If you want to turn your living space into an attractive green jungle-scape, fit for an Arnold Schwarzenegger hunting Predator alien and a rag tag-band of US Commandos, then this is the article you have been looking for.
Now, of course you could just pile up tonnes of plants in your living space and call it a jungle, but there are some helpful principals that would be useful to keep in mind, so you can create an impactful and congruent jungle look in your bachelor pad, or maybe even a jungle man cave? That way you won’t end up with a strange looking garden centre type apartment, with dying plants and a huge water bill.
We ideally need to create an illusion of depth, structure and size, like a real jungle, using hard to kill, shade tolerant, indoor plants which won’t turn brown after a few months indoors. This isn’t about flowers, it’s about foliage. Check out your local garden stores indoor plants to suit the climate you are from, or have a look at our other plant-based articles which will help you on your way, including our Mini indoor gardens article and are one on Hard to Kill House Plants.
Using a mixture of differently structured plants can add to the ‘jungle’ look, after all jungles aren’t just made of one type of plant. Overlapping hanging and potted floor plants is a great way of acheiving this, as in the above photo. Placing them in a staggered fashion thhrough a living space (as in the photo) is another great way of creating that deep jungle-type look we are going for, the light is caught by those big leaves and it looks great.
This London Jungle-garden is also worth mentioning just for the sheer sense of depth that you get from the scene. Juan Carlos, from Highgate, London turned his 20ft by 16ft patio garden area into a scene from his native Columbia.
Carlos planted darker leaved-plants on the back fence, like small-leaved ivy in planting pockets and then placed larger leaved, lighter-hued plants in front of them, to manipulate the light, and give a sense of depth….nice. This is a principal you could use yourself in your own living space, perhaps with a dark green wall with some lighter plants in front. You can grab some faux ivy decorative hedge reel from Amazon…to help achieve this look. Apparently when Carlos’s friends visit, they ask: ‘what’s behind the plants?’ Carlos rasied the ground of his garden by surrounding the space with steel panels, allowing for fertilizer to fill up the ground, so the hungry tropical plants would thrive. You can read this article for more information about how Carlos achieved this jungle-garden.
This low light or ‘shade tolerant’ arrowhead vine (Syngonium podophyllum) would make an ideal background for our illusion of a ‘deep’ jungle idea. Beware, this vine is an invasive species in the USA so make sure it doesn’t escape into the wild. Take some of the below photos, for example, there are pretty cool jungle type apartment with diverse structures and of plants with shrubs, larger plants, vines, plants hanging from the ceiling, different shades of plants etc. but one way to improve them, for a deeper jungle effect, would be the above tactic using some kind of dark leaved vine wall.
Cleverly locating your plants can add to a jungle vibe. Jungles have roughly five levels, forest floor, shrub, understory, canopy, emergent layer. I’m sure there’s some zoologists out there who claim there are more or less, but for the sake of the article lets roll with that. If you’re really into your jungle look, you could loosely imitate these multiple layers. Maybe have a ground level of succulents, leading to some spider plans, and then a large swiss cheese plants, all in front of some ivy background – Boom! An easy indoor jungle.
But the main take home point is, jungles are three-dimensional so mix up your layers, play with height, as well as depth. See below for some examples of this.
With all of these hanging plants and, look there’s the swiss cheese plant on the right, this mini-jungle hits the structural sweet spot with it’s plants.
Here’s another one with plants at multiple levels of height, even on the stairs. I would probably slip on those stair-plants after a few whiskeys, but it’s a pretty cool idea none the less. It’s very spider plant heavy, they really are easy to care for plants, every man space/ jungle could do with at least one we think.
A cool way of achieving some height and backround with plants would be using one of these trendy ladder trellis pieces; either with a pot at the bottom with a climbing plant, or with faux ivy. The benefit being that you could easily move it around your living space when you get bored of it in a certain area. Check out our ladder shelf article for some more ideas of ladder shelves, which are pretty on-trend for male living spaces at the moment.
Summer Rayne Oakes from New York filled her apartment with 500 plants, that’s one way of making an apartment jungle. Check out the below images which are a good example of some of our above principals of creating a jungle in your living space, with hanging plants, very leafy plants, living walls and more. Even the toilet couldn’t escape being greenified.
Jungle Wall Paper
You could kind of cheat by having jungle wall paper as a background. The above image has some accent bamboo forest background wallpaper, with some added hanging plants and a potted dragon tree for some real world jungle plants. Even the curtains are in on the action being green.
Thanks for reading!
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