February 10th, 2021 | Lifestyle

From Ficus To Fiddle – Leaf Fig Trees – The House Plants Of A Generation

Add depth and colour to your home with potted plants

House plants have gone through cycles of popularity over the decades, but in the last year, people have been embracing the addition of a little something green as yet another way to enhance their home surroundings.

Plants add another element of life to kitchens, living rooms, even bathrooms (shower steam is great for humidity-loving plants). They can provide a little added privacy near windows and make a room look more inviting and even bigger, according to Gardenista.

Home stagers often turn to indoor plants when prepping a house for sale, resulting in just about any space looking more welcoming. While cut flowers deliver a pop of vibrancy you get a more long-term return on investment from green house plants.

You may have first noticed one of the early plant trendsetters of this decade a few years ago — a large, broad-leaf plant that began popping up in offices, home décor articles and influencer social media accounts — the now ubiquitous Fiddle-Leaf Fig tree (Ficus Lyrata). Positioned in chic white pots, the Fiddle-Leaf Fig started making its appearance as early as 2014. Soon to follow was the Millennial succulent craze that is still raging on windowsills, desktops and bedside tables everywhere.

As it turns out, the Fiddle-Leaf fig is one of the more delicate house plants to own as they are sensitive to their soil conditions, prefer humidity and don’t enjoy a lot of sunlight. But they are impressive, can take up a lot or a little space depending on the size you choose and can be a great conversation piece.

What was popular is hot again

In the 1970s, Ficus plants held court in entranceways and spider plants hung in macrame contraptions while aloe vera and African Violets bloomed on bookshelves. Today, the trends are definitely potted and tropical, and macrame has been creeping back in depending on whether or not you have already lived that trend once before.

While some people fear they don’t have a green thumb, the reality about many of the house plants flying off floral shop and garden centre shelves right now is that they don’t need much care at all. Yes, some require specific light sources (direct or indirect) and monitoring for watering occasionally, but if you ask a garden store expert, you’ll find many can thrive without a lot of attention at all.

The loners of the plant world

Take the ZZ plant. A popular TikTok video entitled: “How to care for your ZZ plant like an expert” declares that the best advice is simply “Forget you have one.” That’s right, leaving these babies with dark green shiny and waxy leaves alone is the best method for them to live their best lives. The Zamioculcas zamiifolia hails from Africa and can survive drought conditions and do OK with low light. They also serve as an air purifier. However, it is toxic to pets and potentially humans too, however, so don’t have one if you have a cat, dog or rabbit prone to chewing or general destruction of things around the house.

There is also the strong but silent snake plant (Sansevieria), which can be left alone for weeks at a time but seem to always look sharp and determined with their spikey and sturdy leaves jutting up out of their pots. They have an easy time of it in various lighting situations and, like many plants, can help keep the air in your home clean. Once they get going, they are easily divided, giving you more to spread around the house, but they need to have good drainage as the roots are prone to rot.

You don’t need a lot of space to have a plant make a difference in a room. Even on a shelf in the kitchen, away from your daily workspace, they can add much-needed energy to the area.

Splurge if you want, but plants don’t have to be expensive

Plants can range in price depending on where you source them — anywhere from $29 to $180 based on the size and popularity of the plant you’re looking to buy. Pots or decorative baskets (check your social channels for #plantsinbaskets) will add to the cost but help tie your overall colour scheme together. You may be able to re-purpose baskets you’ve had hanging around with no real purpose — until now!

Many plant shops offer online ordering and delivery, but you may find right now that they are sold out of a lot of popular potted plants as collecting has become a serious trend globally during the pandemic.

If you’re absolutely new to plant life and want some inspiration check out the hashtags #houseplants and #plantsofinstagram depicting photos and videos, many with helpful advice on how to place and care for plants in your home.

Your local florist has probably also branched out into house plants and can advise what to choose.

Oh, and if you think even minimalist plant care may be too much for your busy lifestyle, just like fake Christmas trees, faux house plants have come a long way. You may just need to dust them now and then. According to New York magazine, you can have your very own fuss-free five-foot tall Faux Fiddle Leaf Tree for $50!

One thing is for sure, like so many people jumping on the green bandwagon right now, it’s likely you won’t be able to stop with just one potted plant for your home.

Looking to add more greenery to your home? Read our blog all about how to create an outdoor oasis right here.

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