An ancient style of architecture called 'Vastu Shastra' was created in the Indian subcontinent, which includes plants as an integral part of the home's interior design.
According to Vastu Shastra, keeping any plant in the house would bring luck and wealth into our lives. For example, the more leaves the Money Plant has, the better it is said to be for the family; there is never a lack of money in the home!
It is debatable whether money and the Money Plant are related, but there is no doubt that plants add to the interior's beauty and uniqueness and bring a natural touch to the home.
A Glimpse of Green
Despite the abundance of apartments, there are few trees in this modern metropolis. Plants have thus taken up residence inside people's homes, on roofs, balconies, or in the corner of reading tables.
As a result, it has also become a staple of interior design. With such urge, Nurunnahar Nargis, an assistant professor of mathematics and a resident of the city's Bashabo neighbourhood, adorned her home with various indoor-semi-indoor plants.
"Let's say you purchase a metal showpiece to decorate your home. It will last for years until it cracks or breaks," said Ms Nargis, "In the case of plants, they may die within a week if not given proper care, yet I choose to decorate my home mostly with houseplants because it is alive, not artificial."
"Watching them grow tiny leaves from seedlings reminds me of the existence of nature even in this brick and stone house," she described how her interest led her to utilise the plant as home decor.
One side of the roomy corridor at her home, lined with rows of potted plants, can be seen entering through the front door. Alongside the seating arrangement are enormous clay pots holding Money Plant and Snake trees.
You will feel as though you are being welcomed with open arms by green-leafed palm trees, lovely dwarf pines, Draceana with white stripes on light green leaves, Calathea Peacock with dark green stripes between light green leaves, Caladium Bicolor (Heart of Jesus) with its heart-shaped leaves with red-pink stripes, and various species of cacti.
Numerous indoor plants are grouped in little clay pots to give the interior a natural appearance. Especially on the balcony, the Bougainvillea has changed the ambience with her yellow leaves. There is a cool touch of greenery throughout the house.
However, using trees as the interior decor has financial benefits as well. Trees are an easy and affordable way for nature lovers to add a sense of freshness and variety throughout their entire home.
According to Nasreen Rahman, a resident of Mouchak, Dhaka, "When I first started a family, there wasn't much furniture in the house, and I couldn't afford decoration. So, I used indoor plants to decorate my tiny flat. Along with clay tubs, I used to cut plastic bottles into different designs to plant trees."
Now her family has expanded, and the furniture collection has increased, but her passion for planting trees has not decreased. Like her, other families in this city have countless tales about tree love.
Hobbies have no age limit. So, if you want to decorate your home with green leaves and colourful flowers but don't know where to begin, just buy seedlings from a nursery or a friend and plant them in tubs rather than starting from seeds. Once you're used to it, you can increase the number of plants by growing your own seedlings. In that case, the following tips will be useful for you:
1. Pick a location inside the house with sufficient airflow and sunlight for planting. However, some plants can endure without sunshine once they bloom. For instance, Peace Lilies.
2. A tropical indoor bonsai can serve as an elegant reminder on a tea table. The living room's appearance can be given a new depth by hanging succulent pots filled with creepers like English ivy and money plant from the ceiling.
3. Large clay pots with Snake plants, Dracaena, or Leopard Lilies can be placed near the entrance.
4. If you have a modest kitchen with a Southeast-facing window, you can put plants there, but they must be placed away from the stove.
5. Lady Fern or ZZ plants in mini earthen tubs at the corner of the study table would be a good idea.
6. The balcony could be a great area to grow flowers at home. If the balcony is tiny, it is best to keep creeping plants like Tarulata, Bagan Vilas, Madhabilata, Aparajita, and Morning Glory, as well as hanging plants in small pots like Turtle Vine, Sun Rose, Fern, Petunia, and Time Flower. If the balcony is large and gets enough light, you can also plant herbs like Neem tree, Tulsi, and Thai plants.
7. It is important to choose a planter that complements your design. Indoor plants are now housed in earthen tubs, china clay bowls, ceramic pots, glass jars and bottles, plastic tubs, and even bamboo planters. You can make a planter out of upcycled plastic bottles if you want using a DIY hack.
8. Some plants can survive in water (Bamboo tree, Money Plant) but require sunlight once a week. The colour of the Dracaena's leaves fades when it is overly exposed to sunlight. So, one should know how much light, air, and water an indoor plant needs before planting.
Where to look?
There are several nurseries in the Mohammadpur Beribadh Road region where you can purchase indoor and semi-indoor plants, as well as near the Agargao passport office, the Dhanmondi Abhani Ground, the Ibnesina Hospital, the Shishu Academy, the Curzon Hall, beside Motijheel Ideal School, and the Khilgaon Khidma Hospital. There are numerous small nurseries too in almost every locality of Dhaka city. You can also buy indoor plants from online platforms and Facebook marketplaces.