5 of Our Favorite Plants That Are Really, Truly Pastel

updated Jul 18, 2020
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(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Pastels are having a moment right now, even if you are so over millennial pink. And if you look closely enough, you can find hints of soft, pale hues all over the plant world. Here are five gorgeous houseplants that will help you move beyond just jungle green.

Pink earth star, or cryptanthus, is a type of bromeliad. Cryptanthus actually come in all sorts of colors, as it is a very large genus, but the “pink earth star” variety is a dreamy shade of pale pink. The leaves are long and spiky and grow low to the ground. Like other bromeliads, cryptanthus dies off after flowering, but it is easily propagated by the pups it leaves behind.

Echeveria and graptopetalum are two popular groups of succulents with thick, fleshy bud-shaped leaves. They come in many colors, but they’re commonly seen in pastel hues of purple, pink, white, and green. Echeveria and graptopetalum are so closely related they often cross, forming the hybrid graptoveria. These cute little plants are incredible trendy and make ideal choice to brighten up your desk or another small space. Take care to water sparingly or risk drowning the roots!

Mammillaria is a small, sphere-shaped cactus that grows colorful flowers in a sort of halo around the crown. It’s nicknamed powder puff cactus for its deceptively fluffy appearance. Mammillaria bocasana has pale yellow-white flowers, while Mammillaria sempervivi‘s blooms are the palest pink. Give them plenty of sun to encourage flowers. Water frequently in summer and less so in winter.

This prayer plant relative has variegated leaves of white, green, and pale pink that are a deeper pink or red on the undersides. This plant can be a bit tricky to grow as it is needy when it comes to humidity, so you’ll want to group it with other plants, set it on a tray of pebbles filled with water, or possibly run a humidifier. Direct sunlight can burn, but lots of bright light is a requirement as well.

Orchids bloom in many shades, but they’re often seen in pale yellows, soft pinks, and lavender. These elegant houseplants are also moderately easy to grow as long as you take care not to overwater and provide adequate light.

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