6 SEP - 2022
Indoor plant sales are booming as a result of urbanisation, interior design trends, and millennials’ desire to have something to nurture and care for.
They say pets are the new kids, and houseplants are the new pets. Houseplants used to be very polarising. The stubborn ‘NO, I’ll just kill it’ and steering clear of plant parenting was the norm. But over the past couple of years, plant collectors and new plant parents have been soaring. Maybe we can blame the prolonged periods spent lifeless at home or the zen appeal of nurturing something while life was so hectic amid the pandemic. Houseplants were our link to nature during these lockdowns too.
Working as a florist, we dabbled a fair bit in plant sales. So, quite often, you’ll see ol’ mate starting with one, then surprise himself that his latest purchase isn’t dying, and more and more are slowly added to the collection. I totally fell victim to this. On my move into my first flat, I arrived with none. Then, a year later, it took an entire car load to move just my plant collection (of around 15) into my new flat.
Plants are my go-to gift. I love pitching different varieties to friends and convincing them to join me. Plant tok (plant TikTok) is very prevalent in my feed. @TannerThePlanter is my favourite follow. From my last few years of learning and parenting, I have compiled a decent list of the plants that I would recommend for a first-time plant owner, or if you have a collection building up, I’d suggest these for your growing collection.
These plants are stylish, super low maintenance and will grow like a pet or a kid would. All so touchingly.
A snake plant is one of the most stylish and unique plants I would suggest grabbing if that's what you're after. The dramatic appearance of this plant is due to its striped and twisted sword-shaped leaves. Thanks to its toughness and extreme drought tolerance, it is an excellent centrepiece for a side table or a neat corner. Meaning underwatering (or forgetting to water) is no biggie. In the winter, it only needs a feed once a month!
With a lot of brightness, this plant can grow over a metre tall, but if you want it to stay its height the way you brought it (usually 40cm), just store her anywhere else.
String of Hearts
Taking care of one of these delicate trailing plants is a breeze. Mainly because it actually loves to be neglected and hardly ever needs attention. The tiny hearts come in pairs and have a unique silvery, pink shade to their leaves. They have fleshy stems that store all their water, similar to succulents. This plant will grow as long as 2 m if you let it, making it a cute addition to a shelf, over a window or above some stairs.
If your goal is to have it grow like mad, I’d recommend spritzing it with water once a week.
The Monstera deliciosa, or Swiss Cheese Plant, is a popular houseplant due to its large, glossy leaves and tropical appearance. This is your go-to plant when you want to make a statement indoors. The Monstera can grow as big as you want it to. Just increase the pot size. Once a month, a new leaf will likely appear, and these are the cutest things to watch uncurl.
My monstera(s) prefer a light and bright room but what it needs is warmth. One of these probably won't thrive if your house is constantly freezing. But if you have a steamy kitchen or even a heat pump she’ll be sweet! Warmth ever so often will let this one grow wonderfully. Your monstera is probably the most equivalent to a child as they can be dramatic with their yellow and brown leaf moments, but don't fret, less on the waters and a little more love, and it will be bright and happy the next day.
My all-time favourite addition to my fauna family was my philodendrons. There are more than 489 species out there, so I say ‘philodendrons’ as a massive category of plants. From my experience, these guys don't mind if it’s too hot or too cold. They are all pretty chill. But the warmer the spot is, the taller or denser the plant will grow.
Your local plant store will see many variants like a Green Princess Philodendron or a Heart Leaf philodendron. Go for whatever flavour speaks to you, and trust that you are going with a pretty hardy and easy-to-manage beauty.
Fun tip: if you want a bushy and dense plant, I recommend pinching a few of the stems just above their nodes. This will encourage your plant to grow more branches, meaning more leaves. If your plant is getting too out of control, just cut them back (it won't mind).
If unique and statement worthy are what you are looking for in an easy-to-manage plant, I would recommend any type of Calathea. These plants are the proud owners of the most ornamental foliage. You’ll find varieties of dark reds, pinks, yellows, and white. These plants are super cool for unfolding and curling the leaves at night-time. They are super light reactive and love waking up in the morning like you do.
If your home is on the warmer side, your Calathea will be the happiest. They prefer to be watered around once a week and stick to that schedule. Your Calathea will tell you are overwatering it by showing yellow leaves. So listen to it, and you’ll be sweet.
For optimal leaf colour, position them by a window, where they will receive direct but not intense light.