If you're a plant parent, you'll know that your greenery's life cycle ebbs and flows. As plants grow, they go from small contained pots of foliage to sprawling, leggy stems as they age and as seasons change. Maintaining a bushy plant with full-looking foliage with luscious leaves can actually get harder as time goes on.
Decorating with plants is one of the best ways to breathe new life into a space, but not if your favorite green-fronded friends are looking sparse with long trailing stems that run for miles. If this sounds familiar then fear not - we've found a genius trick that will give your plants the illusion of bushier foliage to make your greenery look far more impressive. As you'll learn, this simple cheat involves no gardening or propagation know-how whatsoever, but it will probably benefit the health of your houseplants inadvertently, too! Eager to learn more? Here's what you need to know.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that older houseplants will always look bigger, bushier, and healthier. As many plants mature their foliage actually becomes leggy, especially if they haven't been repotted in a while or if they aren't receiving enough light. If you're picturing a specific houseplant right now you'll know exactly what we're talking about, but this genius hack will help your greenery to thrive once more.
It comes courtesy of a TikTok video shared by Vetter Plant Company and all that's needed to test the idea out for yourself is a few bobby pins. As the video goes on demonstrate, when faced with bare vining plants with sparse leaves you can simply pin the stems into the soil to give your houseplant a fuller look. Just lay the stem on top of the soil and fix into place with a hair grip, making sure to bend the pin open so that it doesn't add too much pressure.
While this cheat idea instantly makes your plants look fuller, it will also improve your plant's health over time too, but you do need make sure you're positioning the stems properly to reap those benefits. 'It's so important to pin the nodes back into the soil,' the creator of the video explains. 'The nodes are found at the base of each leaf and this is where new roots will grow.' Over time, roots will form at these nodes and grow into the soil for fuller growth and more leaves.
We should note, this hack works best for trailing houseplants such as Devil's Ivy, inchplants, or string of pearls. These all have a tendency to grow long and leggy over time, losing their full and bushy appearance. With houseplants that grow upwards (rather than down or outwards) it will be tricky to find a malleable stem, but hopefully the trick won't be necessary in their case, anyway. You should also be careful not to push pins too far into the delicate stem as they could imbed themselves in and cause damage to your plant.
Overall, this inexpensive and effortless trick is so much more efficient than snipping long vines, propagating them in water, and replanting them, plus it has instant results (visually, at least!). Consider our weekend plant care activity sorted!
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Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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