Fireplaces have an ethereal charm and are often the focal point of your room, immediately drawing the attention of anyone entering the space. Thus, many people enhance the mantel above the fireplace to make it look more striking and engaging.
Usually, family photos brimming with sweet memories are the first choice for mantel décor, followed by some well-chosen memorabilia and ornaments. The only thing missing from your fireplace mantel is the plants!
Plants fit in effortlessly in any room, immediately elevating the overall appeal of any space. So, if you want to give your fireplace a facelift or build it from the ground up, here are some ideas to incorporate plants in your design.
1. Use Trailing Plants
Trailing plants are gorgeous features to add to a mantel. The dropping vines can frame your fireplace beautifully and make the most of the vertical space alongside the fixture. Here are a few hanging plants for inspiration.
Caution: As dramatic and intriguing as the trailing plants look, they do pose a fire hazard near a fireplace. Place trailing plants on the mantel in the summer when you don’t use your fireplace. When temperatures get colder and you begin to use your fireplace again, opt for different plants that won’t dangle near the flames.
Pothos make stunning houseplants and grow pretty quickly, producing long cascading vines. They have streaks of gold or silver dappled the heart-shaped green leaves. The plant requires bright, indirect light and watering only once the soil is parched and dry to the touch. Mist your pothos daily to make up for the lack of indoor humidity. As for the temperature, pothos like it between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the same as the average home temperature.
Pro Tip: If you want to keep your pothos on your mantel in the colder months, teach the plant how to climb to eliminate fire hazards.
One of the most common indoor vines, English Ivy, has deep green leaves with white veins and a waxy or leathery appearance. What makes the plant unique is the distinct leaf shape with three to five lobes. Care tips for the ivy include bright, indirect light and watering when the top ½ inch of the soil feels dry, usually about once a week.
English ivy does best in moderate room temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and approximately 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit lower at night. You should place the pot on a pebble tray to fulfill its humidity requirements.
String of Pearls
As the name suggests, the plant has vining, pea-shaped leaves that delicately hang over the sides of the container. The string of pearls is a succulent that proliferates when you place it under indirect, bright light and lightly mist the soil to moisten it.
The ideal indoor temperature for this succulent is between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and 50 to 60 degrees in winter, while 50 percent humidity is ample enough to promote growth.
2. Add Height on the Side
If you are a stickler for symmetry, place the same plants of equal heights on either end of the mantel. You can add a wide mirror between the two plants and complete the look with smaller trinkets and photo frames. Look for plants that grow tall and shoot upwards. Here are a few suggestions.
The snake plant is a hardy houseplant with stiff, sword-like, green leaves with yellow borders that grow straight up. The plant is often compact, so it will not overwhelm your mantel. Care for your snake plant by exposing it to two to six hours of sunlight or moderate light throughout the day. Water the plant when the top few inches of the soil feels dry, usually once every two weeks.
The plant favors warm indoor temperatures of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and prefers lower to moderate humidity levels between 30 to 50 percent, making it perfect to adorn the warm, dry area above a fireplace.
ZZ plant has showy, deep-green, oval leaves attached to a thick stem that shoots upwards. It is perfect for new plant owners and requires simple care, which includes six hours of daily indirect, bright light and watering about twice a month during the growing phase. They can also tolerate some shade.
The dramatic plant grows quickly in warmer temperatures of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and is comfortable in average indoor humidity (40 to 50 percent). However, if your home feels too dry, mist, the plant leaves or place a humidifier in the room.
3. Keep it Minimislitic
If you are drawn towards minimalist and chic interiors, emulate the same ethics when designing your fireplace mantel. You can find numerous dainty plants that do not grow more than a few inches yet deliver the brilliance expected from an indoor plant, such as the following.
The nerve plant is the perfect addition to any shelf or mantel for its notable veined leaves and compact size, reaching only 3 to 8 inches in height. It requires bright, indirect light and watering twice a week at least.
You will want to pay extra attention to your nerve plant when displayed on top of a fireplace as they adore high humidity levels. Place your plant on a pebble tray to combat the dry environment. You could also group plants together to make a microclimate.
Succulents are the epitome of chic minimalism since they have fleshy, thick leaves that grow close to the soil. While exact care instructions depend on the variety of succulents you choose, general care tips include at least six hours of direct sunlight daily and occasional watering. Water them only when you notice wrinkling leaves and dry soil.
These plants do well in average- to low-humidity locations between 40 to 60 percent, such as above a fireplace, and daytime temperatures of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Opt for Contrasting Colors
To create a cohesive, well-planned look, consider the colors of your fireplace. Offset a dark wood fireplace with plants with light green foliage. You can even select deep green leaves for a stark white fixture to make an impact.
Ceylon Golden Plant
Ceylon golden plant belongs to the Philodendron family and features bright neon green, paddle-shaped leaves. It thrives in filtered light through a bright window covered with a sheer curtain. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry.
As beautiful as the plant looks against the dark backdrop of a wooden fireplace, you need extra measures to keep the plant happy on the mantel. Use a pebble tray or mist the plant every two days to provide ample humidity.
Rubber Tree Plant
The majestic rubber tree plant has the deepest green leaves with a glossy, waxy surface that would look stunning against a white backyard. It loves plenty of light filtered through a sheer curtain and infrequent watering when the top 2 inches of the soil feel dry.
These majestic plants can tolerate the dry air inside the home and prefer a temperature range between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you notice the leaves falling off the plant, raise the plant’s humidity levels.
The Perfect Plants for Your Fireplace Mantel
So there you have it, a long list of plants ideal for gracing your fireplace mantel. Whether you like plants crowding your space or prefer an understated approach, lean towards trailing vines or plants that shoot upwards. The list above offers plenty of ideas to take your fireplace décor up a notch.
Just remember to research your plant’s humidity levels so you know how to care for them up on the mantel. Do you have tips to add? Don’t forget to share your ideas, suggestions, questions, and comments below