Get Resourceful With Greenery Over Kitchen Cabinets

The space above our kitchen cabinets often gets neglected. We use this spot mainly for storage or to stash away unsightly clutter. However, this overlooked space presents an opportunity to add some much needed vibrancy to our kitchens. Greenery is a creative and resourceful way to transform the area over the cabinets into an eye-catching display.

Placing attractive plants and herbs above the cabinets brightens up unused visual space. Greenery incorporated thoughtfully lends color, texture and freshness to any kitchen decor. It draws the eye upwards, breaking up boxy lines and creating the illusion of a higher ceiling. The lush, natural effect reflects light around the room, making the kitchen appear more spacious and airy. Greenery also masks messy clutter we want hidden, yet is easily accessible with the help of a sturdy step stool.

greenery for above kitchen cabinets

Greenery Options for Different Kitchen Cabinets

Older Kitchens with High Ceilings

In older homes, kitchens often feature high ceilings with substantial gaps between the top of the cabinets and ceiling. These awkward dead spaces beg to be filled creatively. Here, trailing vines offer an easy and charming solution to span the divide visually. Heart leaf Philodendron (Philodendron scandens), also known as Sweetheart Vine, works perfectly to bridge high cabinet tops and ceilings. With glossy, bright green leaves, these elegant trailing vines grow rapidly to cascade gracefully down in a spectacular way.

Other vine plants like Pothos and Wandering Jew also make excellent choices, as they grow long swirling tendrils well suited to the vertical height. Their low maintenance needs make cultivating them virtually foolproof. If ambient light is low, artificial grow lights can supplement to keep such plants healthy and happy in their downward growing direction.

Kitchens with Skylights and Ample Light

In kitchens illuminated by plenty of natural light from windows and skylights, the space on top of cabinets can accommodate a range of herb plants like parsley, basil, thyme or rosemary. Culinary herbs flourish beautifully in containers, releasing their delightful aromas as you brush past. Easy access means it’s simple to snip a few leaves to add a burst of freshly picked flavor to dishes and beverages.

For the ultimate in hyperlocal ingredients, this added bit of gardening square footage allows growing edibles at arm’s reach year-round. Get creative with strawberries, mini tomato plants, peppers, or whatever edible delights inspire you. Just be sure to use good quality potting soil, amended with slow release organic fertilizer as needed.

Modern Low-Profile Kitchens

In sleek, contemporary kitchens with low-profile cabinets that leave little clearance to ceilings, real plants may pose spatial constraints. Here, faux greenery bridges the divide between dreaming of plants and practical limitations. Artificial greenery has come a long way from shiny obvious plastic versions. These days, stunningly realistic silk botanicals mimic live plants while requiring zero maintenance.

Weave strands of faux ivy or artificial garlands along the top edges of cabinets to ring the room with gorgeous greenery. Accent with a few potted herbs or low-profile live plants like succulents or air plants for graphic impact. Mixing faux flora with some authentic specimens creates a fresh, lush look brimming with organic texture.

Choosing the Best Plants for Low Light Areas

When scoping out plant choices for on top of kitchen cabinets, assess the light levels, which may be lower than other rooms. Fortunately, many attractive varieties thrive just fine in low light surroundings. Besides the aforementioned trailing Philodendron scandens, the trusty Snake Plant and broad-leafed Chinese Evergreen tolerate very low light levels. Peace Lilies also adapt well, producing elegant white blooms even in darker corners.

If incorporating edible ingredients, go for leafy greens that require less light than fruiting plants. Arugula, kale, swiss chard and oak leaf lettuce grow reasonably well in moderate light. For herbs, we recommend parsley, chives, mint and oregano for decent yields in low light locations. Be sure to check each plant variety’s specific light requirements to make an informed selection.

If Opting for Real Greenery

Assuming you have the headroom, placing living, growing greenery atop your kitchen cabinets adds natural appeal. But real plants, even low-maintenance ones, have certain care requirements to flourish.

Use containers with drainage holes and tray to contain water overflow. While plastic pots work, glazed ceramic, finished wood and copper add aesthetic charm. Always use fresh potting soil suitable for edibles if growing vegetables and herbs. Check soil moisture by inserting a finger. Water plants whenever top two inches of soil feels dry to the touch. Fertilize monthly during active growing periods according to package directions.

Place container plants directly atop cabinets or incorporate hanging baskets suspended from cabinet undersides or rails. Use sturdy wall hooks, mounting the brackets securely into wall studs for reliable strength. For vertical gardens, install wall mounted lattice panels or slotted wood slats to hold multiple potted plants in creative formations.

Getting Creative with Faux Greenery

For kitchens with spatial or lighting limitations unsuitable for living plants, faux greenery saves the day. Artificial plants let anyone enjoy gorgeous greens minus the work real specimens demand. Today’s high quality artificial varieties look amazingly lifelike and realistically detailed to trick even expert landscapers.

Silk plants now perfectly mimic delicate orchids, colorful blooming bromeliads, trailing ivy strands and even fruit laden tomato vines. Mixing in faux succulents, exotic air plants and realistic fiddle leaf figs among actual live herbs growing yields double the visual impact. We especially recommend interweaving fake vines like variegated string of pearls with real ones like philodendron. The mix of lifelike textures and colors creates an utterly convincing plantscape.

Hang strand plants along the front lip of upper cabinets to gracefully drape down in a curtain effect. Use Command hook strips to prevent cabinet damage from nail holes or lost deposits. Place artificial potted orchids or small trees atop upper cabinets or on lower ones to even out height variations.

Displaying Greenery Above Kitchen Cabinets

Harness your kitchen’s vertical dimension by displaying greenery atop upper cabinets. Start by assessing available space considering existing ceilings and vent pipes. Measure cabinet depth and height to determine what plants or hanging planters can reside there comfortably without crowding.

For medium height ceilings allowing a bit of clearance, use hanging wire baskets suspended from invisible monofilament or modern plant hangers. Affix sturdy hooks to cabinet undersides and hang macrame or wire holders singly or in staggered rows. Or install wall mounted rails or floating shelves to display a row of potted plants of various sizes.

For very tall older kitchens, go for long dangling vines or vertical succulent walls that bridge the gap beautifully. Don’t forget lighting, like placing low voltage cabinet top lights or LED strip lighting to illuminate plants after dark.

Greenery lining the tops of kitchen cabinets boosts aesthetics enormously while requiring minimal care. For live plants and herbs, be vigilant about not overwatering, as excess moisture can drip down onto counters and cabinet doors.

Check soil moisture weekly, watering only when the top few inches become dry. For bushy herbs, prune overgrown stems as needed to encourage new growth and maximize flavor. Wipe broad leafed plants occasionally with damp cloth to remove surface dust and keep their pores unclogged.

Turn pots periodically so all sides receive equal light exposure. Rotate through plants placed out of primary view to give them occasional placement in the spotlight. Fertilize actively growing plants monthly with balanced organic feeds added to watering cans. Re-pot root bound plants in springtime to bigger containers using fresh potting medium.

For artificial greenery, gently wipe leaves every few months with soft damp cloth to remove accumulated dust. Fluff and arrange stems and leaves occasionally to restore fuller volume after compression. Re-position pots or hanging elements seasonally for a fresh look, putting summer’s trailing vines away come winter.

Stay on top of kitchen clutter sorting to limit storage items on cabinet tops. A few decorative accents like ceramic chickens, baskets or weathered cutting boards can enhance charm. But restrain accessory overload from crowding out precious greenery garnering all the glory above kitchen cabinets.

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