Our infatuation with plants and a leafy green interior shows no sign of slowing down in 2022 (thank goodness, we couldn’t handle that!). Whether you have been a die-hard fan for the longest time or a recent addition, the lockdowns of the last year or so have certainly highlighted the benefits of bringing nature inside. Plants not only improve the look and feel of our homes but also improve our mental wellbeing.
And with 2022 on the horizon, we thought we’d take the opportunity to highlight a few plants pegged to be on the rise.
Splash of Colour.
Just as we predicted last year, we see patterns, colour, and fancy foliage continuing its rise in popularity through 2022. Begonias, in particular, such as the Rex begonia (Begonia rex-cultorum) and polka dot plant (Begonia maculata), are increasingly popular. They are such interesting plants and there are so many varieties with stunning colours and beautiful leaf patterns to choose from. The polka dot begonia flaunts arrow-shaped leaves with tiny almost metallic spots and purple-red undersides. Rex begonias produce dramatic, large leaves streaked, veined, or splashed in shades of silver, pink, purple, cream, green, or burgundy. A word of caution though if you are to add begonias to your growing urban jungle, they love and need humidity and a well-aerated free draining soil.
For those looking to add a splash of colour and chasing a plant that is relatively easy to care for, syngoniums are also growing in popularity. Just like the begonia, there are a great number of varieties to choose from. Which also means, you don’t just have to settle for one. Some of our favourites are the syngonium fantasy featuring splashes of white variegation and syngonium confetti with its mottled splashes of pink. Although they can tolerate low light conditions, it’s important they are positioned in bright indirect light to maintain the beautiful variegation and colouring.
Low maintenance or go big?
As more and more Australians begin to return to the workplace and eating/drinking out and about, we’re going to see two different camps emerge. On the one hand we’ll see a large group of people who newly entered plant parenthood and have since been struck with the reality that plants might need more attention and understanding to thrive (or even survive) than they first thought and that they now have less time to do so. In this case, we will see a growth in low maintenance plants that both look good and can comfortably be cared for.
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On the other hand, as people venture out, they’re going to be inspired by the larger plants they see thriving in bigger spaces. Combine this with a spike in confidence for (some) plant parents in their care for plants and we think we’ll see larger houseplants take off in 2022. To this end, we foresee the likes of the bird of paradise, the Ficus audrey or Ficus benjamina, and bamboo palm be in vogue.
Almost tree-like in nature, the Ficus audrey can grow up to two metres tall and can really transform a space. Plus, as an added benefit, it is far less temperamental than its currently favoured cousins of Ficus lyrata (fiddle-leaf fig) and Ficus triangularis. Miss a watering by a day or two or shift these plants slightly and you can experience the dreaded leaf drop. The bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is one of the most popular houseplants worldwide and for good reason: it is easy to care for and its large glossy green leaves add a touch of tropics to any home. These regal plants produce beautiful orange (or white-and-blue on the Strelitzia nicolai) crane-like flowers when under the right conditions.
Continuing the desire for a bit more colour from our plants, we think flowering plants will also be trending in 2022. Orchards often get a bad rap because they can be difficult to work with but as with all houseplants, it’s about your space and choosing the right plants for your conditions. If you can mimic the orchids natural environment by offering plenty of light, watering them thoroughly and then letting them dry out, you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous blooms.
Keen to embrace the flowering trend with something a bit more black-thumb friendly, then look no further than the peace lily. Not only does it produce beautiful flowers worthy of any table centrepiece or shelf décor but is known for being hardy and forgiving. Miss a watering or two and it will even let you know by drooping its leaves. Looking for some fancier foliage, the peace lily domino is poised to become a 2022 favourite. This variant sports wonderful and crinkly variegated green and white leaves.
Last but not least, hoyas are also having a moment in the spotlight. Hoyas are a gorgeous plant whose incredible leaves are as lovely as their blooms. A feat not easily replicated. There are thousands of plants in the hoya family with their waxy leaves coming in a variety of shapes and sizes. Our pick of the bunch is the Hoya carnosa and the Hoya carnosa ‘compact’. With the right care, they produce pale pink porcelain-like flowers that are shaped like tiny stars. Speaking of care, they love bright indirect light so place them in an east facing window where they will benefit from the morning sun. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and you are good to go. Hoyas make fantastic hanging plants but can also be trained to climb trellises which brings us to our next trending plants category.
Plants that like to climb such as the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma will also take off in 2022. Ragingly popular on social media at the moment, R. tetrasperma is a lovely vining plant with amazing fenestrated leaves. So popular you may have seen a rare, variegated version sell for over $7,500 late last year! Not surprising though as we see a lot of people falling in love with rare plants. We’ll continue to see new varieties emerge of Alocasia, Philodendron, Monstera, Rhaphidophora, Epipremnum and Scindapsus. Sometimes called the “Mini Monstera” due it baring a striking resemblance to the Monstera deliciosa, Rhaphidophora is however its own independent genus. This little lookalike can trail down attractively or climb a pole or trunk – the choice is yours. You may even choose to guide it with hooks or use them to frame a window or wall to bring the jungle vibes inside.
We’ve also seen philodendron sales rocket in recent times due to their relatively easy care and unusual looks. We can’t go past the Philodendron micans and the Philodendron gloriosum which both feature green velvety leaves. They need to be planted in well-draining soil and prefer bright indirect light, although they will tolerate some lower light conditions. Trailing and creeping varieties, they look great hanging from a pot on a shelf or attached to a climbing moss pole. A quick scroll through your favourite plant-fluencers social feed and you’ll be flooded with moss poles (totems or coir poles). These beauts mimic the behaviour of a plant’s natural environment, providing tree-like support and nutrients to your plant. Great for aroids and epiphytes, a totem takes your plant care to the next level.
Whatever trend takes your fancy (or all of them), embrace the fresh start of the new year and the summer conditions by bringing some new leafy greens into your home.