Like many trends, the popularity of houseplants has come in waves. People have been cultivating houseplants since the times of the ancient Romans, with their popularity ebbing and surging all the while. Before now, the last time houseplants were really popular was the 1970s. Many aspects of the 1970s have become popular again in both fashion and interior design, so it makes sense that plants are experiencing a revival as well. Another reason for their surge in popularity is the trend toward returning to nature, and studies emphasizing the health and mental benefits of being around plants. A final key aspect to the houseplant trend revival is that more people are living in apartments, or living in apartments longer than they used to before buying a house. Houseplants can help hold people with a green thumb over until they have a yard of their own for gardening, or fill the void of having another living thing in the apartment for places that don’t allow pets. Whichever the reasoning, we’re glad plants are making a comeback. Today we’re going to take a look at five of the houseplants we’re seeing all over Instagram and Pinterest in 2018.
If we’re going by Instagram domination, Monstera Deliciosa has to be the top plant of 2018. It even has its own day dedicated to it. If you follow a lot of plant themed accounts, every Monday your feed is likely filled with #monsteramonday posts. Also known as the Swiss cheese plant, monstera is recognizable by its iconic large, glossy green leaves with deep splits and holes. Best for those with large spaces to fill, this plant can get huge and live for many years. These plants prefer high humidity and filtered, indirect light.
Though considered somewhat rare in the past, Pilea Peperomiodes have boomed in popularity this year. If you went solely from how much they pop up on Instagram you’d never guess these plants can be hard to find. Also known as the Chinese money plant, these cute little discs are hard to find at nurseries due to their slow growing nature. Your best bet for finding one is to get a cutting from a friend who already owns one, or turn to the internet. Since direct sun can scorch leaves, these plants need bright light but with no direct sunlight. Light shade may encourage larger leaves.
For those who want houseplants but don’t have a green thumb, or don’t get much light in your space, Sansevieria is for you. Like monstera, sansevieria has its own hashtag day on Instagram – #sansevieriasunday. More commonly known as the snake plant, sansevieria is practically indestructible. These plants can thrive in basically any light conditions, including only getting artificial light from bulbs, and in terms of watering they do well when you almost forget about them, letting the soil get dry in between. As a bonus these plants can act as air purifiers to improve the air quality in your home.
On the other hand, this plant is more appropriate for experienced plant parents. Calathea Lancifolia is known for its foliage which features gorgeous looking ornate patterns that can sometimes look fake or painted on. Because of its eye-catching leaves it’s easy to see how this plant can become popular on image driven platforms like Instagram. The beauty comes with a price though, and it can be temperamental and tricky to care for. It can’t be placed in direct sunlight or it will lose its markings, but it does still need adequate light. Native to the tropical regions of Brazil, Calathea demands to be moist at all times, but not wet or sitting in water.
Cactuses in general have become incredibly popular (taking the place of succulents), but we’re going to go out on a limb and say this rotund variety will pull ahead of the pack. These cactuses can be small enough to fit into the burgeoning micro-cactus trend or large enough to stand in for a guard dog (watch out for the spikes!). Caring for cactuses can be tricky. Many people are discouraged when they kill something that thrives in the desert, and the usual issue is over-watering. A cactus should be watered in a similar fashion to how it receives water in nature – in bursts every few months. If you’re watering your cactus more than once a month, you’re likely killing it.
Even within the larger trend of houseplants there are smaller trends that come and go, like which plants are popular. These are the plants we think are going to gain or remain popular this year. Succulents were huge in 2017 but are now already fading in popularity. It will be interesting to see what plants take over Instagram next. And while you may be inspired by trendy houseplants, remember to buy plants that fit your light and space restraints. For more information on how to add plants to your space, make sure to check out our houseplant guide.