It’s no surprise that the houseplant market is flourishing. The RHS reported a 50% rise in houseplant sales in the last year, meaning that the trend for decorating our homes with greenery isn’t going away anytime soon.
The world of houseplants hasn’t been without its trends: at first it was cacti and succulents, then the entire world seemed to pretend to be tropical for a little bit, and now… well, it’s either variegated or pink. Take your pick.
But what’s going to happen in 2020? I ask a handful of plant friends and fellow experts what they think will be big next year, and pitch in with my own suggestion, the Kalanchoe ‘Dolly’.
Mr Plant Geek says, ‘Kalanchoe have often been a popular plant in the home because they’re very long-lasting and very forgiving. Here is an entirely new generation, spotted during this year’s exclusive flower trials in Holland.’
Michel Heemskerk from Javado says, ‘It is one of the Urban Jungle trends: plants with their bare roots in clear water in a transparent vase, or “hydropony”. Not all plants are suitable for hydropony. A very beautiful and suitable plant is the Clusia. This is originally a plant from mangrove forests and is therefore used to standing with its roots in the water. It will grow slower than a clusia in potting soil.’
Hans Hansen – the creator of these plants- says, ‘I’ve had many friends that use Mangave as houseplants, or set them outside during summer and overwinter them inside under lights or near windows. Mangave are collectible and they have great architecture – they are hip and modern and resonate with both millennials as well as seasoned plant people. They can also tolerate less water and fit the lifestyles of busy people with full time jobs, travel and social commitments.’
Tommy Tonsberg says, ‘Piper ornatum is a beautiful climbing or trailing plant with stunning mottled leaves in silvery pink and dark green. Unfortunately it’s not known to be one the easiest plant to succeed with, as it doesn’t like low humidity or lower temperatures. It’s still well worth a try as a houseplant though, if you can accommodate those needs!
I grow this one as house plant in an east facing window in the bathroom, where it gets the higher temperatures and moisture that it needs. Success!
This plant is a relative of our culinary black pepper (Piper nigrum). There are almost 600 Piper species in the world and surely more that can have potential as houseplants.’
Travelling plant collector Mick Mittermeier says, ‘This unknown is a beautiful species that is hardly in cultivation. I recently saw one on an auction page that sold for around $400! The plants get beautiful perforations and attractive midrib pinnae. Amydrium is a fairly reliable grower and much more cold tolerant than any other species in the genus, so would suit colder rooms.’
Sarracenia- in new colours!
Renowned UK carnivorous plants expert, and breeder, Matt Soper, has created something quite special! Matt, who runs Hampshire Carnivorous Plants in the UK, says, ‘it’s stunning and really stands out in any collection’. Sarracenia are straight forward houseplants, loving a sunny windowsill and a nice wet bottom, keep the saucer full of water at all times.’ Keep an eye out for more news on this variety though, it’s not even named yet!
Optimara African Violets
Could we see a return for the houseplant our Grandparents loved on every windowsill?! The humble African Violet has some strong new breeding. Darren Wicks from the African Violet Nerds Group on Facebook says, ‘the Optimara varieties are consistent performers and are bred to perform well on a windowsill, and the colours and combos are amazing’.
Peperomia and Pilea
Joe from Bo-tanical Norwich is tipping the Peperomia and Pilea family for big things in 2020, ‘I’m all about the Peperomia and Pilea right now. It’s a massive family, with an amazing variety of foliage shapes, sizes and colours. Best part is they are insanely easy to propagate from!’
The Scention Aroma Orchids
Maarten Huisman of Sion says, ‘Fragrance in orchids is a whole other dimension. If you thought you’d seen all the colours nature can bring, then you’ll adore the “home perfume” of scented varieties Scention and Odorion. Coming very soon – and get ready to experience the Phaleanopsis orchid in a completely new way!
Which plants are you looking forward to getting your hands on next year? Let me know in the comment box below!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook.