by Amanda Rose Newton
Houseplants, once the favorite of old ladies, hotel lobbies, and sad attempts at sprucing up an office cubicle are finally getting their moment.
During the pandemic, so many of us were forced indoors that reminders of outside life, like plants, became a national treasure.
Many of us, myself included, now are experiencing “houseplant” fever and as such, garden centers (and even grocery stores or gas stations) are featuring more varieties than ever.
With the overwhelming diversity in the market, choosing the perfect houseplant for your space is a challenge– albeit it is a fun one to have. To streamline the process, we have chosen our top 5 houseplants to make your space pop.
Hoya sp. have exploded in popularity in the past year and for good reason! Hoyas have all the exotic features and cool flowers displayed by other houseplants, with way less work.
If you are a plant newbie, this is the perfect gateway drug into the world of indoor greenery. While technically a vine, hoyas grow slowly, require little water, and can get away without direct light.
You can throw it in a hanging basket, keep it in a small container, or make it into a cool manicured-looking totem to add vertical interest. The sheer amount of varieties makes it fun for the collector, and it can be forgotten about in the corner of an office and still flourish.
Another plant with dozens to choose from, calatheas offer colorful foliage in varying texture and size, creating a lot of visual bang for your buck.
Originating in Brazil, these neo-tropical beauties warm up any space and are members of the prayer plant family. Like all its relatives, calatheas will move their leaves up at nighttime and lower them again in the day through the magic of special pulvini glands that control water pressure.
They are also relatively forgiving where water and light are concerned and will often let you know by change in color or habit if you need to adjust. As a bonus, calatheas are safe to have around pets, which cannot be said for most tropical houseplant species.
Sansevieria sp., aka mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant, is not by any means new to the houseplant scene and is experiencing a resurgence due to the growing number of variations on the same theme.
Have you seen the colorful variegated versions or the adorable bird’s nest variety? Sansevieria happens to thrive on neglect, making it another great starter plant for newbies or those who think they have black thumbs.
Requiring little water and low light, less is certainly more as far as they are concerned. They also happen to be one of the best plants around at pumping oxygen back into the atmosphere, making them a great addition to any home or workplace.
ZZ is the nickname for the Zamioculcas zamiifolia and is native to Eastern Africa. In its natural habitat, it is prized for being drought resistant, making it a great plant to bring indoors provided you have enough light.
The “ricrac” appearance of this aroid gives great exotic visual interest, alluding to a cycad or palm look. If you are looking to bring the tropics in, this is your plant! Interestingly, this plant has only been in wide-scale nursery production since the late 90s, making it a relative newcomer to the world of indoor greenery.
Though it has never truly gone out of fashion, the Monstera deliciosa is such a statement piece, given its large size, dramatic vegetation, and fun variations.
Cultivated since the 1950s, it is sure to lend instant midcentury modern vibes to any room. Also known as “swiss cheese” plants, some feature holes in the leaves that are a clever adaptation to maximize sunlight capture in a crowded rainforest setting, reducing the amount of surface area the plant needs to support itself.
Monstera also happens to be one of the few aroid sp. that produces edible fruit, though it rarely does so indoors. Fun facts aside, this beauty thrives in indirect light and is best watered from the bottom using filtered water.
Whatever the size of your space, there is a houseplant for you.
The greenhouse at Rockledge Gardens features indoor plants for beginners to experts as well as new exciting varieties to complete your growing collection.
While we are dishing out the fun facts, one of our key houseplant growers happens to be our own manager of customer service! Seth Rhodes (also of Rhodes Roots) makes your shopping trip a truly local experience.