Houseplant trends 2021 – we reveal the foliage that's growing popular this year

Are spider plants out and sponge plants in? Is there still a lot of love for succulents? Let's find out!

There are plenty of good reasons why you should fill your home with greenery. Britons on average spend a scary 90 per cent of their time inside – even more at the moment. Plants can provide some much needed anti-pollutants, ensuring the air we breathe is fresh and full of oxygen. Green is also proven as a colour to make us feel safe and content, and to boost our mood, so the more of it that surrounds us, the happier we are.

Related: How to make a macrame plant hanger – to add greenery to your home

Then there are the aesthetic reasons. If you're missing spending time outside, a large potted fern can help bring the outside into a living room. And trailing plants look great in a bathroom, displayed in hanging macrame baskets and along windowsill.

Now is the perfect time to grow your collection with a range of new houseplants. Florist Flowercard and floral initiative The Joy of Plants have revealed the plants they predict will be filling our homes in the coming months.

white walls with armchair and potted plants

(Image credit: The Joy of Plants)

1.Fishbone cactus

This unique looking houseplants has seen it's popularity soar over the last few years. Based on google search data, Flowercard found that the Fishbone cactus had seen 2230.33 per cent increase in searches over the last five years. They predict that this funky looking cactus is on track to be big news in 2021.

2.Bunny ear Cactus

The trend for cactus has been going strong since 2019, and 2021 is going to be no difference. The new way to mark a spiky cactus out is with a unique shape. Flowercard has seen a 1984.77 per cent increase in search for this adorably named cactus in the last few years. We can confirm that it looks exactly as the name describes.

3. Blue star fern

The Joy of Plants revealed that ferns are set to be big news this year, fitting in to the Inner Retreat trend, which their latest collection focused on. The Blue Star Fern, has been creeping up in popularity over the last few years according to Flowercard. This is definitely a house plant to add to your home asap.

4. Mistletoe Cactus

It is no surprise that trailing or hanging plants have boomed in popularity now that zoom calls has many of us considering the shelves and wall decoration in our home. Searches for the mistletoe cactus have increased by 1466.62 per cent. Style on a high shelf or drape over the corner of a coffee table.

5.Velvet Calathea

This air purifying plant is a houseplant trend that will look amazing, but also do some good for your home. Searches for velvet calathea have increased by 1291.10 per cent in the last five years.

'We live in a hectic world in which we are subject to a lot of stimuli. And a world that causes uncertainty because of outside influences that we cannot always control. This is creating a growing need for peace and calm,' explains The Joy of Plants.

white walls with wooden table with potted plants

(Image credit: The Joy of Plants)

Houseplants are the perfect way to do this, and we predict the trend for houseplants in general is going to continue to grow in the years to come. To get the most out of your plants selection, choose ones that are easy to look after and think about how they're going to grow in your chosen spot for them.

'All houseplants need natural sunlight to survive, but how much sunlight plants need, depends entirely on the individual plant - so try a quick Google to find out the needs of your indoor plants,' adds Liam Lapping from Flowercard.

white walls with wooden flooring and potted plants

(Image credit: Dobbies)

1. Monstera (cheese plant)

2. Senecio (string of beads)

3. Chlorophyllum (spider plant)

4. Sansevieria (snake plant)

'We are seeing a revival of retro plants,' says Claire. 'The demand for succulents also shows no sign of slowing down, with cacti sales up 60% this Christmas season compared to last year. It looks as though it’s a trend that is here to stay no matter what the season is.'

'As a low-maintenance houseplant, succulents and terrariums are pretty easy to care for and look fantastic in groups,' she adds. 'They can instantly change the look and feel of a room, from industrial chic to jungle inspired bold botanicals.'

How to make your houseplants look good and stay healthy

potted plants with white walls and blur background

(Image credit: Dobbies)

More do-it-yourself plant trends: How to make a living plant wall

1. Re-pot your plants in the spring

Your plant may seem happy enough, but it's always a good idea to give it a new, bigger home every spring. Fill it with fresh soil filled and add plant food, so your plant has plenty of nutrients for the year ahead. 'Some, such as orchids, have special feeds to encourage fruits and flowers rather than foliage,' advises Claire.

2. Keep on feeding

Claire likes to feed her plants from March through to September, which is the traditional growing season.

3. But don't overwater them

The good news for the not-so-green fingered is that the trendiest of plants barely need water. Too much love will kill them!

4. If your plant isn't happy, move it

Some plants love shade, some love sun – and like us, most hate a draught. If your foliage isn't thriving, try it in a different spot.

5. Take a tip from our European neighbours

On the continent, they tend to treat houseplants more like bouquets – once they've flowered, they're thrown away. So rather than fight a lost cause, you could be better off ditching plants past their sell-by date.

6. Take advantage of Dobbies' potting service

'Have a beautiful container but don’t have the time or the ‘grow-how’ to plant it?' asks Claire. 'Simply bring it into your local Dobbies store, pick your greenery and one of the Dobbies experts will plant it up free of charge, ready to revitalise your home.'

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.