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Home Staging - house plants

House plants are great for filling in an empty corner or bringing attention to a room's features!
Photo: Dan Kalleres 

Alive or dead? How do you want your home to be perceived by buyers walking through, or even just looking at pictures online? Do you want them to sense warmth and energy or a feeling of dreariness and despair? Give your home an easy perking up with house plants!

Whether you are an expert gardener that can make the saddest little plant come back to life or someone that thinks that every plant they touch dies, there are options available for you to bring plants into your home to help show it off. With so many great gardening centers scattered throughout Northeast Ohio, getting help is a snap. Ask a professional what plants would work best for your needs. Here are some tips that may help you in the process:

Room selection(s) – Identify which room or rooms you want to spruce up with house plants. Some good choices are kitchens, family and/or living rooms, master bedrooms and bathrooms. Once you know the room you want to place a house plant in, determine how much natural light the room gets and which direction it faces. Rooms with very little light or perhaps no windows at all will make for a very different plant selection than ones with a wall of windows and constant sunlight. Your local plant expert will be able to help you weed through (pun intended!) your options if they better understand the room.

Size – The size of the plant and the amount of open space you have available will also be a determining factor. Will you be using a plant that is smaller and requires a stand or will it be a larger-scale plant that sits in a pot on its own? The costs can vary wildly from very inexpensive to very expensive if you require lots of accessories, not just the plant.

Accessories – Plants do not usually come in fancy pottery. They typically come from the store in a basic, temporary plastic container. That means you’re going to need some supplies and accessories to complete the look. Pick your pots to go with the décor of the room. You can find virtually any color and texture imaginable. Does the look you are going for include a really tall urn with a tall, thin plant to get your eyes to move up a 2-story wall or something short and squat on a countertop location? Again, your local gardening expert should be able to help you make appropriate selections. Don’t forget, in addition to the visually appealing items, you might need extra potting soil, fertilizer, watering can or other items to put your new plant in a pot and maintain it. 

House plants can really perk up a vacant or semi-vacant home!
Photo: Dan Kalleres - helping out a vacant home!

Plants can serve a multitude of purposes in staging a home. As long as your plants are healthy and green, they help give off a positive, healthy emotional response to buyers. Nobody wants to buy a house with a bunch of dead plants around, but a house with lush greenery is a plus. Plants can also help in vacant houses where you don’t have any furniture. A splash of greenery and the right accessories can go a long way in an empty house – you just need to make sure you take care of the plants. An empty house with dead plants is not the look you want.

Be careful. There can be too much of a good thing. Remember that each room should have an identifiable purpose. Unless the room is really a greenhouse, don’t put so many plants out that it looks like one. People with green thumbs can sometimes go overboard and forget that not everyone is as good with plants. If it looks like too much to maintain, it will scare off potential buyers, even though the plants aren’t staying in the house when you move. Impressions are everything.

Fresh flowers are a great alternative to house plants, particularly for centerpieces!
AP Photo:Stewart, Gabori & Chang, John Granen

Go green!

If you have a home staging question or would like to share a staging tip, please let me know. Send me a photo of your home staging dilemma and I’ll be happy to help!

Home staging tip: If you just don’t have the ability to grow house plants, but you want something good for your home, don’t buy artificial plants! Instead, bring home some fresh cut flowers and put them in a nice vase. They may not last forever, but they’ll give your buyers the same impression a live plant gives. Just keep in mind that the cost is going to be higher. You may want to purchase them only when having photos taken of your home, when you have advance notice of a showing or an open house.

For more info: For those of you that forget to water plants, consider purchasing a set of Aqua GlobesTM or a similar product. They are designed to water the plants when the soil gets too dry, so you don’t have to remember to do it. Plus, they’re pretty to look at. Just remember that you’ll eventually need to refill them!


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