With lifestyles becoming more urban and people spending less time than ever outdoors, bringing the outside in has become increasingly important, not only as an interior trend but also for the purposes of mental health and wellness. With the growing (pardon the pun!) popularity of indoor plants, it seems that plants are moving beyond being mere decorative flourishes and becoming recognized as an affordable, accessible-to-anyone form of holistic healthcare.
How so? Well, there’s been a great deal of research into the fact that plants have a positive effect on wellness and mood – one study even showed that hospital patients with living plants in their rooms required less post-op care and were less anxious. Pollution and toxicity are also key concerns for city dwellers, and a 2015 NASA study demonstrated that many plants have a filter function, which purifies the air around us.
Perhaps because they are so low maintenance, the popularity of indoor plants started with tiny cacti and teeny succulents. The fact that most city-dwelling people live in reasonably confined spaces probably had a bearing on this too! This year, though, the thinking has shifted to ‘the bigger the better’ and now huge plants are keying into a trend for maximalism, with social media showing that jungle-like foliage and lush greenery are creating a focal point in many interior spaces.
Here are some of our favorite houseplants to ‘greenify’ your home
- Fiddle Leaf Fig – tall and elegant, this plant brings life to dull corners
- Calathea Zebra Plant – just look at those wonderful leaves!
- Angel Vine – smaller and more delicate, this makes a lovely indoor hanging plant
- Olive tree – the silvery leaves of this classic are subtle and stunning
- Cylindrical snake plant – spiky and dramatic, this plant can reach heights of around 48cm
- Cacti are still popular, but we’re just going large with them now!
- Monstera Deliciosa – what’s not to love about a plant with a name that sounds like ‘delicious monster’ and is also known as a Swiss Cheese plant??
Choosing your houseplants
- Look for mature plants that are already a couple of feet high, so that they have maximum impact.
- Choose plants in a variety of shades and textures for interest – deep green rounded leaves contrasted with silvery, spiky ones, for example.
- Make sure your chosen plants have thick foliage so that the overall look is lush, not sparse
Curating your houseplants
Although scattering your plants throughout your living area will still make your home greener and more pleasant, you can achieve a stunning visual impact by layering textures and sizes in the one location. A large free-standing plant in a pot placed on the floor, next to a table holding a cluster of different plants, all topped by a hanging plant with trailing foliage will look sensational. Play with scale and use a variety of different pots and hangers, too.
A word of warning – some plants are poisonous to pets, so if you have a cat or dog, choose safe varieties like the followings.
- Aluminum Plant/ Watermelon Plant: It has gorgeous striped leaves and it’s easy to care for
- Spider Plant – a potent air-purifier and pet-friendly to boot, this plant basically looks after itself and you at the same time
- Rabbit’s Foot Fern – this one does well with low light, so don’t fret if your home is not flooded with sunshine
- Bamboo Palm: it can grow up to 84 inches in height, so it ticks the trend box AND keeps your fluffballs safe.
- Boston Fern: these thrive on humidity, so they make a great choice for hanging in the bathroom.
- Cast iron plant – another one that doesn’t require much sunlight to thrive, making it great for dim indoor spaces