Favorite Plants for Decorating a Mantle

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The mantle is a large part of many people’s living rooms, making it either a beautiful centerpiece or an undressed eyesore. Everyone has their sense of style when it comes to decoration, whether antiques or photographs, but a timeless and easy-to-set-up display adds a little splash of greenery to the room. It’s hard to go wrong when using organic props to add some flair to the mix! In this article, you will discover the favorite plants for decorating a mantle as well as the thought process when choosing the right plants for you.

What to Consider When Picking Plants for Decorating a Mantle

There are plenty of questions to ask yourself if you plan to bring plants in as decoration. What is the lighting like in the room? What sort of style are you aiming to achieve? And, of course, what type of plants fit in with your lifestyle? Unlike ordinary mantle pieces, live vegetation needs to be cared for through light and water. Make sure you choose plants that can coexist with your schedule and lifestyle. Even the most independent plants need a little TLC from time to time.

Another thing to consider when choosing plants for decorating a mantle is how big your mantle is. This can determine the type of plants that will be suitable to use. If you have a large mantle, you may use some larger filler plants to help fill the space. Or you could always add other items into the mix along with the plants, such as vases, pictures as previously mentioned, or anything you’d like! No rules state that the mantle must be purely greenery unless that’s what you prefer. The inanimate object of your choice could always be in the center of the mantle, with greenery decorated all around it, making it the focal point.

Due to the vast difference in style preferences, home conditions, and lifestyles, an array of different types of plants can and should be used to decorate the mantle. It truly is dependent on the owner! Even though there are no hard and fast rules on what greenery is acceptable to add life to your living room, there are plants that make for great year-round decoration.

Favorite Plants for Decorating a Mantle

It seems like there are countless options and combinations to dress up the mantle in vegetation! Listed below are some plants that do well for most of the year and require little effort in maintaining, making them no-brainers when it comes to using them for their beauty and vitality.


Muehlenbeckia plants have small circle leaves; they work fast to overtake an area with their simple yet beautiful appearance. Muehlenbeckia is great at caring for themselves if they have been properly watered once a week for the first few seasons. The leaves keep themselves in good condition from March to November, which cuts down on the amount of maintenance they need. Muehlenbeckia prefers indirect light, making their home on the mantle (or below) the perfect spot. Place a few at the top of the mantle to drape down like a waterfall if you do not frequently use your fireplace or below to allow the vines to take shape as they wish. Adding a Muelenbeckia will give your home an exotic and natural feel, making it one of our favorite plants for decorating a mantle.


Ferns are simple and elegant full of leaves almost resembling that of a palm tree. This type of plant has a wide range of what it could reach in height, anywhere from 1-1.2 cm to 30-80 feet tall. That’s impressive! Repotting these plants will stop them from overgrowing in your living room. Indirect light and occasional watering when the soil feels dry are all these plants need to thrive in your home. Ferns can be placed on the mantle, sides, or even in the fireplace as a centerpiece!

Bonsai: Excellent Plants for Decorating a Mantle

If extravagant and detailed decoration is not your style, the bonsai plant offers a very minimalist approach to decoration! These plants should already be potted in a stylish pot that usually includes moss and pebble mulch, giving it an already decorated look. They require very little care and do great with minimal watering and medium to bright light. Bonsai plants provide a simple approach to dressing your mantle, making them easy to pop on the shelf and enjoy their beauty.

Areca Palm

The Areca palm is the potted plant of typical vegetation that you see near doorways in offices and rooms. Their long leaves billow out into individual wisps, creating a fanning effect. Areca Palms grow densely and are used as an accent in gardens for privacy, as it is tough to look through this greenery! This is a great organic alternative if ever considering a fence outside. Areca palms grow upwards of 20 feet if you let them, but don’t worry, simply keep it in a smaller pot, and it won’t be able to make its way through your ceiling. Like most palms, they do best in indirect sunlight and add a cozy vibe to the room.


Pothos are considered an easy houseplant to grow and take care of, especially for those who do not have experience with plants or classify themselves as a black thumb. This makes them one of the best plants for decorating a mantle. This species is a long vine; covered in smooth, heart-shaped leaves. What’s great about this plant is that it is easy to arrange. They can be in a pot hanging from the ceiling, next to your mantle, on either side or rearranged to flow down. This plant can be displayed in many ways to bring a unique look to the room.

Pothos are easy to care for since they can go without water for some time; Indirect light is also best for these vines. Another bonus is that Pothos remove toxins in the air, such as formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene. Not only are they elegant to look at, but they serve a functional purpose as well!

Best Plants for Decorating a Mantle: Christmas Cactus

The name may sound like a holiday plant, but the Christmas Cactus thrives from fall to spring! They come in various colors, such as pink, purple, red, and white. These plants can provide you with a pop of color in the room if the other plants that you use to decorate the mantle are primarily green. Christmas Cacti are easy to look after, as they only require watering every 2-3 weeks.

To help this species thrive, it will benefit from a balanced fertilizer every two weeks. To get this vibrant plant to bloom, they need a minimum of 14 hours of nighttime and about 8-10 hours of indirect sunlight for a minimum of six weeks. Christmas Cacti are especially perfect for the winter holidays; this is their peak season to bring out their powerful colors in an otherwise bland time.

Plants for Decorating a Mantle – The Wrap-up

Although the plants in the article are great options for year-round plants, it is crucial to use plants you will enjoy! There is no sense in buying and maintaining a plant that you don’t enjoy. Keep in mind that some foliage will do better in certain climate conditions, so be cautious of your location. If these options don’t suit your style or needs, plenty of plants will!


The best way to do this is to pick one plant you want to use as the accent piece, the one plant you genuinely feel a connection to. From there, you can find other plants you enjoy that will complement the accent plant. You could even do specific schemes, such as plants of only a particular color palette, all succulents, only plants green in color, or strictly vines. The possibilities are endless!

Again, entirely up to you! If you have an abnormally large plant, the floor is always next to the mantle. A large potted plant (or two) would be great in addition to the rest of them on the mantle.

I wouldn’t suggest it unless all the plants are on top of the mantle or away from the direct line of heat. If you want to have a fire, it is best to move all the plants away from the mantle and keep them away for three or so days after to ensure that the embers and ashes are cold. If you move the plants back too quickly, they could easily catch on fire.

As little or as many as you would like! It is entirely up to you how many you think will tie the room together. Not only can plants go on top of the mantle, but they can also drape around the sides and sit on either end on the ground. Two plants would look great on each flank, but nothing says you must have symmetry.

Indoor plants or plants that will thrive off LED grow lights. This is because mantles frequently are not situated near windows where plants can get enough natural light.  

Published at Wed, 16 Mar 2022 08:13:39 -0700

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