Return of the houseplant

We are witnessing the return of the old houseplant into our lives. They are all over Instagram and many shops and random places are including a lot of them around. You can now walk into many shops looking for clothes and find nice plants, pots and gardening books displayed amongst everything else.

In two years, the market for houseplants has increased considerably. And social media has played a huge role bringing them back into fashion.

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Pilea peperomioides or Chinese money plant. This is the finest example of social media influence. During almost a year, it was impossible to find it in London. It is, by far, the most ‘instagrammed’ plant. There was such demand that they would run out each week from New Covent Garden flower market, which supplies most of London’s florists and garden centres.

But plants are not only nice to photograph, they have a massive influence in our environment, our house or our work place. Think about how much our personal space has changed in a decade; we have electronic devices all around the house and we carry our phone everywhere we go.

To me, it makes perfect sense to neutralise a bit all that technology with some living material. By bringing plants into our lives we are adding value to the small ecosystem that is our house or our workplace.

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Sansevieria and trendy pots. This plant is also known as ‘mother in law’s tongue’. Very popular back in the 70’s, it came back to stay. It is very popular and appreciated for it’s air-cleaning properties.
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Aeonium arboreum var atropurpureum Zwartkop – ‘Schwarzkopf’ or Black tree Aeonium. Aeonium are native from the Canary Islands. They grow naturally between he tiles on the roofs in my home town.
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Monstera obliqua, another tricky one to find in London due to high demand.

There is something special about those few minutes I dedicate to water, clean and nurture my plants. As living things, they need our attention to survive. In exchange, we benefit from all that photosynthesised oxygen. But there is more, the green of their leaves, their shapes and beauty help us to relax and to live happier lives.

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Begonias are one of my favourite plants. And they are very easy to look after.
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Ceropegia woodii

So here is this new phenomenon that is turning millennials and older generations into gardeners. Don’t be fooled, the moment you own a plant you can consider yourself a gardener. To some extent you are taking care of living material, and that is just great.

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Strelitzia (bird of paradise)

Last year saw the very first Urban Garden Show by the Royal Horticultural Society. This show was focused on city dwellers with not much time but a certain interest on growing something. But most importantly, to give a space in their lives for a few houseplants that would enhance any London flat. The show was really popular and saw it’s second edition last July, confirming that there is a huge desire to grow plants in the city.

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As a horticulturist myself, I am personally enjoying this moment. This is a career that brings joy to people in many ways. Growing vegetables or ornamental plants requires skilled professionals, and I am glad to see that there is still future for the industry.

Cacti are a huge hit in any garden centre right now. Kids love them and adults know that they require minimum care.

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Succulents and cacti are now part of this new trend. Make sure you buy them from he right place. Garden centres employ people who have trained long and hard to give you the best advice.

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So cool…

New versions of the old Wardian cases and modern terrariums are also a hit. The Palace Gardener organises regular workshops and one of the most popular is precisely how to build your own terrarium.

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And let’s not forget the orchids. Many people think that orchids are way to fragile and challenging for them. But they are not. They need minimum care, the right amount of water and light. If you follow a few simple steps you will have flowers every year.

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Houseplants need a pot, of course. But not any pot. There are many options around these days, but you have to find the perfect one for your house.

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Your plants will thank your dedication and care, but please don’t forget to feed them time to time. A well fed plant is a healthier and stronger one, capable of fighting pests and diseases.

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I just had to include this copper watering can. Copper itself will be the topic of a future post for obvious reasons.
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My choice from The Palace Gardener this time. Asparagus setaceus (fern) in a concret pot.
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One Comment Add yours

  1. Josie says:

    Interesting post

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