Become The Plantita Of All Plantitas With 5 Of 2021's Trendiest Plants
Make everyone else green with envy
The plantita game remains strong in 2021!
It might even be more competitive this year because a lot of people who tried their hands at gardening are looking to move on to leveling up the hobby. The trend this year is to bring home plants that only a select few can handle. 2021's indoor gardening theme is all about highlighting plants that have unique shapes and structure and boast of uncommon colors, and lucky for Filipino plant owners, a lot of them are native to Asia and love the climate we're in.
Check out five of 2021's trendiest plants below, and be the first in your group of plantitas to get a hold of them!
Fiddle leaf fig
You know that something has made it to the "it" circle when it's all over Instagram, YouTube, and many a lifestyle website. Enter, the fiddle leaf fig, a tropical plant that starts out small but can grow big enough (vertically and horizontally) to become an indoor beach umbrella in your living room. People have come to love this plant, one of the most exported species in the world, largely because it's pretty; it's sculpture-like silhouette plus a leaves that don't make a mess when they naturally brown/fall off make it an ideal choice for green home décor.
It's characterized by a slender trunk and wide, deep green leaves that sprout from it, individually. It doesn't develop branches, so what you'll end up with is a plant that's slim and tall and could need occasional trimming once it gets too close to your ceiling. Do note that for plant mommas that take the time to feed their green babies with the right fertilizer during growing season, you might be surprised at how big their leaves can become, so much so that you might have to transfer your fiddle leaf fig outdoors lest it feel like you are stuffing a giant in a pocket-sized space. When choosing where to position it, consider that potted, indoor fiddle leaf figs grow up to about 10 feet (but if you plant one in your garden directly into the soil, it could very well reach its "real" height of 50 feet!).
Plant care: Here's some bad news if you're not an expert level plantita just yet. Fiddle leaf fig plants require close attention to its living conditions. They have to be just right right, or you might find that its leaves have yellowed or wilted. It thrives on moderate humidity (do not overwater it), bright yet indirect sunlight (so a position near a window with blinds should be good), and soil that drains easily between waterings (invest in a good pot that isn't just cute but provides the right drainage too). If your plant looks like it can use a little refreshing, trim the trunk on top by a few inches.
Black ZZ plant
ZZ plants have been popular for quite some time now, but a new version of it has caught people's attention anew. There's now a darker variant, nicknamed the black ZZ plant/raven ZZ, and it's exactly what its name suggests. Instead of sprouting the usual emerald-colored leaves, the black zz plant grows buds that are much, much more pigmented resulting in shiny, inky, opal leaves. It's a statement plant, that's for sure, and it'll prompt questions like "Is this plant real?" from curious visitors.
The darker than usual color is all thanks to the plants higher chlorophyll content. If you remember your grade school lessons on plants, chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color, plus it's also what breaks down sunlight into energy that plants need to stay healthy. More chlorophyll in black ZZ plants means it doesn't need as much sunlight to stay alive. It's a lot more self-sufficient than its jade-leafed cousin, and that translates to a much more simpler care routine that even beginner green thumbs can handle.
Plant care: Indirect sunlight is all this plant needs, and not even a lot of it (they will scorch in direct sunlight). In fact, all ZZ plant species can be found in lots of indoor spaces (think offices, mall stores, spas, even bathrooms) because fluorescent lighting and other source of artificial light are good enough for them. In terms of watering, worry not because you can go a whole week without watering them depending on the humidity levels of the room/season. Observe what works best for your plant; once a week is okay, but if it starts to yellow/lose its pigment from too much water, you can even go two weeks in-between watering. A ZZ plant grows in basic potting soil, but it does need a pot that will allow excess water to drain easily.
Speaking of statement-making plants, here's another one for you: the staghorn fern that can grow—and we mean grow—with proper care. What makes these guys so unique is that as they grow, they won't actually need soil to survive, hence all the fun stuff you can do with how to arrange them and position them in your home.
Most homeowners that decide to keep them indoors reserve an entire wall for them. That's because one of the most popular ways to present the staghorn fern is to mount it on a decorative piece of wood and then hang it on a wall much like you would with a painting. There's a special technique to tie the fern's base onto a piece of wood (an experienced gardener will have to this for you), and as it matures, it'll grow antler-shaped leaves that cascade downwards, a feature that gives this fern its unique name.
