Personal plant altar

A green source of calm and an explosion of energy

The word ‘altar’ is derived from the Latin word ‘altus’ and literally translates to ‘high’. It's widely believed that altars are always related to religion, but that's not the case - it can simply be a spot in your home filled with objects which provide you with calm, inspiration and strength. And who doesn't need more of those qualities in their life?

A perfectly styled plant altar can never fail to make things seem a bit brighter. Fill a cabinet with gorgeous green plants, or cover a shelf with extravagant explosions of leaves. Add a couple of candles, place some extra plants on the floor and fill any gaps with inspirational quotes. Hello, plant altar!

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How to make the perfect plant altar

A plant altar is a personal and positive thing. You therefore create it from plants and items that make you happy, and on a base that matches your mood perfectly. You can choose an underutilised area of your home or simply a spot which you feel would benefit from some greenery. 

Step 1: the botanical base

Create or select a base on or in which you can place a lot of plants. This could be a coffee table, a stack of weathered wooden crates, a cabinet, a structure on the wall - as long as it matches your mood and vibe perfectly, the choice is yours. 

Step 2: plants, plants and maybe a few more plants

Next up is a shopping trip to bring a lot of plants home. Opt for different sizes to give an exciting, cheerful effect. Combine your favourite leaf shapes with symbolic meanings. Try ceropegia, often viewed as a symbol of love or the lily, a symbol of  purity, love and femininity. It’s also important to choose plants that you'll feel comfortable looking after. In other words, if you don't have very green fingers, something low maintenance is probably best. 

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Step 3: marvellous extras 

Once you've placed your plant in gorgeous pots or on fabulous dishes, your marvellous display can probably use few extras. Think candles, meaningful stones, shells or crystals, or some bricks and branches if you want to make it feel rugged. Write or print out some of your favourite inspirational quotes and nestle them amongst the plants, so that simply looking at your altar will fill you with energy you need to have a great day. 

Step 4: the centrepiece

Now the time has come to start arranging everything! The centrepiece of your altar will attract the most attention, and this doesn't necessarily need to be in the middle of the altar. Select the spot you want to draw the most attention to, and place your favourite plant here. Then take the other plants and items you have gathered and fill out the rest of the altar space to your satisfaction. 

Step 5: you're finished...or are you?

You’ve created a beautiful display that will provide you endless joy to gaze at. It's best to not consider your palnt altar as finished, however, but to think of it as a work in progress. Plants grow, and your mood changes, so allow the altar to move and grow over time. As long as you're enjoying it, it's all to the good. 

We'd love to see your plant altar! Share it with us on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #thejoyofplants.