Published on December 21, 2019

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Designed and Photography by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Maybe no matter how hard you try, the light in your apartment just isn’t right for keeping a fiddle-leaf fig tree alive. Perhaps after a month, you’ve found your monstera wilting. Not to worry. There are plenty of other plants to choose from—and they might just be the next big It plant, too.

The past year was dominated by showy, lush, tropical plants, but in 2020, the experts are predicting a few new front-runners to populate your Instagram feed. We’re giving you a head start to get your hands on them before all your friends do. Not only will these plants look great in your space, they’re also easy to take care of. As if you needed another excuse to cultivate that green thumb.

The Frothy One

The plant: Philodendron Selloum

Recommended by: Gabby Santiago, plant-care specialist at Rooted

The pitch: We’ve seen these everywhere lately. From storefronts to restaurants, they really add a jungle vibe to any space. The philodendrons have split leaves and the potential to grow enormous.

Pro tip: Water weekly or biweekly depending on your space and how fast the top two inches of soil dry out. They can adapt to almost any light, but you should avoid direct sun and very low-light conditions.

The Sturdy One

The plant: Peperomia Green (Obtusifolia)

Recommended by: Puneet Sabharwal, cofounder and CEO of Horti

The pitch: This waxy-leaf plant from the pepper family is considered a semi-succulent, which means that it stores moisture in its fleshy stems or leaves to fall back on when needed. We’ve started noticing them recently at other plant vendors.

Pro tip: These plants are fairly low maintenance and prefer bright light but not direct sun. The darker-leaf peperomia, such as the obtusifolia, can handle slightly lower-light conditions. Overwatering is the main cause of serious problems with peperomias, so water only when the top inch of soil is fully dry.

The Splashy One

The plant: Dracaena Reflexa (Song of India)

Recommended by: Amber Freda, landscape designer

The pitch: They have variegated white-and-green leaves that will provide a lovely bit of contrast to all the rest of your green foliage plants. Variegated leaves are going to be the name of the game in 2020, which is a year of seeing things clearly. Plants with bright foliage go perfectly with that theme.

Pro tip: Just give them a bright window with direct or indirect sunlight, and they should be quite happy for many years to come.

The Stripy One

The plant: Calathea Orbifolia

Recommended by: Hilton Carter, plant and interior stylist and author of Wild at Home and the upcoming Wild Interiors

The pitch: I’ve seen it popping up from time to time and been getting more DMs on how to care for it. The foliage of the orbifolia has a wonderful paddle-like shape, and because of its bold pale and dark green stripes, it’s an instant eye-catcher—the perfect statement plant.

Pro tip: Find a nice spot that has medium to low light. Keep the soil evenly moist—you’ll be watering it more often than your other plants. (If you’re not good at staying on top of watering, you might want to avoid this one.) A good indicator that it’s time for a new pot is when you notice the roots of the plant creeping out of the drainage holes.

See more plant stories:
What Greenery to Buy, According to Your Plant Parent Personality
How to Keep Your Monstera Alive and Thriving, According to Expert Plant Parents
Calling All Green Thumbs: Buy These Under-the-Radar Plants Before They Hit It Big

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