The last few years have seen an explosion in popularity of houseplants. Flowering plants such as Orchids, Kalanchoe and Begonias have always been available to buy and make great gifts of course, but we are now seeing a huge wave of interest in foliage houseplants, especially amongst the younger generation. It seems this could be due to social media – Instagram in particular has thousands of photos of interesting and often rare houseplants being posted daily, and plant ‘influencers’ have hundreds of thousands of followers. The interior design industry has also contributed to the growth with a more bohemian 70’s vibe being seen on the catwalk and in magazines. But there is also a deeper more meaningful reason why foliage houseplants have seen a renaissance – young millennials are either buying their first home or renting someone else’s, with little outdoor space to enjoy, and they would like to bring the outside in, and also have something to care for. As they have grown up being surrounded by climate change issues, having houseplants helps them feel cocooned inside a happier and sustainable world. Studies show that indoor plants can promote a sense of wellbeing, and as indoor pollution from chemicals can be high, also create a healthier environment by cleansing the air. Something we can all benefit from, regardless of age!
Don’t worry if you don’t have the time or inclination to pander to an unusual or tricky specimen though; many interesting houseplants are very easy to grow. Try Spathiphyllum, the Peace Lily. One of the best plants for purifying the air, it can take over watering or under watering, as well as shade. It will send up white sail like flowers periodically, and can be purchased in many different sizes. Another easy plant is Monstera, or Cheeseplant which is incredibly popular at the moment. Succulents don’t need much water, and Aglaonema, the Chinese Evergreen, is great for those who overwater everything. (If you have pets just do a little research to check a plant’s toxicity before you buy – most houseplants are fine but there are exceptions.)
Houseplants have such a positive impact on health and wellbeing, we should all make space in our homes for them.