I like to keep an eye on trends. I might not join in, but it’s good to know what’s in fashion. I want to keep up with the conversation. Growing houseplants is one trend I approve of.
Plants are big news on Instagram right now. Millions of people are posting photos of plants and how they are using them to enhance their homes. The hashtag #houseplants has 287,000 posts. #Plantsofinstagram has 2.2 million posts.
The RHS says social media is one of the driving forces behind the houseplant revival.
Matthew Pottage, curator at RHS Wisley, says millennials who perhaps don’t have a garden, but have a window or a windowsill are behind the latest trend.
He appeared on BBC Breakfast TV this week to talk about the latest craze. He says lots of people don’t have their own gardens, but houseplants are one way of getting involved in gardening.
Matthew suggests the spear-shaped mother-in-law’s tongue would be the best plant for a beginner. It’s virtually indestructible. Other plants showing a revival right now are indoor ferns, Swiss cheese plants, and devils ivy (Epipremnum.)
The houseplant revival is just one aspect of young people getting involved in gardening. Matthew says they are growing salads, herbs,tomatoes and micro-greens on windowsills and in window boxes and balconies.
The RHS Wisley plant shop has seen sales of salad and vegetable seeds overtake those of flowers. And conifers are also on the rise, with Wisley seeing a 50% rise in conifer sales. People are looking for low maintenance structural plants- such as conifers.
I had a look at Instagram and the trending hashtag #plantsofinstagram which has 2.2 million posts.
The hashtag #plantshelfie also has 65,700 posts.
Matthew says houseplants are good for cleansing and purifying the air. He recommends the devil’s ivy plant, which takes quite low light levels. Photos on Instagram show the plant being draped over curtain poles and along book shelves.
Pollution levels are often higher indoors than out and contain a mixture of substances emitted from furnishings, detergents, paint, carpets, and also dust, fungal spores and bacteria. These are thought to contribute to the condition known as “sick building syndrome” where people suffer from a range of illnesses; eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, fatigue, and breathing difficulties. Scientists say plants have the ability to clean up our air to a certain extent by absorbing and capturing harmful substances.
Plants have been shown to contribute to improvements in mental and physical wellbeing. Reduced blood pressure, reduced fatigue and headaches, and patients in hospital report a decrease in post-operative pain where they can see some greenery.
In my home, I’ve bought a peace lily which has white spathes and green spear-shape leaves. I’m hoping it will work hard, capturing pollutants in the air, helping us to breathe more easily.
Science shows our homes, workplaces, schools and hospitals can be better places to be with the addition of plants. In some studies scientists found plants helped towards an improved mood, reduced stress levels, increase in work productivity, an increase in speed of reaction, and better concentration spans, as well as increased pain tolerance in hospital settings.
What houseplants are you growing right now? Are you joining in with the # hashtag craze on Instagram. I tried it last night to see what would happen. I didn’t quite get the 5,000 “likes” one instagrammer received for her houseplant post. I’ll have to keep trying!
* Just discovered it’s #HouseplantAppreciationDay. Well, why not join in.