Move Over Fiddle Leaf Fig, These Will Be the Most Popular Houseplants of 2021
Warning: you'll want all of them.
We're not big on making New Year's resolutions, but if we had to set one, "get more houseplants" would probably land at the top of the list. Especially during a winter when many of us are spending more time at home, plants can bring some much-needed greenery and fresh air to our spaces. To figure out which houseplants we should add to our collections, we asked plant experts for their predictions for the most popular houseplants of 2021. Luckily, some of the pro-approved picks are low-maintenance enough for even beginner plant parents. Here are the houseplant varieties to order online or pick up on your next visit to the plant store.
"When we surveyed our Plant Parent Club Facebook group in the fall, almost half of respondents said they were new to plants this year—or that their collection or interest significantly increased this year," says Erin Marino, director of marketing at The Sill. "Comments included: 'May 23 - zero plants. Today - probably 70ish.'"
"Because of how many people are pretty new to having and caring for houseplants, I really think 2021 is going to be a year where tried-and-true favorites trend—be it the snake plant, pothos, or ZZ plant." Stock up on these and other easy-to-care-for varieties in the New Year.
"As we all take a collective breath and look to a hopeful year ahead, it was important that we select a plant that reflects the optimism we see for 2021,” says Alfred Palomares, vice president of merchandising at 1-800-Flowers.com. “Chosen for its symbolism of gratitude, the Red Maranta Prayer Plant, with leaves that fold like hands in thankfulness, encourages us to connect with others and make the most of life’s special moments.”
The fiddle leaf fig fad is so 2018. But don't worry, for those who love the look of that leafy indoor tree, try the 2021 version: ficus altissima. "This plant makes a statement without the more complex care instructions that come with the Fiddle!" explains Joyce Mast, Bloomscape’s Plant Mom and horticultural expert.
Set this sturdy plant in a spot with bright, indirect light, then let it do its thing. Indoors, this statement plant can grow six to eight feet in height.
"The look of the 'urban jungle' without overdoing it seems to be the new trend," says plant doctor and consultant Maryah Greene of Green Piece. "Everyone wants the look of lush greenery until they realize that caring for every one of your plants can easily become a full-time job. Thus, big leaves and small pots are the key," she explains.
One eye-catching plant that maximizes real estate: the Alocasia polly. "Alocasias have huge leaves that grow in different shapes and color variations. Most importantly, their leaves can grow pretty large, thus giving the effect of a bigger plant that can grow in a relatively smaller pot. Alocasia will be the 'It-Plant' in 2021!" she predicts.
For plant parents looking to bring some visual interest to their collections, the pros at Tula Plants & Design recommend the monkey tail cactus (hildewintera colademononis).
"We love this cactus and so do our customers! Every time we get it back in stock, it's sold out within a week," says Christan Summers, CEO and co-founder of Tula. (Good news: it will be back in stock in mid-January.)
"It has very long, white, soft, hairlike spines. The flowers are bright red blooms. People love it as it's a perfect hanging or shelf plant in a spot with lots of sun." Looking for a conversation piece to add to your indoor garden? Set this plant on a sunny shelf, and let it steal the spotlight.