Millennials love houseplants. It's not up for debate at this point, it's just a fact. In the past couple of years, U.S. sales of houseplants have surged almost 50 percent to $1.7 billion, and there's no reason to think the trend won't continue. After all, not only is it a real mood-booster to have plants in your home, but they're also an aesthetically pleasing addition to your decor. And those Instagram likes matter, you know?
Of course, not all plants are destined for Instagram fame, with some being far more popular choices on social media than others, with fickle-but-beautiful fig trees and succulents being the most ubiquitous. But what's next on the Instagram houseplant hit list?
To help you get ahead of the newest plant obsession, we decided to ask with some employees at The Sill and Sprout Home in Brooklyn for their predictions. Seeing how the houseplant industry is the only industry millennials haven't killed yet, we might as well do our part in helping it continue to thrive.
Erin Marino from The Sill mentions that these veiny babies are often referred to as elephant ears because of the unique shape of their leaves. The giant version of an Alocasia, known as the Colocasia, is number one on her plant wish list right now, but her small studio apartment can't accommodate it at the moment. "In the meantime, I'm flexing my plant care muscles by trying to keep alive the smaller, but just as cool-looking, Alocasia alive."
These slightly creepy extraterrestrial green beings might not look as cute as a Chinese money plant does on your feed, but it will draw attention. "I love the juxtaposition of something green and wild-looking, next to something smooth and white like a ceramic bowl," Marino says, in case you need some still life inspiration. To make the idea of them even more appealing, they don't take much of a green thumb to keep alive. They don't require potting and simply need a misting and good soak from time to time.
Philodendrons, in general, are beauties, whether they're seen trailing and scaling homes, laundromats, or what have you. This version of the plant has silver detailing that elevates its appeal. Marino's suggestion: Hang it in front of a window "where their silver splotches sparkle in the sunlight. Swoon."
This plant is quite photogenic on its own, but what makes it really special is its unique leaf movements (they follow the sun and raise and lower themselves from day to night), which make this plant the perfect subject for time-lapse videos like this one. You'll be a plant influencer in no time.
Chris Gully from Sprout Home thinks that Peperomias will be the most sought-after plant by people within the next year. This includes the Peperomia Obtusifolia and Peperomia Argyreia or Watermelon Peperomia. "They are incredibly easy to maintain in the respect that they can handle a wide variety of light situations and don't mind drying out in between waterings," he says. Most of the leaves are "satisfyingly round" or include "lovely little patterns."
Another Sprout Home employee, Devonrae Jones, is loving the Aspidistra or "Cast Iron" plant right now. "Along with having the unique history of being a favorite Victorian Era parlor plant, its foliage is one of the most sculpturally beautiful," he says. It's also easy to care for, liking low-light situations, infrequent watering, and is able to tolerate temperature drops. "It makes for a whimsically unexpected addition to most New York apartments."
Allyson Seifert tells us that she's noticed an increasing demand for the Asparagus Fern plant. "It's delicate and minimal shape is so simple, yet the leaf pattern and body design is really stunning and unique among the fern family," she says. Ferns are notoriously hard to keep alive, but "these plants are particularly easy for apartments and homes with lower light, especially for those in urban areas where windows face a brick wall or building atrium."