Scroll through Pinterest or Instagram and you’ll see that houseplants are definitely having a moment. They're once again at the top of the list of popular hobbies and trends.

I really can't remember a time I didn't have houseplants. I've always had plants and usually quite a few of them. But not everyone has. Spending much more time at home right now has created an interest in safe hobbies to help pass the increased amount of time many of us are spending indoors.

We're Online Much More

Developing an appreciation for plants and spaces filled with attractive greenery is being fueled by additional hours spent online. While scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, or some other site, it’s easy to become entranced by photos of beautiful green interiors. You may want to create your own cozy spaces like those currently being pictured in so many posts.

Indoor plants haven’t always been a thing. Houseplants became very popular in the mid-to-late 1800s when they were used as a way to brighten rooms during England’s long, dreary winters. Ever since then, they've gone through waves of popularity. They were particularly popular in the decades of the 1950s and 1960s when they frequently became the focal point of interior decor. In the '80s and '90s they seemed to disappear as people started substituting artificial plants that didn’t require any care.

But new generations of young people are starting to realize that plants make people happy and can be a real game-changer when it comes to interior decorating. Houseplants have been making another comeback in the last few years.

beautiful houseplant in a pot

Health Benefits of Houseplants

Houseplants clean the air in our homes. They've been scientifically proven to absorb gases and VOCs through pores on the surface of their leaves. Microorganisms living in the soil of potted plants also play an instrumental role in neutralizing these VOCs and other pollutants.

Plants add life and interest to a room. Beyond hard accessories like mirrors, vases, and artwork, houseplants bring a natural element that can’t be replicated by man-made items. They also bring more texture to a room that can elevate it to another level.

zebra plant

Other Benefits

Plants can fill empty spaces in a corner or wall space where something is needed. For example, large houseplants placed next to pieces of furniture can fill a corner of a room. They also add softness against angular lines or hard surfaces, making them perfect for bathrooms. Other benefits of indoor plants include boosting creativity and productivity, reducing stress, and generating feelings of well-being.

Artificial house plants can generate the same feelings. However, they obviously don't have the same health benefits. Artificial greenery can serve to fill in and make a collection of live plants look fuller. A caveat is their cost which is often quite high for the more realistic fakes.

indoor scene with houseplants

Easy Houseplants to Grow

Most people aren't plant experts and have little or no idea where to begin. These are some of the easiest houseplants to cultivate:

snake plant

philodendron with pink and green leaves

Dracaena braunii (lucky bamboo) is a species of flowering plant and entirely different from true bamboos. You can't find a plant much easier to grow than this one. It will grow in soil but is perfectly happy in water.

lucky bamboo

Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant)

variegated spider plant

Ficus elastica (rubber tree)

Aloe vera/Aloes

aloe in bloom

Asplenium nidus (bird's nest fern)

Spathiphyllum (peace lily)

peace lily

Will They Survive in My Environment?

The secret to keeping a houseplant alive is giving it the amount of light, humidity, and water it prefers when growing in its natural habitat. Most houseplants fall into one of two categories: tropicals (palms, ferns, and vines) or succulents.

A rule for houseplant care: tropical plants like humidity and succulents like dry warmth. Everything else falls somewhere in between.

The most common houseplants are native to warm, frost-free parts of the world and can be grown indoors in colder climates in portable containers or miniature gardens. Most houseplants are native to the tropics and sub-tropics. Those that make the best indoor specimens are the species that adjust easily to the warm, dry conditions usually found in indoor living spaces.

The most popular houseplant of this decade, the fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata), comes from the West African rainforest. If you purchase one, be prepared to baby it.

fiddle leaf fig on a patio

close up of a fiddle leaf fig

Succulents Are Trending

Some current trendy succulents include:

Epiphyllum anguliger (fishbone cactus)

fishbone cactus

Crassula species

Gasteria species (ox tongue)

Sedum morganianum (donkey's tail, below right)

succulents in stone heads

Aphelandra squarrosa (zebra plant)

zebra plant

zebra plant

Aeonium arboreum (pinwheel desert rose)

aeonium outdoors

Pachyphytum oviferum (moonstones)

moonstones plant

Crassula perforata (string of buttons)

crassula

Fenestraria (baby toes)

fenestraria bloom