Another option for keeping staghorn ferns indoors is turning them into a hanging plant. The only consideration here is if you choose containers that are too small, they might not have enough space to mature into their full form that includes that staghorn leaves, and not just the base of the plant. Larger containers are recommended, but again, you'll have to make sure you have to space (and perhaps a strong enough ceiling) to hang large pots.
On the other hand, you can also grow staghorn ferns outdoors. They'll make majestic additions to a landscaped garden or a well-designed poolside. Commonly, outdoor staghorn ferns are attached to a large tree. (They are not a parasitic plant, so they won't harm the tree).
Plant care: Bright, indirect light works best for staghorn ferns. How often you water them depends on the season. Once a week is recommended during the hotter and drier months, and once every two to three weeks when during the rainy season. The rule of thumb is to allow the plant base to dry before you water again.
It's also known as the "Swiss cheese plant" because of the holes and "tears" each leaf has. Its originally a jungle plant, so bringing it into your home will definitely add personality to a space; it's a scene-stealer for its size alone, and its beauty comes out when you allow it to be the center of attention.
It has aerial roots (meaning roots are not embedded underneath the soil), and this plant evolved to have them because aerial roots help them cling onto other objects. In its natural habitat, this plant would have likely grabbed onto sturdier neighbors, because it actually grows to be quite tall! You might not have seen a monstera that's spread upwards, because keeping them potted indoors means that there isn't anything to grab onto to help them grow vertically. You can help them out though, if this is something you want to achieve. You can design a trellis for them and position it in way so that it can be fully covered once the plant grows (a pillar of monstera deliciosa is way cooler than a regular potted one, come to think about it).
Plant care: Despite being a jungle plant, monstera deliciousas don't like to be soaked in wet soil. They do like humidity, but soil should only be kept moist, not soggy (that's why the have aerial roots; in the wild, aerial roots helped these plants "breathe" if soil became too wet from rain or storms). Water only when the soil has dried, and in more humid months when soil has a difficult time drying completely, misting with a spray bottle should be sufficient. As for lighting, bright and indirect is the way to go. Fertilizer is an option if you want your plant to grow bigger, wider leaves.
Plants with pink leaves
Pink isn't a rare color in plants on its own, but pink leaves are a different story. Most plants don't have enough pink pigment in their leaves to show up, so those that do grow leaves that are pink or have noticeable pink streaks or spots (the term you want to read up on is "variegated") were actually genetically modified! They're quite rare and incredibly sought after, so everyone that got into plants in 2020 that's hoping to level up their gardening game this year are all looking to welcome home pink-leafed plants.
Some examples of these rare beauties that are good for indoor gardening are pink philodendrons, mosaic plants, rex begonias, and calatheas. Some of these plants are sold out before they make it to greenhouses and suppliers, so you might have to find someone who specializes in them and place an order beforehand.
Plant care: Every plant requires a different regimen, but what you do need to keep in mind for pink-leafed plants is that they need sunlight for their pretty colors to pop. Though the plants above survive indoors, sometimes, you'll need to expose them to bright sunlight once in a while to stimulate pigment production. It's best to ask your source/expert gardeners how to go about their indoor/outdoor placements. Watering is less complicated. Soil just needs to dry out between waterings. During the dry seasons, sometimes plant owners also place a humidifier next to them to keep the soil's moisture intact and consistent while avoiding the dangers of overwatering.
See the gallery below for ideas on how to decorate with these plants of the hour:
Fiddle Leaf Fig
Photo Credit: @andrea.wiele
Fiddle Leaf Fig and Monstrera Deliciosa
Photo Credit: @flora_and_furnish
Black ZZ Plants
Photo Credit: @flowerpowergardencentres
Fiddle Leaf Fig, Monstera Deliciosa, Staghorn Fern and Pink Plants
Photo Credit: @haileylovesplants
Black ZZ Plant
Photo Credit: @gologoldoon.boutique
Photo Credit: @torontoparadiseplants
Monstera Deliciosa in the Eames House Case Study Number 8
Photo Credit: @lichnerestudio
Photo Credit: @plants_for_lyf
Photo Credit: @greenhomemag
Stag Horn Fern
Photo Credit: @staghorn_fern_05
Pink Plants (Tradescantia Tricolor)
Photo Credit: @chicplantnyc
Pink Plants (Caladium Strawberry Star)
Photo Credit: @plant_the_geek
Pink Plants (Caladium Strawberry Star)
Photo Credit: @askja.joanna
Opening images from Pexels