly.  And of course, if you live in a humid area, you don’t have to maintain them as often.

Stay tuned for more uses of Tillandsias as Living Walls.  I see many more projects in my near future with these unique plants!


A Plant Service that says NO to Boring Office Plants

I’m tired of going to offices and seeing the same boring interior plants.  The easiest way to create an motivating environment for your employees without spending a lot of money is to invest in interior plants and an interior plant service!  But I beg you, please don’t hire a tired interior landscaper that only uses the same Draceanas, Pothos, and Kentia Palms that have been around for the last 30+ years.  I want every office in Orange County to demand a unique interior plant design because indoor plants have come a long way and your office deserves better!  Botanists have been working hard to find interesting plant hybrids and varieties that will grow and thrive inside. Take advantage of this and let us create an environment that will make your employees feel creative, enlivened and look forward to coming to work!  Here are a few of my favorite unique interior plants for your office:

ZZ PlantZamioculcas zamiifolia aka ZZ Plant ~ Probably my favorite plant for it’s versatility, ease of care and interesting form.  The ZZ Plant has dark green, very glossy succulent leaves and stems.  It can handle moderate to bright light and does fantastic in an office!  ZZ Plants can grow as large as 3-4 feet and as small as 6-12 inches.  It’s unique form and beautiful foliage will definitely catch your eye and let your clients know that you are a unique company worthy of their business.

Draceana-LimelightDraceana ‘Limelight’ ~ A new introduction for the interior plant world is this beautiful and stunning Draceana with lime-green foliage!  The color stands out and will brighten any room especially when it’s pared with other darker green plants.  The chartreuse leaves pair perfectly with modern design and it’s definitely one of the must-have plants today!

Draceana limelight usually comes as small as 8 inches to as tall as 5 feet.  It likes medium to bright light and moderate to low water.  It’s a great alternative to the common Draceana craigii plant.

philodendron_brazilPhilodendron Cordatum ‘Brazil’ ~ Since lime-green is such a popular color right now, I have to mention one of my favorite hanging plants, Cordatum ‘Brazil’.  This plant has heart-shaped leaves with a stripe of lime-green through each leaf in a random pattern.  This plant is a perfect alternative for the very common Philodendron Pothos hanging plant.

Sanseveria 'Moonshine' wallsSanseveria ‘Moonshine’ aka Snake Plant ~ These spiky plants are perfect your your modern office decor.  They can handle low to medium light and are easy to care for.  I absolutely love ALL of the different Sanseveria varieties, some as small as 4 inches and others as tall as 4 feet.  This one, Sanseveria ‘Moonshine’, caught my eye because of it’s stunning grey-green foliage.  The new foliage emerges more grey and the mature foliage is more green, each with a dark-green stripe along the edge.   It’s grows only 2 feet tall and has thicker leaves than it’s cousins.  Overwatering is the kiss of death.

Ficus Lyrata SpecimenFicus lyrata aka Fiddle Leaf Fig ~ This spectacular plant has huge dark green, glossy leaves that are fiddle shaped and about 12 inches long.  It’s a moderately fast grower and loves bright light.  Place it near a window and it will become a wonderful character in you office.  It makes a great specimen plant as a stand alone, but also can be purchased as small as 3-4 feet.

Ficus lyrata plants come in two forms.  The picture you see to the left is called a ‘Column Form’.  This type has leaves that start at the very bottom of the stem and they usually go straight up in a column shape.  The other form is called a ‘Standard’.  This type usually has a trunk and looks more like a tree with a wider group of leaves all at the top of the plant.  Both forms are beautiful depending on the space you are looking to fill.

Ming AraliaMing Aralia ~ We have been experimenting with this incredibly unique interior plant and have had good luck!  Ming Aralias have delicate fern-like leaves that remind me of an evergreen in a forest, but only a miniature version of this.  They are lush and beautiful and thrive in bright indirect light to moderate office light.  They are usually between 2 feet to 7 feet tall and grow as a narrow column.

The only draw-back to this spectacular plant is that they are not always available.  My plant vendors definitely have these in abundance at times or not at all.  So, my recommendation is to buy them up when you see them!

There are many more interesting plants to choose from that would make your office noteworthy.  Creative designs are what I live for!  If you need a professional opinion and are in the Orange County area, please call us today!  (949) 354-3344  We would love to make your environment somewhere you love to be!