Humans have had a deep connection with nature throughout our long history, so much so that we often try to incorporate it into our lives and dwellings in the form of indoor plants. The murals of the ancient Egyptians depict containerized plants gracing homes and courtyards. Europeans in the Victorian era did not consider their parlors complete without a few palms and ferns. And while houseplants have always been popular, in the 1970’s there was a huge explosion of interest in indoor gardening, and as a result many new plants were bred and marketed specifically for homes and offices.
Many of these plants are still very popular today, including African violets, spider plants, pothos, dieffenbachias, Dracaena ‘Janet Craig,’ and Boston ferns, among others. They are tried and true species that will live long happy lives in an indoor environment if cared for properly.
The 70’s have come and gone, however. While we’ll always love those Boston ferns, they now tend to be associated a bit more with grandma’s house than with today’s more contemporary styles. Take a look below at our top pick of exciting plants that are bringing new life to interiors.
Dracaena – instead of that old ‘Janet Craig,’ try one of the colorful new varieties like ‘Lemon Lime’ or ‘Limelight.’ Or if you really want a bold statement, take a look at the mighty ‘Tarzan’ Dracaena!
Pothos – one of the most commonly kept plants in the United States, most people don’t realize that there are many more options available than the common green and gold variety. ‘N’Joy’ has smaller textured leaves that are heavily marbled with white. ‘Neon’ is a bright lime color that looks fantastic at the base of a taller deep green plant. And my personal favorite, the Satin pothos, is a beautifully mottled silver and green which grows slowly and favors low light and dry soil – one of the easiest pothos out there!
Philodendron – this family of plants has hundreds of species in it, but one of my favorites is the ‘Rojo Congo.’ Big, bold, and colorful, be sure to give this plant the width it needs to look its best. It is also one of the easiest plants to care for, not being terribly particular about light or moisture requirements.
Natal Mahogany – this plant has a deep green, lush look to it. Like the Buddhist pine, the Natal doesn’t look quite as tropical as many other houseplants, and so it compliments a wider range of interior spaces. It can handle low light as well, making it very versatile as well as beautiful.
Aglaonema – while Ags have been on the market for ages, there are some exiting newer varieties which are very beautiful and easy to care for. ‘Silver Bay’ is one of my favorites. It’s a larger variety with bold silver leaves. The really exciting Ags are the new pink and red varieties, however. They are easy to care for and sure to brighten up any room.
Aralia – the aralias have been around for a while too, but have always been underused in my opinion. They are fairly easy to care for and have interesting leaves and a beautiful overall form. They are classy additions to an upscale interior. My personal favorite is the ‘Fabian’ with deep purple-green, rounded leaves.
Spathiphyllum – most people are familiar with the white-flowered peace lily. If you are a fan of the species, check out the ‘Sensation,’ which looks like a peace lily on steroids. It has huge deep green leaves, and really makes all the other spathiphyllums look a bit wimpy.
While African violets and dieffenbachias will always have a place in our hearts and homes, some of the newer varieties listed above can do a lot to update and brighten your interior space. Stop by our greenhouse to look at these plants and others; as always, we are happy to answer any questions and would love to help you select the perfect plant for that ‘certain spot’ in your home.