It was inevitable, really. All this time stuck indoors has given us time to potter about the house, making our living space more welcoming, nurturing and, well, a pleasant place in which to spend hours on end.
This led to a surge in spending on interior decor for the home. According to The I newspaper, spending on furniture grew 46.4 per cent in July 2020, with retailers reporting high spending on home office equipment such as desks (Barclaycard analysis).
Coupled to this is a rise in plant sales, which at times have left plant retailers such as garden centres with bare shelves. A Google Trends analysis for searches on ‘house plants’ and ‘indoor plants’ alone show around a doubling of interest between Spring 2019 and Spring 2020.
The reason for this surge in plant sales is probably twofold: the desire to beautify our living space and the need to nurture our wellbeing through the nurture of plants in such uncertain times.
Those of us lucky enough to have a garden have had chance to plant and prune ourselves sane by tending to bedding, shrubs and trees. But indoors the picture is biophilic too. Houseplants, already very much a trend pre-pandemic, have popped up in more and more indoor spaces, as we seek a calming natural feature to look at and look after as the world outside seemed strange and stressful.
Top five houseplants
So, what kid of plants have we been chosing, to brighten our locked down days?
According to Ideal Home, the top five house plants expected to trend online this year are as follows.
- Fishbone Cactus (Epiphyllum anguliger)
So called because its foliage is shaped like a fish bone, this unusual looking plant is a real eye-catcher. It doesn’t require a lot of watering but will be happier in a sunny spot with low humidity. If it is extra-happy, you will be rewarded with white flowers.
2. Bunny ear Cactus (Opuntia microdasys)
A perfect entry-level plant as, unsurprisingly for a cactus, it can take a good deal of neglect. The name is fairly self-evident, with oval stems which grow in pairs, like its namesake’s ears.
3. Blue star fern (Phlebodium aureum)
The soft fronds of this fern are a beautiful blue-green and have a furry appearance, ideal for those who are after something less structural or spiky than a succulent or cactus. Easy to care for, this plant can even spend some time outside in the UK summer.
4. Mistletoe cactus (Rhipsalis baccifera)
This eye-catching trailing plant epitomises many of our lockdown looks: its shaggy, cascading stems not unlike an unruly head of hair. In fact, I have planted ours in a pot with a face painted on it, to complete the look and make me feel better about my barnet.
5. Velvet Calathea
True to its name, this is a touchy feely plant has foliage with a velvety feel, thanks to the small hairs covering its leaves and stems. Resplendent in purple and green, this air-purifying plant will keep your indoor space fresh while looking good at the same time.
If you have the space, and the desire, to take your indoor plant obsession to another level, Vogue is backing a growing trend in trees. Tropical and sub-tropical trees certainly pack a visual punch indoors and, if it does seem a bit much for your home, bare in mind that one tree may be easier to nestle into a corner than finding a home for a number of house plants. What’s more, one tree can make just as much of statement as several of its smaller counterparts.
Vogue’s recommendations align with some of the trees that are most popular with our office plant clients. Fiddle-leaf figs, Draceanas, Rubber Plants and Money Trees all offer striking structural forms and lush tropical foliage to enliven indoor spaces. We often recommend them for workplaces as they create a focal point in a dull or empty space as well as offering manifold health benefits to boot.
Cute cacti or towering arboreal delights: any live plant that comes into your home will bring instant cheer to your locked-in days. A beautiful addition to interior decor, they also clean your indoor air and boost your wellbeing by reconnecting you to nature. The amount of care they require will be far outweighed in the joy, beauty and health benefits they’ll give in return.