Indoor plants are coming back in style in a major way. In 2019, houseplant sales totaled over $1.7 billion, tripling since 2016. These numbers beg the question — which are the most popular house plants, and why have they become so sought after?
According to the National Gardening Survey, over a quarter of plant sales were purchased by adults 18-34 years old, representing the most significant portion of all age groups. Keep reading to find out why the plant craze is here to stay and which houseplants are the most popular!
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What Qualities Make a House Plant Great?
Caring for plants can create structure and stability for many young adults without the full-time responsibility of a pet or child. With this in mind, the most important qualities a plant can have are:
- Easy to care for: One of the main reasons people jump into the plant-parent life is that they have hectic schedules that leave them no time to care for pets or kids. Others may already have pets and children and don’t want to add intensive plant care on top of their daily routine. The ideal plant is not high maintenance and can withstand some level of neglect while still thriving.
- Adaptable: House plants like succulents or cacti have become extremely popular because they don’t need to be watered often and can survive in almost any environment. Many of the most popular plants are also very tolerant of colder temperatures and dry climates. Being able to watch a plant grow successfully is a big part of why young adults raise plants.
- Appearance: Plants can brighten up any room with their striking colors, especially if they’re flowering plants. The more exotic and colorful a plant is, the more likely it is to be featured in a household. You can also mix and match different varieties of plants to create a peaceful ambiance inside your home!
- Child and pet-safe: Some house plants (like the Oyster Plant) are toxic when consumed and should not be left within a child or pet’s reach. Although some of the most popular indoor plants may be toxic, they can be the deciding factor for many families choosing a plant for their home.
Why Are House Plants Ideal for Your Home?
The most common house plants are typically straightforward and easy to care for. However, what makes the plants popular is that they can make fantastic centerpieces or accents for any household. Plants also have many benefits that improve the health of your body and mind. Check out some of the main reasons you should put a plant (or a few) in your home!
Improves Air Quality
Plants can act as a natural air purifier and break down all the toxins and chemicals inside your home. Toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide are common air pollutants that can affect your breathing and even brain function. House plants can also absorb carbon dioxide in the air and turn it into fresh oxygen!
Many studies have shown that households can have poor indoor air quality due to outside pollutants leaking in, poor ventilation, indoor smoking, and pet dander. Even household items like stoves, air fresheners, or cleaning products can release chemicals that can linger in the air for a long time.
Reduces Stress & Anxiety
Did you know that plants can help lower your stress and anxiety? Researchers have found many psychological and physiological benefits from interacting with plants for just 15-30 minutes a day.
Interacting with plants actively like watering, fertilizing, or repotting them can activate our natural senses. Subjects reported that simple tasks like these were able to help clear their minds and feel more at peace. Many subjects also reported having lower blood pressures and heart rates, indicating lower stress levels overall.
Even passive interaction with the plants can help manage anxiety. Sometimes just staring and admiring your plant’s natural beauty can go a long way in reducing wild and anxious thoughts.
Increases Focus & Productivity
When you clear the air and destress with your plants, you can create an environment that helps you work harder and stay more focused. Sometimes, we all need a pause from work to reset and regroup. Whether you are at home or in the office, having plants around you can help take your mind off of things for a few moments before you dive back in.
A study performed in 2007 found that when a workplace contained indoor plants scattered around the office, people were less likely to call in sick and were more productive in general. Although there is no direct link between plants and their ability to prevent workers from calling in sick, plants can certainly improve the ambiance and atmosphere inside the office.
What Are the Most Popular House Plants?
Please take a look at our list of the most popular house plants! Many of these plants are incredibly resilient, easy to grow, and have unique features that have resonated with many. If you’re new to the plant world, this is a great list to consult before making your first purchase!
Succulents & Cactus Plants
Succulents and cacti are some of the most commonly bought plants because they are nearly effortless to take care of and come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They can thrive in almost any environment and climate. Both plants can store water in their stalks, so it’s okay if you occasionally forget to water them.
Another great thing about succulents and cacti is that there are so many varieties available. Some have flowers, while others can come in exotic and unique colors. You can buy a couple of your favorites to light up the inside of your house!
Snake Plants (Sansevieria trifasciata) are one of the easiest plants to grow and raise. Native to tropical regions of central and southern Africa, Snake Plants are highly valued in many cultures for bringing long life, prosperity, beauty, and health.
Known as a “set it and forget it” plant, Snake Plants can survive even if you forget to water them from time to time! The plant typically grows best in medium to bright light but is tolerant of low light as well. Most Snake Plant varieties are medium-sized, growing to about 1-2 ft. in height, making them perfect tabletop decorations or centerpieces!
The Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) is a popular succulent from South Africa that also goes by the name “Money Plant.” This beautiful succulent is mainly grown indoors and can thrive year-round with very little attention and care. Although some Jade Plants can grow up to 6 feet tall, they are slow-growing plants. Jade Plants typically grow 2-3 inches per year.
One of the main reasons Jade Plants are so popular is that they have long lifespans, with some reported to live over 100 years! With its rich green color and impressive longevity, the Jade Plant can bring you luck and prosperity for the rest of your life.
The Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is easily recognizable by its long, sprouting leaves that hang over the side of the pot. This exotic plant is native to tropical regions around Africa and can often be seen hanging from patios or guest rooms.
Spider Plants are typically durable plants that can survive in less than ideal conditions. It’s one of the most popular houseplants because it has utility as a coffee table decoration, a hanging plant, a shelf buddy — the possibilities are endless!
Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller) can often be found in your favorite cosmetic products or drinks, but they’re also popular succulents! This plant contains a watery gel inside that can be harvested and applied to the skin to treat skin conditions like burns or rashes. However, avoid eating the Aloe Vera leaves since they can be toxic!
There are over 300 Aloe Vera species, but the most popular (and common) one you’ll see has thick green leaves and reaches full maturation in about 3-4 years. Give your Aloe Vera bright, indirect light with minimal watering, and it should grow into one of your favorite plants!
Calathea plants are some of the most colorful and vibrant plants available. It has large, bold leaves that come in a wide variety of colors. Native to the tropical forests of Brazil, the Calathea is the perfect ornamental plant for your home.
Calatheas require slightly more work to grow than succulents and cacti, but the most important thing is to keep them in moist conditions. Once you have secured the perfect environment, this stunning plant will have no trouble growing into your next conversation piece!
The Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) plant is perfect for beginners and is extremely low maintenance. Native to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, these vine plants grow exceptionally quickly (12-18 in. per month) and can thrive in almost any environment. The sophisticated heart-shaped leaves come in many different patterns and colors, fitting right into any household.
You can often find Pothos in many offices because they can grow in low-light conditions with minimal watering. The long-growing vines are also a great look for a hanging plant. Although the vines can grow up to 40 feet long, they can easily be trimmed and managed pretty for the indoors.
The Croton (Codiaeum variegatum) is a beautiful foliage plant that comes in various shapes and sizes. Crotons are a popular house plant because the leaves develop hypnotizing patterns and colors. You can shop around until you find a pattern that matches the scheme of your home. Native to tropical regions in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, the Croton has quickly gained many fans worldwide.
Crotons require slightly more care than the other plants on this list, but watching one of these plants grow can be a rewarding experience. Crotons are the perfect ornamental plant, having varieties that can grow up to 10 feet tall and some only 1-2 feet tall. The plant is toxic when ingested, so keep it away from children and pets!
Rubber Plants (Ficus elastica), also known as Rubber Trees, are fast-growing tropical plants from Southeast Asia’s tropical regions. These impressive trees can grow up to 100 feet tall in the wild but are easily managed as indoor plants. Rubber Plants are typically easy to grow but prefer warm and humid climates.
One of the most beautiful parts of the Rubber Plant is its large, oval leaves in various colors. The “Ruby” variety of the Rubber Plant has bright shades of pink around the leaves’ edges, while the “Tineke” has a stunning mix of green, cream, and blueish pink on the plant. Just be careful no children or pets consume its toxic leaves!
There are over 100 different Philodendron plant species, and a good portion of them are grown as houseplants. Many Philodendrons are vine plants that look great hanging from the ceiling. This tropical plant is one of the easiest plants to grow and requires very little of your attention.
The Philodendron is a straightforward plant to grow and can survive even after a few missed waterings. The plant comes in many stunning colors — such as gold, purple, and bluish-green — that glisten and thrive under direct sunlight. Philodendrons are another toxic plant that should not be ingested.
Where is the Best Spot for My House Plants?
While most of the plants on this list are very low-maintenance, some may be a little pickier about their placement around the house than others. For the plants that do best under bright, indirect light, you can place them in south or west-facing windows so they’re not exposed to too much sun. If you put a low-light plant in a south-facing window, be sure the midday rays are not too intense. Other plants like cacti love the sun and the bright light, so you can place these in an east-facing window to absorb the morning rays.
Final Thoughts – Popular House Plants
Hopefully, there was a plant in our list that caught your eye and would make a great addition to your collection. All these plants are unique in their own way and have a powerful aura about them that can draw people’s attention. For more information about plant care, check out each plant’s care guide so you know exactly what they need!