Houseplant Trends

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.

17 thoughts on “Houseplant Trends

  1. Houseplant revival? I did not know they went out of style. There are a few reason I do not follow trends, and one is that my houseplants last longer than the trends do. The ‘sustainability’ fad was a dud. If what had been trendy then really had been sustainable, it would not be getting replaced with the latest fad now.

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  2. I share my smallish house with two huge weeping figs, one green and white variegated, the other plain green. I’d love to give them away to someone and reclaim the room they dominate, but I don’t want to give away their pots, which are rather attractive. I suppose I could repot them into less wonderful pots, but that seems wrong somehow. So there they sit, getting bigger. Silly, isn’t it? On the other hand, I have a spider plant and a dainty tradescantia of some sort that I quite like, as well as African violets and amaryllis. Then there’s the hoya, which never blooms but sends out a single endless stem. Oh well, they’re sort of like pets, part of the family.

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  3. I’m really pleased that people are enjoying plants even if their gardens are too small and even if they don’t have one. I love succulents, and have always had houseplants. My son and grand-daughter enjoy them. Once when I had a very young delivery person ask to use the loo, and saw my Crassula Ovata Gollum on the window sill, and asked about it, he said my little cutting given to him with instructions was the best ‘tip’ he had even been given.

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    • Isn’t that lovely. I love sharing plants. I hope his plant grows good and strong. Thanks for reading and for getting in touch. All the best. Karen. @kgimson on twitter

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  4. Growing houseplants in Finland is a bit challenging for me considering the sunlight extremes we encounter. Even though we are in southern Finland, our plants undergo anxiety during the darkish days of winter – *6* hrs of iffy sunlight causes a lot of plant distress. Leaf drop is a particular issue with our Ficus during the winter period for instance.
    I attempt to stave off the *horticultural* grim reaper via use of grow lights. You can spot our house from some distance due to a near constant purple glow through the windows.
    in sum, houseplants are expensive here and I’ve lost a mini-fortune in trying to grow them.

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    • How fascinating. I’d love to see photos. Do you write a blog? I too use grow lights, but I’m using them to grow pea shoot and salads. I hadn’t thought of putting house plants under them. Good idea. I dare not think how much money I’ve wasted over the years. Best not add it all up. Thanks for reading. Best wishes. Karen @kgimson on twitter

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  5. An interesting post with good pictures. I only have two house plants at present, a house leek and a spider plant. I’ll hopefully have a couple more later in the year but space limits how many I can have. xx

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    • Thank you Mike. I’m enjoying spraying the plants with a hand mister each day. I rescued a coloured leaf begonia from the garden centre dying table at Christmas, and today I noticed a new leaf. It made me feel happy. Such a little thing. I stood there pondering on how a new leaf could cause happiness and joy. Enjoy your houseplants. Have a good weekend. Love karen xx

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  6. Karen I believe that houseplants have always been had. What seems to me to happen is that now with social networks and young people who have become independent and environmentally conscious, they show their plants and their salad, herb, tomato and microgreens, because many of them are vegans, at least in Spain. The indoor plants you have named are proof of first-timers and are divine: Sansevieria, indoor ferns, Monstera Obliqua and Epipremnum. You have every reason to say that the air in our houses is contaminated. I read a NASA study that affirmed it and recommended 10 plants to purify the air, one of them was the Epipremnum at number 1. I had the house that looked like a jungle before the work accident, it is special the living room, my room and the terrace that is glazed and could have indoor plants all year. When I had the accident and my mother was with me in the hospital room 24 hours a day sleeping on a sofa bed for 3 months and my father and sister came to see me every day as long as they could, the plants they died When I was discharged and arrived home, I was not able to care for plants: some cactus and some small succulents survived. I went to the doctor, to rehabilitation, I was in bed or sitting in a chair with pains. When I was “well” we bought the country house and there what had healed me I finished destroying. We can no longer have indoor plants, so who would water them for almost 6 months we are outside of Madrid? However, in the country house, since it is so old and has so many slits where the air enters, we have two very large sherds from Aspidistra eliator in the living room and they hold up very well. Karen I am happy for your lily of peace, it is beautiful, it will clean the air and will give you encouragement every time you look at it. I’ll look at Instagram the hashtag # plantsofintagram and #plantshelfie to give me a view ration. Memories and love for your Mother. For your family love and health. Karen love, health and rest. Take care. Very loving greetings from Margarita.

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    • I’m so sorry your plants died Margarita. I’m wondering if the mother-in-law’s tongue would be the answer, they are virtually indestructible. I’ve bought a variegated epipremnum and very pretty it is too. Thank goodness you are feeling better now. Hoping for a much better year for both of us. Loving greetings to you and your parents. What a worry we have both caused them by being ill. Much love, karen xx

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    • I must admit, I kill a fair few. I’m trying some new clay balls for the top of pots which apparently create a humid atmosphere around the plants. Perhaps they will help. I’ll report back. I’ve got some really beautiful amaryllis in flower in the lounge. I’m more keen on those than the green houseplants. Have a lovely weekend Christina. xx

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      • It’s funny how certain trends come round again every few years or so Karen. I still remember with great fondness ‘Robert Plant’ the rubber plant and also a big Swiss cheese plant that filled one of the corners of a student flat that I lived in the early 70s. We lavished a lot of care on them 🙂

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      • I can recall going out and buying houseplants for our first home. We had a Chinese umbrella plant. It grew to reach the ceiling. In those days, I had time to dust the leaves. Now it’s a quick spritz with the hand sprayer. A couple of years ago, around here, people would put unwanted Swiss cheese plants out in the pavement with a “take me free” sign. I looked at the prices at the garden centre. Couldn’t find one for less than £40!

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