What’s a Plant Ledge?

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What’s a Plant Ledge?

Sometimes, the purpose of features in your home isn’t quite apparent. This can lead to you having an “a-ha!” moment later when the purpose of a seemingly quirky home feature becomes apparent. With some features, though, that moment can take a while to arrive. One feature that might not seem to have a real purpose, if you aren’t already aware of what it’s for, is a plant ledge.

Plant ledges were pretty popular in the mid 90s and early 2000s, so homes built or remodeled around this time are likely to have these random high ledges in rooms that may not seem that practical at first glance. You can probably guess to at least some of the purpose from their names, but plant ledges can be used for a number of things. Given that plant shelves and similar storage options are coming back into style, here’s a bit more information on plant ledges and how they can beautify your home.

Plant Ledges

As the name implies, plant ledges were ledges built into the wall that were typically intended to hold potted plants of some variety. These ledges were placed high on the wall, usually within a foot or so of the ceiling in that space that isn’t often used for shelving and other storage. Some plant ledges had built-in lighting to better illuminate their contents, though this wasn’t the case with all of them. Many homeowners would put silk plants on their plant ledges to reduce the amount of maintenance required to keep them in good shape, but live plants were also used, especially those that don’t require a ton of water or direct sunlight.

Depending on where the ledges were installed, they might appear only on a single wall, or could surround a room. In some cases, they even worked their way around fixtures in the room, such as ledges that connected with the tops of cabinets and made their way around the kitchen area. While the plant ledges in a home were placed in areas where they would be seen, most of the ledges themselves were fairly simple in design so as not to take away from the beauty of their contents.

Not Just for Plants

Though they are known as plant ledges, these high ledges can be used for a wide range of decorative items. Some feature grooves cut into the top ledge surface, allowing decorative plates or similar items to be displayed without a fear of them shifting and falling off the ledge. Vases, awards, and other decorative items can also be placed on the ledges to accent various rooms. Often, people use these ledges to hold a mix of items, including both plants and other pieces, to create a more diverse space.

The size, width, and location of the ledges can differ depending on what they’re intended to hold as well. In addition to grooves, spacers and other cutouts can be placed in the ledge to help them hold specific items more safely. Wider ledges also come in handy when it comes to holding bigger items, while thinner ledges are ideal for smaller or thinner pieces that you intend to display.

Considering Plant Ledges?

With shelves and storage pieces becoming popular as ways to hold plants and other display items, a plant ledge might sound great for some of the rooms in your home. They tend to take a bit more work to install than just a simple shelf, but the look that they create is typically worth the extra effort. You can talk with a contractor or remodeling expert to see how best to incorporate plant ledges into your home.


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Comments (5)

Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Thanks for sharing Shayne!

With some features in a home, though, that moment can take a while to arrive. One feature that might not seem to have a real purpose, if you aren’t already aware of what it’s for, is a plant ledge.

Oct 16, 2021 01:36 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Having previously lived in a house with a "plant ledge" in the 90's, I can safely say it would be elminated from any future builds for me.  It translates for me personally has "extra hard area to dust".  

Oct 16, 2021 02:21 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Shayne Stone these are very good list of educational tips for a plant ledge.

Oct 16, 2021 06:07 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Yes you can use the ledge for plants but isn't the real reason for the ledge to put the Halloween candy where the kids can't get it? Save a Heath Bar for me. Jeff 😎

Oct 16, 2021 08:05 PM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center 262-567-2455 - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and enjoy your week ahead!

Oct 18, 2021 06:57 AM