We love the fiddle leaf fig, but anyone that owns the fickle plant knows that it requires quite a bit of love and a lot of attention to survive. And while succulents are much (MUCH) easier to care for, we’re looking for something new to set on our sill. Which is why we reached out to our favorite houseplant experts at The Sill and Twig to see what plants they have on their radar. Keep reading to discover the houseplants that are sure to be the next big sensation—no green thumb required.
Erin Marino from The Sill (where you can buy these plants)
The Snake Plant
“We have our fingers crossed that the Snake Plant, an extremely tolerant houseplant, will have its day back in the spotlight soon. Why? Because the Snake can handle almost any environment – it is an example that you don’t need to have a “green thumb” to enjoy the benefits of indoor plants. In addition to being tolerant of low light levels, drought, and most common houseplant pest; the Snake Plant (or Sansevieria) coverts carbon dioxide into oxygen both during the day and at night, while also naturally removing toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene & toluene from indoor air. It is also commonly available in a variety of leave variegations and sizes.”
Bird of Paradise
“Although it prefers bright and sunny conditions like the Fiddle, the Bird of Paradise seems to be a bit less fickle when it comes to being moved around and handling slight environmental changes. The plant’s broad banana-leaf-like leaves are striking and can really add a bunch of color in an otherwise bleak space. Personally it makes me think of being poolside at the Beverly Hills Hotel—and who wouldn’t want to daydream of that?!”
“Although much smaller in size, the Tillandsia, or Air Plant, is equally as striking since it does not require soil to grow. Most species of Tillandsia absorb nutrients and water through their leaves. Because of this, they can be super fun (and easy) to decorate with. Keep them in a space where they receive ample air flow (aka, don’t stuff them into a tight glass container but instead option for a plant stand), and bright but indirect light. Water them weekly by misting them with a spray bottle anywhere from 2-4 times a week. With over 600 varieties of Tillandsia to pick from, you can be sure to never get bored of them. We’re partial to the Xeorgraphia because of it’s large sculptural size and attractive flowers.”
“The leaves of the Rattlesnake Calathea, native to Brazil, are awesome! The slender leaves are light green on top and marked with dark paintbrush-like blotches; while their bottoms are a dark purple. They can handle moderate to low light levels, making them perfect for apartments and offices. An added bonus – they are completely non-toxic, according to the ASPCA, which is great for those of us that share our spaces with curious pets.”
“Miniature succulents have been enjoying the spotlight for some time now. They are one of the most popular types of plants in our New York City plant shop. Unfortunately, most of us New Yorkers, don’t have the ideal conditions in our apartments to keep most types of succulents happy – that’s bright, direct sunlight. But Haworthia, a genus of small succulent plants endemic to Southern Africa, are pretty damn hardy in comparison to other succulent plants. You can usually get away with providing them a bit less sun than they’re used to. Plus the Zebra Haworthia, with its signature white stripes, is so cute.”
“The Xerographica is one of the larger common air plants that you come across. Its silvery gray leaves are wide at the base, but taper at the ends, making an attractive rosette shape. I love that you can place these guys just about anywhere (given it’s not a dark corner), because they don’t require potting soil and a planter. Perfect to plop on a coffee table in the middle of a sunny space. Just make sure you have the time to give them a little extra TLC – i.e. a daily spritzing to keep humidity high.”
Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow from Twig
the boston fern
“Our first nominee is… (drum roll)… the Boston Fern! No, it does not flower, but it is also a striking plant in any spot you put it in! It’s tough as nails, a great air purifier, can grow quite large (3-4′), is pet-safe, and quite beautiful. Yep, Nephrolepis exaltata “Bostoniensis” (really) is a joy to have in the house or office. It appreciates sitting in a tray with pebbles and water, and will reward you with giant fronds of planty lushness. Don’t be afraid to use them everywhere.”
“Another winner is Calathea – and there are a ridiculous amount of varieties to choose from! First, there’s the prayer plant (Maranta), but that’s a commonly chosen one. What about the peacock plant (calathea makoyana)? Or the zebra plant (Calathea zebrina)? There’s also Calathea orbifolia, which is Katy’s favorite! The varieties are as dizzying as the mosaic-esque leaves, each one more beautiful than the other. They very rarely bloom indoors, but the Calathea Crocata (Flowering Calathea) has large orange flowers that demand admiration. This one is my (Michelle’s) favorite. They like indirect light (to part-shade) and humidity, but are easy to maintain otherwise. Typical growth is about 1-3′, they’re pet-friendly, and fairly forgiving for a plant of this beauty.”
The Sweetheart Hoya
“The sweetheart hoya (Hoya kerrii, or Valentine plant) is another amazing choice. And the leaves are heart-shaped. Yep, you read right—the leaves are heart-shaped! It’s a beautiful, climbing succulent vine that requires little care—what could be better? Oh yeah, it’s pet-friendly and cleans the air. Clearly, I’m smitten.”
Team Domino’s picks
Otherwise known as “ficus benjamina”, this relative of the fiddle leaf fig is set to take over interiors in a big way this year. With its downward-facing leaves and sturdy branches, it resembles a mini-tree and is the perfect decor piece to upgrade any corner of the room. Keep it away from drafts, try not to move it around, and you’ll be able to enjoy the weeping fig for years to come.
This potted plant is good for more than just treating sunburns: the succulent is a low-maintenance way to add greenery to your home. Besides picking a bright, relatively warm location to display your aloe vera, there’s pretty much nothing else to caring for the plant. Plus you reap the nutritional rewards of having a plant that produces a healing gel in your home— at the very least, it’ll save you a trip to the pharmacy.
Yes, you typically see ivy crawling up buildings, but did you know it’s also a popular indoor plant? Hang your ivy in a suspended planter and have it cascade down the sides for a pretty wall accent piece. Just remember to prune it occasionally to keep it tidy and minimize the risk of having your space turn into an overrun jungle.
This tropical plant is as easy to care for as it is beautiful. Beloved for how resilient they are, peace lilies also break down and neutralize toxic gases to provide you with cleaner air. Owning one of these plants is basically getting the maximum benefit for minimal effort: your peace lily will literally tell you when it’s time to be watered because it droops down when thirsty.