How To Make A Small Indoor Plant Arrangement


I needed some inspiration.  I needed motivation.  I needed to sit down at my desk and get work done.

But, it was really difficult for some reason.  I could always find something else to do and frequently ended up bringing my laptop into the living room to do work. Sitting at my desk just didn’t feel good.

My office was bringing me down, man.

Something had to change.

I needed to create a space that made me feel productive. I needed a space that made me feel happy.

I needed a work space intervention.

When I thought about what I could do to change how it felt to sit at my desk (because this was sort of a crisis and I needed some kind of triage immediately), I thought of how much I love looking at the gorgeous flower arrangement my friend, Ingrid, had recently given me as an over-the-top “thank you” from Winston Florist.


Boy, do I loooooove Winston Florist.  Sometimes, I just go there to wander around aimlessly and soak in all of the unbelievable creativity there. It is a feast for the senses. Seriously, if you need inspiration, just go there to absorb some of the fresh, new, way-outside-the-box, mind-expanding beauty they create.

This is how I want to feel at my desk. Fresh, creative, inspired.

An actual large arrangement of plants from Winston’s costs about a ba-zillion dollars, so instead I decided to make my own – plenty perfect style – indoor flower arrangement.

Once the Winston’s creativity spirit had moved me, I immediately marched myself out to Lowes and bought my supplies.  If you are a shut-in or do not want to go to the store today, but really badly need an injection of inspiration like I did, you can get all of these supplies delivered to you by clicking on the links I have provided.  Or, if you are a really rich shut-in, you should definitely spend a ba-zillion dollars and get Winston’s to deliver a beautiful arrangement right to your door.

Here is a list of the supplies I used for my arrangement, but you should feel free to improvise:

Miracle-Gro 76151300 Moisture Control Potting Mix Bag,  1-Cubic-Foot

Pot (I used a $29 bowl from HomeGoods, because, well, I just really liked it. You should probably use a real pot with a saucer and drainage hole like the one below.)

(1) Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily) – tall, bigger smooth leaves (bonus – this plant is an air purifier!)

(1) Nepholepis Exaltata – ruffly, light green fern

(1) Rex Begonia – mine has wide, red and green variegated leaves

(2) African violets (I used My Desire, with pink flowers, and North Carolina, with white flowers, but any color will do fine.

(3) Pilea candierei minima (Pilea Aluminum)  – smaller, green and white variegated leaves (bonus – this plant is an air purifier!)

Any kind of plant that tolerates low light will do.  Just get enough plants to fill your pot and try to select a variety of leaf shapes and colors for contrast.


Step #1

Fill your pot up with enough soil so that when the potted plants are resting on the soil, the tops will be about a half-inch below the top edge of the pot.

I also mixed in some of my special worm dirt from the worms I keep in my basement, because all plants love worm dirt, right?


Step #2

Break the soil up so (with a silver fork if you want to be all fancy) and move the potted plants around in the pot until you find an arrangement you like.

As with any design project, everything looks better when you create contrast and include a little repetition.  I tried to set off the pink/red colored plants by positioning them apart from each other and distributed the three Pilea’s evenly around the bowl to give the arrangement a little rhythm.


Step #3

Remove the plants from their pots one at a time. To get a plant out of a pot safely, squeeze the pot a couple of times, then invert it with your hand at the base of the plant. Be gentle with those roots and try not to disturb the soil.


I worked from the back of my bowl forward, filling in soil around each plant with a measuring cup.  Make sure each plant is securely bedded with soil gently pressed in around it.

In the middle of the bowl, I added soil and allowed the center plant to rest on a little hill so that it was elevated above the other plants.  Varying the heights of the plants is another way to create contrast.


Step #4

Now add something that is not a plant to your arrangement. Depending on your style and sense of humor, you could add a “guy” and make it look like he is creeping through a jungle, a little ceramic bunny hiding in your garden, or any old thing that tickles your fancy.  Really – go on and get creative with this!

To give my arrangement a little of that sophistocated “Winston flair,” I found a large silver globe holiday ornament and pressed it into service as a miniature gazing ball.  You know how I love spheres!


Step #5

Finish up with a spritz of water for each plant from a hand-held fawcet (or it is faucet?).  Don’t dowse them too much – especially if you are working with a bowl and not a real pot with a drainage hole.  These little plants should not be over-watered. The Miracle-Grow Moisture Control soil should help with this.


It took less than an hour to put this together.  While my kitchen took a little longer to clean up, it was worth it!  Looking at this arrangement on my desk makes me super happy every single day. I even wrote this post at my desk!


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  1. Hi there, just wanted to tell you, I liked this post. It was funny.
    Keep on posting!

    1. annie kip says:


  2. Jean Owen says:

    Wonderful idea, but why am I not surprised from my Plenty Perfect friend !!
    Love, Jean

  3. Deb says:

    Gorgeous — yes, both YOU and the arrangement … what a great idea! And I really like the silver ball in there, also! Bravo!

    1. annie kip says:

      Oh Deb – what would I do without you!? Thanks. I love the silver ball too!!!! But I think it would be fun to have a bunch of “guys” creeping around in there as well!

  4. Ingrid says:

    Thank you for the step by step instructions. I would have been completely
    overwhelmed without them given I am intimidated when it comes to gardening
    Plants and flower arranging. Can’t wait to try this!

  5. That is so pretty. I have never thought of making an arrangement with several plants in one pot. I think I’m going to try this sometime.

    1. annie kip says:

      Kathryn, so glad you liked it. I swear if it so easy to make it look good! Give it a shot!

  6. Gorgeous! Both you and the flowers.
    I hear ya’ – sometimes a change of scenery is all that’s needed.
    I like your choice of flowers, too. :)

    1. annie kip says:

      Oh, Sara – thanks! I was so obsessed once I got the idea to do this that I didn’t even change out of my stinky tennis clothes!!!

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