Plants are pretty dang timeless, so predicting what will be popular is like picking a random fish in the ocean at this point. But working as a plant shop owner gives me a bit of an edge with knowing what people are more drawn to. So this prediction list is in my opinion obviously but I'd love to hear what your opinions are in the comments.
So without further ado, let's get started. Firstly, I'm going to run down a list of features that I think are trending, then we will get to the actual plants.
Chartreuse, golden, cream-colored, and white variegation is definitely in. Plants with lighter variegation tend to pop nicely when it's against a neutral or dark wall. When placed on a bookcase, a trailing light colored plant such as a Marble Queen Pothos is a beautiful option. Highly-variegated plants such as the Thai Constellation or the Painted Lady Philodendron are big sellers as well because of their remarkable color and splash-like variegation.
Larger floor plants such as an Aglaonema or Dieffienbachia are in right now because of their wider/more broad wingspan when placed in a corner. They have an easier light tolerance so unlike something like the large broad-leafed Bird of Paradise, they can be placed in more versatile spots.
Beginner-friendly plants are always a must for many people. The target customer for beginner-friendly plants is literally every person. Even the plant collectors who have over 150 plants in their home still enjoy an easy-to-care-for plant every now and again. Having a few forgiving plants in your abode makes your life easier and helps fight off the plant "fatigue" of caring for so many. ZZ's, Snakes, Aglaonemas, Pothos, Dracaena and trailing Phillodendrons are my recommendations for forgiving plants.
By texture I mean fluffy, big, and full plants. Typically when I think texture in a houseplant I lean towards a fern. Now, placing a fern inside your home can sometimes be a challenge. They like a lot of water and appreciate being misted. They also benefit greatly from additional humidity. But texture can also mean strappy, bushy style leaves like on a Neanthe Palm. They provide the full, textured effect that you see hanging above tables or next to pieces of furniture in magazines/social posts.
BETTER SOIL MIX
Now this isnt technically a feature of a houseplant but something in general I noticed since opening the store. People are starting to take note at how much their plants grow and are happier with better soil. More airy, chunky mixes are trending because the typical soil that you get from big box stores holds too much moisture and can rot roots fairly quickly. Houseplants can be expensive, especially when you start getting into the rare ones so a solid chunky mix is essential to keeping your babies happy and healthy.
*NOW ONTO THE PLANTS*
I'm going to rank the most popular trending houseplants that I've seen do well in the store for a variety of reasons. Whether it be their tolerance to low light, ease or just wow-factor.
1.) CALATHEA RATTLESNAKE
This variety of Calathea is truly a stunning plant. One of the prettiest Calatheas in my humble opinion. Plus, the fact that it's pet friendly adds to its charm. Rattlesnakes are one of the easier Calatheas to care for as they are more open to neglect, unlike some of the more popular varieties such as Dottie or White Fusion.
2) MONSTERA THAI CONSTELLATION
This plant is probably no surprise to anyone but the Thai is still such an amazingly beautiful plant and to be honest, pretty easy to care for as well. The allure for a Thai over an Albo Monstera lies within the variegation. A Thai has stable variegation, that means you'll never receive a full green leaf on your plant. An Albo has the opportunity to revert which can cause some frustrations to some plant parents. Which is why this plant scores a lot higher than the variegated albo monstera.
3) EPIPREMNUM PINNATUM
Epipremnum plants are still within the same family as traditional pothos, just a different species. But seeing as how most people own a regular pothos or two it's fun to get a different variety to mix it up. Luckily these guys still fall within the pothos family so they are equally as easy to care for.
4) UNIQUE HOYAS
Hoyas are a veryyyy diverse genus of plants. There are so many kinds of hoyas that we in the plant biz like to call it "going down the hoya hole" when you start getting into them. That being said, most people who are into Hoyas already have the standards such as Krimson Queen, Hoya Compacta and Princess. Because of that, they're more in search of the harder-to-find varieties and unique flowering species.
Popular varieties of marantas are the variegated green variety and the lemon lime. In my opinion, it's their color that makes them so popular. They sport such vivid and contrasting colors when placed in a pretty planter or against a neutral wall. As long as you can keep up with their watering demands, they are somewhat low maintenance.
Air Plants are by far the most popular plant sold in my shop. People love their versatility and ease factor (as long as you don't forget about them). Air plants are epiphytic so they do not need soil to survive. So if you have a weird-shaped planter, an odd-sized open space on a bookcase or mantel, put an air plant there. Easy peasy!
The last trend I am seeing doesn't actually have to do with a specific plant of feature, it's more knowledge based. The education behind plant care is more popular than ever. And it's no wonder why, plant collecting can get kind of pricey, and no one wants to spend a lot of money on a plant that can die. So learning whatever you can to make sure that doesn't happen is in the spot light. Since opening the shop it's something that people depend on me for and I am so glad I can offer any guidance or be of service to my local plant community. I'm always open about educating my customers about what they are buying and also what works and would not work within their space.
So what do you think is in demand for 2023? Leave me a comment below!