The number trick experts swear by for an aesthetically pleasing houseplant display

Get ready to change how you arrange your plants forever

home office with navy and white wall, white chairs and houseplants
(Image credit: Future PLC / Tim Young)

An expert has shared a simple houseplant number trick for displaying your favourite foliage to its best advantage. Whether you're an experienced plant parent with an ever-expanding collection or a more cautious novice – following this golden rule when styling plants will create a look that feels put-together yet effortless.

Houseplant ideas never fail to elevate a room, bringing a sense of well-being and calm to our living spaces, and this tip will mean each plant has its time to shine.

houseplants hung on steel pegs

(Image credit: Future PLC / Polly Eltes)

Houseplant number trick

'The foundation of any interior design styling is the rule of three or rule of odd numbers,' comments Anna, founder of Plant Pet Club. 'Why? Simply because things arranged in odd numbers are more visually appealing to the human eye. 

'We have been trained to view and display things in threes: a sofa and two armchairs, a set of three art pieces and so on,' she adds. 'It is only natural that we apply the same rule to displaying our houseplants, as we want our plant babies to look their best!'

Lisa Slack, Home Expert at Thomas Sanderson agrees that the best houseplants arranged in bunches of odd numbers makes for a display that's easy on the eye. 'Odd numbered groupings force your eyes to move around the bunch of plants, naturally extending your visual interest to the whole room,' she says.

bedroom with fern plants

(Image credit: Future PLC / Catherine Gratwicke)

Lisa also explains that groupings of three or five are psychologically proven to be more appealing visually, and they're therefore more memorable than plants sat in twos. She suggests arranging plants symmetrically around a focal point, such as your fireplace, while still sticking to the plants in odd-numbered groupings.

This 'odd but even' rule means you can digest the look of the room and take in the overall aesthetic, as it blends symmetry with odd-numbered arrangements.

three houseplants in small pink pots arranged on a hexagonal tray

(Image credit: Future PLC / Dominic Blackmore)

Aside from the rule of three, colourful or aged terracotta pots will invite instant style into your space, adding texture and pattern. For a jungle vibe, hang plants in threes to show off the leaves of your Pothos of Philodendron.

And remember to let plants do their thing – if you have trailing plant, place the plant near the edge of a table or bookcase so the vines have room to grow, reach and drape over the table.

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.