5 Smart Ways to Add Greenery to Your Kitchen Right Now (Even If You Don’t Have a Green Thumb)

published May 19, 2022
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If you looked at the photo above and scoffed to yourself something along of the lines of “Ha! There’s no way I’d ever be able to keep any of those plants alive!” then this post is for you. Houseplants have been growing in popularity these last few years, with sales way up and Instagram full of leafy room pics. But what if you don’t have a green thumb? What if your house has historically been where plants go to die? This post can help. Here are five tips for decorating your kitchen with greenery and blooms — even if you can’t seem to keep a simple air plant alive.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

1. Make a fresh herb bundle.

If you (or a friend or neighbor!) have herbs like thyme, oregano, and mint growing in your garden, one of the easiest ways to bring some pretty and aromatic greenery into your kitchen is with fresh herb bundles. Early in the morning before the hot sun comes out, snip no more than a third of your bushiest plants down to an inch or two above the ground (or a couple inches above a woody stem in more established plants) to encourage regrowth.

Next, rinse your bundle, pat dry with paper towels, look for and remove any critters, and drop the stems into a wide-mouth jar or a colorful vase with water. Place your chosen vessel on your counter or near your cutting board (avoiding direct sunlight and hot spots like next to your stove) and you’re all set! You can enjoy your pretty, sweet-smelling bundle, and you’ll have fresh herbs at your fingertips for all of your cooking needs.

Credit: Kristin Prough

2. Hang and dry herbs.

Although useful at any time of year, drying herbs can be especially important come autumn as the growing season winds down and you’re looking to save these precious ingredients for the winter. Luckily, drying herbs is remarkably easy and can make a lovely hanging decoration. First, harvest herbs (such as thyme, rosemary, lavender, and sage) early in the morning, remove the bottom few leaves on each stem, rinse with water, inspect for critters, and pat dry with paper towels.

Next, tie small bundles loosely together and hang upside down away from cold drafts, hot stoves, and direct sunlight. A wall with

3. Let kitchen scraps thrive.

Yes! Kitchen scraps can bring a little quirky beauty to your home (with the bonus of being a fun project for any kids you may have running through your kitchen). Avocado pits and sprouting past-their-prime potatoes are a good place to start. After giving them a good wash and drying with a dish towel, poke your pits or spuds with toothpicks so they can sit just slightly submerged in water above your chosen vessel in a sunny windowsill.

Before you know it, they’ll be sprouting greenery and a mesmerizing tangle of roots. Just be sure to replace the water every few days to prevent molding.

4. Frame some pressed flowers.

If you love bringing cut flowers into the kitchen but wish those bouquets could last forever, pressed flowers could be your dream solution. First off: Don’t be intimidated. Although there are many wonderful presses and tools out there for this kind of project, all you really need is some printer paper, a couple of big heavy books, and rubber bands.

Check out this video from our friends at Apartment Therapy for easy instructions of how to press flowers and place them in a simple frame for a pop of color on your counter or a shelf.

5. Create an indoor succulent garden.

Not all succulents enjoy living indoors, but there are several hardy varieties that can thrive in your kitchen. A trailing burrito sedum (Sedum morganianum ‘Burrito’) is a winner for a hanging ceiling pot or high-up shelf that gets low or indirect sun, while the nearly indestructible star window plant (Haworthia cuspidata) adds a pop of shimmering lime green to a bright tabletop or breakfast table.

And if your kitchen gets little to no light at all? You can’t go wrong with the many varieties of sansevierias (aka snake plants or mother-in-law’s tongue), which thrive on neglect and low-light environments. Taller varieties like Sansevieria trifasciata add structure and height in a corner near your kitchen table, especially with the help of a simple plant stand.

How do you add greenery to your kitchen? Tell us in the comments below!