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Little urban jungle: Trending indoor plants that can be used as decor

The houseplant trend is in full bloom, and that’s one good thing that happened as a result of the pandemic.
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The Covid lockdowns turned buying indoor plants and taking care of them into one of the biggest trends amidst the pandemic. Many people are stuck at home for weeks (worse, months), and they found solace upon bringing greenery into their homes. 

If you are jumping on this hot trend, continue reading this article. Let’s take a look at this year’s most sought after species of indoor plants, where you can put them, and how to take care of them. 

Monstera deliciosa

Known for its glossy and Swiss-cheese like leaves, the Monstera deliciosa is truly on our list of favourites. This plant is easy to take care of and is very hard to kill. If you don’t have that ‘green thumb’ yet, this is the best plant to take home with you. Put them in a nice pot and place them on a well–lit spot in your living room and allow plenty of room for it to grow. 

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Montseras can also thrive in high-moisture areas, so you can definitely use them to spruce up your bathroom.

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Taking care of your Monstera deliciosa

  • Water weekly or only when it’s looking dry. You can use a spray mist to moisten the leaves and the soil when needed. 
  • Polish the leaves using a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt. This will unblock the stomata or pores of the leaves and will allow the plant to breathe and absorb moisture better.
  • Plant in a pot with drainage holes to avoid overwatering the plant. 
  • Repot every two years to promote growth. Choose a pot that’s a few inches larger and deeper than the previous one. 
  • Keep away from dogs and cats because Monstera deliciosa is toxic for them.

Devil’s ivy

The Devil’s Ivy is an undoubtedly stylish addition to any space, especially in rooms with high ceilings. It accentuates the room’s height and brings an elegant touch of nature to the space. 

In addition, this plant possesses the power to remove toxins from the indoor air you breathe. It breaks down volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, and trichloroethylene. These are harmful chemicals often emitted by regular household cleaning supplies, paint, and other items that turn into a gas at room temperature and mix with the air we breathe. These VOCs can often cause breathing troubles, headaches, and worse, cancer.

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The good news is that the Devil’s Ivy can survive in just about any room in the house. This plant only requires a small amount of water and sunlight to thrive. Many homeowners start with one plant, then grow more from cutting the trailing stems.

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Image credit: Sean Fennessey Photography
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Taking care of your Devil’s Ivy

  • Place the plant on a cool spot in your home that receives indirect sunlight.
  • Use the colour of the leaves to know what the plant needs. If the colour is pale, it needs more light. 
  • Use a spray to keep the soil and roots damp. Avoid over watering the plant and do not let the roots stand in water.
  • Give the Devil’s Ivy some plant food (general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer) once a month. 
  • Cut the tendrils when they grow too long and use the cuttings to grow another plant.
  • Keep away from dogs and cats because the Devil’s Ivy is toxic for them.

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Fiddle leaf fig

The Fiddle Leaf Fig has been the ‘it plant’ for the longest time. Homeowners love its gorgeous and lush foliage. It’s also incredibly resilient and low-maintenance. 

You can place it in your bedroom, beside your favourite spot to sit on every morning.

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You can place it near the dining area where it can make a huge statement.

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You can also have them in your bathroom, but place them in a spot that receives a lot of daylight and keep it far away from the splash zones.

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Taking care of your Fiddle Leaf Fig

  • Fiddle Leaf Figs thrive in areas that receive a lot of sunlight, but try not to expose them to the harsh noon and afternoon sun.
  • These have roots that quickly fill its pot so regular repotting is required.
  • These can grow up to 10-15m, but you can slow down its growth when you put it in a small pot.
  • Use a good quality potting mix.
  • Water the plant only when the soil is dry to touch.
  • Use a nitrogen-based liquid feed only during the Spring and Summer season. A general houseplant food is okay too. Apply it when you water the plant.

Peace lily

Similar to the Devil’s Ivy, the Peace Lily is one of the best air-purifying plants that you can get. It boasts its lush green leaves and attractive white blooms. 

Peace lilies thrive in high-moisture areas, which makes them the perfect living decoration in your bathroom. 

