How To Get In On The Houseplant Trend
Plants are all over your Instagram feed right now - and for good reason. Here's how to get it right.
Last September, a much-shared Washington Post piece declared 'Millennials are filling their homes — and the void in their hearts — with houseplants'.
Putting said void to one side, the piece was right in identifying a houseplant trend that has been sprouting for some time. You only need search #plantgang or #houseplantclub on Instagram to conjure up a forest of bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens which green-fingered folk are kitting out with everything from succulents to ferns.
Turning your home into a peaceful retreat from the stressful world out there makes sense, and when furniture and art are so expensive, a collection of plants is a good alternative. As The Indestructible Houseplant author Tovah Martin said: "I think the current cycle has a lot to do with people hunkering down. A houseplant is therapeutic. It gives you something to nurture." There are other health benefits, too. Houseplants absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde, making for a healthier room.
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If this is where you're about to stop reading because you're still reeling from that cactus you bought from IKEA and watched turn brown over six weeks at university, don't worry. We spoke to Freddie Blackett, co-founder and CEO of Patch - the horticulturalUber who are delivering plants big and small to people all over London - about how to do it the easy way. As Freddie says, "There’s this perception that plants are hard work but this doesn't have to be the case."
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Which plants to buy
Patch specialise in helping people find 'virtually un-killable plants' which can thrive without constant maintenance or direct access to sunlight (you can search by 'child and pet safe' or 'air-purifying' or browse for plants based on the room you'd like to kit out).
Recommended species include Zamioculcas, which can deal with quite deep shade and infrequent watering, the extremely hardy Aspidistra and cheese plants which have bright leaves perfect for interiors.
If you want to be a bit more on trend about things, Freddie says: "We’ve seen cacti and succulents dominate plant trends over the last couple of years. These are easy-going plants and a good way to gain confidence, and they’re now seeking out more colourful, exciting specimens."
Too obvious? Hotly tipped plants for 2018 include the ornately patterned Calathea, the shade-loving Peace Lily and, to make more of a 'statement', big plants like the Kentia Palm or Dracaena Fragrans, which sounds a little bit like a Game of Thrones character.
"For something really special," says Freddie, "you can’t get better than a Bird of Paradise - he will enable those looking for larger plants to branch out, thanks to his large leaves and extraordinary flowers."
Where to put them
With so many people sharing images of their houseplant configurations, Instagram is a great resource for styling set-ups you can recreate. Rather than dwarfing a small space with a huge plant, add multiple small succulents or cacti in nice pots to a windowsill or ledge.
If you've got lots of stairs or shelving in a bathroom look at ways you can hang plans from these or make the most of balcony space by adding windowsill planters. "If in doubt, look up," Freddie says. "There’s always plenty of space above your head such as tops of cabinets, wardrobes, or even your fridge."
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If you're after more resources and inspiration, urban gardening writer Alice Vincent's book How to Grow Stuff: Easy, no-stress gardening for beginners is an excellent introduction into horticulture that takes you through the basics.
And if you want to go full Kew Gardens on your flat, the Sun Seeker app will help you find the maximum sunlight by providing the daily solar path and a map view showing solar direction for each daylight hour.
Now, go forth and grow. Your Instagram depends on it.
From: Esquire UK