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Turn your home into a tropical resort this summer

Vacation plans may be on hold for the foreseeable future, but what better way to scratch a holiday itch by turning your home into your own resort destination with a few well-placed plants? Here’s how to do it.

The centrepiece

Inspiration: Four Seasons Langkawi

Image credit: Four Seasons Langkawi

Plant to get: Phalaenopsis

A statement piece never did any plant parent wrong, particularly when it blooms as prettily as orchids do. If you ask us, this is actually the minimal end of the spectrum of statement pieces, because just one stunning phalaenopsis does so much to add a splash of luxury to any space. Sure, it’s a hotel lobby staple – always a hotel lobby staple – but in the home, it shines. Place a dozen plants in antique ceramics around a larger living area, and you’ve got yourself an enviable setup à la plant enthusiast and vintage curator Jamie Song.

Image credit: Carmel Arquelau/Unsplash

Other centrepiece ideas: ZZ plant (zamioculcas zamiifolia), sago palm (cycas revoluta), and umbrella tree (schefflera actinophylla)

The hanging plant

Inspiration: The bathroom at the W Maldives’ 2-story Wonderful Beach Oasis villa

Image credit: W Maldives

Plant to get: Any kind of pothos or tillandsia

None of the plants in this photo are of the pothos variety, but we’re here to achieve the oasis-like bathroom vibe, so we’re going with pothos because they’re very easy to care for. ‘Pothos’ is a loose term that comprises various species including the epipremnum aureum (var. golden pothos, marble queen pothos, etc.) and scindapsus pictus or satin pothos. Mix and match your favourites, hang up a few tillandsias (air plants), and consider any brightly-lit bathroom spruced up.

Image credit: Charlotte May/Pexels

Other hanging plant ideas: heartleaf philodendron (philodendron hederaceum) string of bananas (curio radicans), and hoya linearis

The space filler

Inspiration: The Mulia Bali 

Image credit: The Mulia Bali

Plant to get: Chamaedorea elegans

Light, feathery leaves that sway in the wind to remind you of better times spent lazing at a beach with the sand between your toes: exactly what the plant doctor ordered for achieving resort vibes at home. We want the chamaedorea elegans or parlour palm for this, since coconut trees are a little impractical indoors. This palm thrives even in low to medium light conditions and can brighten up any corner in your home. Don’t be afraid to add more palms if you have a lot of space to fill.

Image credit: Dominika Roseclay/Pexels

Other space filler plant ideas: Areca palm (dypsis lutescens), broadleaf lady palm (rhapis excelsa), swisscheese plant (monstera deliciosa)

The living wall

Inspiration: The lobby at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Image credit: 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Plant to get: Any kind of epiphyte 

A strategically placed living wall at home will add so much character to the space, you may not even need to have other plants around. The 1 Hotel wall includes peperomia argyreia, peperomia caperata, satin pothos, golden pothos, and various ferns including platycerium and the very common rabbit’s foot fern (davallia denticulata), in case you need a starter list. Install grow lights for your wall if it’s far away from a natural light source. And if you need a good how-to, environmental activist and plant vlogger Summer Rayne Oakes recently made a video of her green wall overhaul.

Image credit: Max Vakhtbovych/Pexels

The icon

Inspired by: The Beverly Hills Hotel

Image credit: The Beverly Hills Hotel

Plant to get: Strelitzia nicolai (Bird of paradise)

Before you ask, we know the iconic Beverly Hills Martinique print is not of the bird of paradise. While having a banana plant at home would be pretty cool, they are pretty fussy indoors. So we’ve got our eye on a lookalike, the more easygoing strelitzia nicolai or bird of paradise, whose leaf shape and structure mimics the banana plant. It is usually sold at nurseries or online in a very manageable size, perfect for getting acquainted with a plant you’re planning on maturing to banana plant standards. Also, you can always complete your home deco with the actual wallpaper.

Image credit: Zen Chung/Pexels

Andrea Tim drinks more coffee than she should and has more plants than she should. Follow her plant rants on Instagram @plantcaffeine.

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