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Taking care of your Peace Lilies

  • Place it in a spot that receives indirect sunlight.
  • Water the plant once a week, ideally using a spray-bottle that makes light spritzes.
  • Keep it away from your pets because all parts of this plant is poisonous for them

Rubber plant

If you are looking for a good alternative to Fiddle Leaf Fig, the Rubber plant is your best bet. It’s a robust plant with large, waxy leaves. It can survive indoors and outdoors and requires very little maintenance.

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Taking care of your Rubber plant

  • Water the plants once a week.
  • Wipe the leaves down with a damp cloth to remove dust accumulation, keep them moist, and help the plant absorb sunlight. 
  • Place it in a spot where you can always see it, ideally in a spot that receives bright direct light. It can also thrive in areas with medium to bright indirect light exposure.

Bird of paradise

Known for its height and its large banana-like leaves and bright orange flowers, the bird of paradise plant can become a striking decor in any room. Place it in a spot dedicated for entertaining guests so it can be a conversation starter.

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It also thrives in the bathroom, as long as the space receives a lot of soft daylight.

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Taking care of your Birds of Paradise plant

  • Birds of Paradise enjoy moist (not soaking wet) soil so avoid over watering the plant. Let the soil dry out slightly between waterings. Water every 1-2 weeks.
  • Place your plant in a spot that gets at least six hours a day of sunlight. Exposure to direct sunlight is required but avoid the midday sun.

Boston fern

Boston Ferns are ideal bathroom plants too. These thrive in areas that have higher humidity. Hang them in a corner near the shower to keep the soil moist every day. Hanging plants in the bathroom like this adds another dimension to the space and creates a dramatic display of greenery. 

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Maidenhair fern

Unlike Boston ferns, a maidenhair fern thrives better in a pot placed on top of the vanity. Taking care of them is similar to the previous plant. Just make sure the pot doesn’t hold so much water to keep the roots alive. 

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Taking care of your ferns

  • Feed the fern with seaweed tonic / plant booster extract once a month to boost its health. 
  • Make sure the pot doesn’t hold water to avoid fungus growing on the fern’s roots. 
  • Keep the soil moist. Daily showers spritz a small amount of water on the ferns but make sure it doesn’t soak the soil too much.

Mother in law’s tongue / snake plant

This is by far the most resilient and the most low-maintenance of all the plant species on this list. It can survive with low light even when watered occasionally. It is known for its rigid upright leaves with a stunning yellow and green pattern.

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Similar to the Devil’s Ivy and Peace Lily, snake plants also filter VOCs and improve indoor air quality. Lucky for us, this plant can survive in any room of the house! Have it in the living room, bedroom, home office, or even the foyer.

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Taking care of your Snake plant

  • Place it on a spot that receives bright, indirect or direct sunlight. They will grow faster. 
  • The plant still thrives but grows slowly when put in shady corners and other low-light areas of the house. 
  • This plant doesn’t like the cold so keep it in a warm spot with temperatures above 50°F (10°C). Protect it from drafty windows, especially during cold days.

String of pearls 

This interesting and unusual looking succulent became a crowd favourite because of its beads. When displayed properly, this will add a lot of visual interest to any space.

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Taking care of your String of Pearls

  • Just like other succulents, this one doesn’t require much water. Water once every two weeks.
  • Place it in brightly lit parts of the house.

Kentia palm

Kentia palms are elegant and resilient. The plant is known for its lush foliage that reminds you of the tropics and exotic landscapes. It fits in almost anywhere, but it thrives better in high-moisture areas. It’s perfect for kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry areas.

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Taking care of your Kentia

  • Place on a spot that receives bright, indirect light that’s not too harsh. It will tolerate shade as well. 
  • Avoid over watering, wait for the soil to dry before watering again.
  • Keep indoor temperature between 16°C - 24°C; it will not survive in both cold and hot and dry spots.
  • Feed with liquid fertiliser during summer and spring only.
  • Mist regularly.
  • Trim the leaves and stems that turn brown immediately.

Which plant is your favourite?

Big or small, these indoor plants are perfect in tiny apartments and large open-plan homes. When revamping your home interiors, try to sneak nature in your plans using plants. It’s not about what areas should have plants. The lockdowns proved that we can place them everywhere in our homes. However, as the homeowner and proud parent to these green living creatures, you should know where they will thrive best and what you can do to make them happy.

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