The 9 Trendiest Plants for 2021 That You’re About to See All Over Instagram
I think it’s safe to say that 2020 is a year that no one will miss. The year was — if you haven’t heard the word enough already — unprecedented. But if there is one good thing to come out of 2020, it would be the uptick in houseplant ownership.
There’s just something about being stuck at home, looking at empty spaces and shelves and corners that makes a person want to go buy some plants. And people did. They bought plants at local shops, at big-box stores and at all the new online-plant shops that carry fancy plants. Houseplant trends that have been building for years, like DIY IKEA terrarium cabinets, pink plants, and propagation stations, suddenly spilled out all over the internet.
Tropical houseplant prices skyrocketed, leaving customers queuing all over the place (even online for rare plant “restocks”) and rushing from one Walmart to the next to chase Costa Farms shipments.
Don’t worry, though. Houseplants are here to stay, and 2021 is shaping up to be the year of vines, color, and variegation. Here, the trendiest plants to keep an eye out for in 2021. Note: You probably can’t expect to walk into your local big box retailer or even a plant shop and find these stunners. To get your hands on them, you’ll have to do some online hunting, and you’ll likely have to pay a pretty penny for the privilege of buying. But for houseplant lovers, these are the plants to watch.
The anthurium genus is the home for over 1,000 species of flowering plants. It’s one of the largest in the Araceae family. Each species is unique — some have colorful, flamboyant flowers while others have huge, showy foliage.
The A. crystallinum is no exception to the rule. It has striking white venation that covers its heart-shaped leaves, which underneath have a surprising copper color.
With proper care, this plant will flower — but don’t set yourself up for disappointment. A. crystallinum has a thin, dull purple flower that smells good, but doesn’t look like much. This baby is grown purely for the show-stopping foliage.
Aglaonema “Red Wishes”
Pink plants made a statement in 2020, and they’re still major in 2021. Aglaonemas are having their moment, and it’s been a long time coming. They’ve long been lauded as easy-to-care-for plants, but for years have been passed by as “boring.”
Not in 2021. “Red Wishes” flaunts pink and green foliage, making it one of the most sought after aglaonema varieties. If you go back to a shop where you saw aglaonemas in 2019 or 2020, you probably won’t find one unless you stumble in on restock day. But it’s well worth the trouble: “Red Wishes” brings a fresh pop of color to any room.
Philodendron “Cebu blue” (Epipremnum pinnatum)
“Cebu blue” came on the scene towards the end of 2020, and is still going strong. Most retailers and nurseries have a two-plant purchase limit on these guys since they’re so popular. They’re typically sold as juvenile plants, so be ready to nurse your find through growing pains.
Give this plant a trellis and with a little bit of training, it will climb into a giant. The leaves are elongated with pointy tips and flaunt a gorgeous blue-green color.
While it’s classified as a philodendron, in passing, “Cebu blue” looks like a run-of-the-mill pothos — but its large leaves and striking color will quickly catch the attention of all your social media followers.
Calathea musaica “Network”
Calatheas have been the darlings of the houseplant scene for years now, but this “Network” plant is the darling of the new near. Unlike other calatheas, the C. musaica is an easy plant to care for. The pattern on the leaves creates a crisscrossing grid, like a network of lines – thus the common name “Network plant.”
These days you can find these plants in the “designer” plant section of big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s, as well as a lot of smaller specialty plant shops.
Monstera borsigiana albo “Albo”
Known by collectors as simply an “Albo,” the M. borsigiana albo is the “it” plant of the year. Waitlists are hundreds of people long and you’ll find folks jumping at the chance to drop $500 on a cutting that might root. Needless to say, the variegated trend has swept the monstera fan base.
If you decide to splurge on one of these, be careful not to get scammed. Read reviews, and make sure the seller is reputable and actually has the product you will be buying. Also, be sure to check the market to ensure you don’t become a victim of price gouging.
Sometimes referred to as “twinkle” orchids, oncidiums are one of the most popular and easy to grow orchids. You’ll often find that mature plants will produce huge sprays of flowers with dozens of blooms. There are hundreds of species, which makes it a fun plant to collect.
If you’re not familiar with orchids, the moniker probably calls to mind an image of a big, white phalaenopsis bloom. One look at an oncidium and you’ll realize you’re playing an entirely different game of orchids. Oncidium blooms are the most adorable, tiny little things, which is why they’ve been nicknamed “twinkle” orchids. Bring one of these into your home and you’ll be rewarded with delightful blooms every fall. Take care of these as you would traditional orchids.
If you want to purchase one, look to the smaller, specialty houseplant nurseries, or buy directly from an orchid grower.
Philodendron “Pink Princess” (Philodendron erubescens)
Yep, the pink plants have struck again. The Philodendron “Pink Princess” was one of those plants that shops couldn’t get rid of a few years ago. Now, they’re almost impossible to find, which makes the “pink princess” ever the more popular.
The dark leaves are decorated with a smattering of pink variegation. You’ll find anything from fully rooted plants to unrooting cuttings all over online-plant forums and swap pages. Do the extra legwork to make sure you’re getting the real thing before you commit a large amount of money
In terms of care, typical philodendron rules apply — meaning these plants are relatively easy to care for, even for beginners.
M. dubia is one rad plant. In its juvenile form it has small, coin sized leaves that will climb and attach itself to any upright structure. Over the years, as it gets older, the plant will begin to produce extra-large, perforated leaves.
This is a fun plant to grow in a terrarium or up a moss-covered aroid stake. There are other “shingle” plants out there like various dichidias and the Rhaphidophora cryptantha. If you’re truly after a M. dubia, do your research to make sure you’re getting the right plant. But, as always, it’s great to keep an open mind because all shingle plants are stunners.
Syngonium “Marble” (Syngonium podophyllum albo-variegatum)
Two years ago, if you had told any nursery or plant shop owner that a syngonium would be leading the popularity contest in 2021, they would have laughed in your face. While it’s a classic plant, it’s never been the most exciting on offer. Enter Syngonium “Marble,” a hardy syngonium that lives happily in an indoor environment without too much fuss.
What makes it trendy is the bright white variegation, which is a stark contrast to the deep, rich green of the arrow-shaped leaves. Regular trimming on non-variegated leaves will keep the bright white appearing on new growth.
If you’re a regular plant-shopper, you’ve probably skipped over the basic version of this plant many times. If you see a “Marble” out there when you’re shopping around now, snatch it up!