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Surprising Indoor Plant Trends for 2018

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Plants have exploded in popularity in the past couple of years, and monstera and sansevieria are now household names. At various times we’ve anointed rubber trees and pothos the next big things, but what we are seeing now isn’t your garden variety greenery. Plant experts share the surprising trends they see on deck and ready to roar into 2018.

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Flashes of Color

As our thumbs get greener, our desire to branch out also gets stronger, and it’s just not enough to have plain old basic leaves these days. If you like the idea of eye-catching and interesting colors, check out these two picks.

(Image credit: SeedPlantGood)

Pink Princess Philodendron (Philodendron Erubescens): St. Louis-based florist and greenhouse Flowers and Weeds has their eye on this plant, with leaves that look like someone went a little crazy with a paintbrush. Leaves are splashed, spotted, and streaked with color. It’s also currently one of their best sellers because, hello, who doesn’t love this shade of pink?

(Image credit: The Sill)

Tri-Color Oyster Plant (Tradescantia): Also called Moses in the Cradle, this little beauty has golden and purplish striped leaves, which are pretty dramatic and striking. It works both indoors and out, and — even better —is easy to take care of. It needs medium to bright light and water once a week or two, depending on conditions. Eliza of The Sill is a fan.

Vibrant, Patterned Foliage

According to Pinterest, saves for “patterned plants” are up over 500%. So, go beyond green with variegated, striped leaves that add even more movement and life to your space.

(Image credit: The Sill)

Calathea ‘Freddie’ (Calathea Lancifolia): Eliza of The Sill also likes this plant, not only for its looks, but for their nyctinasty — they raise and lower their leaves from day to night (this is also why they are called prayer plants). If you also want to layer on some color, check out the Rattlesnake Calathea as well, which have both distinctive wavy leaves and a deep violet-red underneath.

Aquatic Plants

If your thumb isn’t the greenest, but you still want something to bring your space alive, think about aquatic plants: since they live in water, you’ll never accidentally overwater again. These are a great alternative to traditional potted plants, and can live as underwater gardens in beautiful glass jars and containers.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Marimo “Moss Balls” (Aegagropila Linnaei): The Sill tells us that these are actually fuzzy balls of filamentous green algae, found in cold, freshwater lakes. In addition to being quite adorable, they are also incredibly easy to care for: they don’t require a ton of sunlight to thrive (and prefer to be kept in a cool, dark spot). Pair with other aquatic plants, like the one above from The Merry Thought.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon Sword Plant (Echinodorus Bleheri or Amazonicus): These are low-maintenance water plants, commonly found in aquariums, which have bright green leaves and strong roots, making them great for beginners. Elly of Eclectic Creative went to a pet store and minutes later left what she needed to build a simple ecosystem in a jar with some pebbles.

Dwarf Fruit Trees

You don’t need an orchard to have fruit at your fingertips. These compact varieties won’t get too large for your living room, and can be brought outside when the weather is nice enough.

(Image credit: Balsam Hill)

Meyer Lemons: Flowers and Weeds of St. Louis thinks that citrus trees are especially great: they bloom in winter like bright sunshine in a pot, have a very pleasant smell, and sport lovely green foliage all summer long. Martha Stewart has lots of great tips on how to care for your own citrus tree if you decide to give it a try.

So tell us, what plants are you obsessed with these days?

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Illustrations in the video are by Bodil Jane.