If there’s one indoor plant that has dominated interiors for the last several years, it’s the humble fiddle-leaf fig. This fashionable ficus has graced magazine covers and high-end spreads with good reason: It is sculptural without being too bushy, and hardy yet pretty with its large violin-shaped leaves.
What houseplant could possibly compete with that? Well, quite a few actually. We rounded up the next crop of stylish specimens making their way to an interior near you. Unlike the fiddle leaf, all of these plants thrive indoors (in fact many of them are low light indoor plants) and actually enjoy being positioned in a moody corner. And we all could do with a little more greenery to brighten our day.
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The rubber plant (Ficus elastica) is a fairly easy evergreen that was a popular indoor plant in the ’70s, and it’s making a big comeback. The stunning burgundy color adds a pretty pop to any room, but it’s the large, leathery, glossy leaves that have people clamoring for this handsome houseplant. The leaves can grow up to eight inches long or more, and the best part is the rubber plant actually likes to be slightly pot-bound. Just set it and forget it.
The bird-of-paradise species (Strelitzia reginae) is commonly mistaken for the banana plant thanks to its large leaves and enormous height. This beauty can grow to more than six feet in height, and its banana-like leaves can reach 28 inches in length. Its oversize evergreen leaves are one of the reasons it has become such a popular houseplant, and they usually unfold one at a time in a crisscross pattern that resembles a fan shape at the crown. Its most magnificent feature, though, is its bird-like flower of orange and blue.
Palm tree–lined streets form the iconic backdrop of our California coast, so it’s no wonder this popular plant is making its way into our homes, too. They are incredibly atmospheric; as soon as they’re in the room, you immediately feel a tropical, luxurious vibe. They work particularly well in larger rooms with tall ceilings but can spruce up a small yet spacious apartment, too. Palms work well indoors because they love shade and are slow growing, so they won’t outgrow their space too quickly.
Also known as "the mother-in-law’s tongue," this low-maintenance sansevieria is another great indoor plant for homeowners lacking a green thumb. If you forget about it, don’t stress; these plants can go for a month without water. Its firm, super-straight leaves come in a variety of colorways and shapes and make for a great, bold look that is complemented with a designer planter.
The love-heart shaped leaves of this stunning Alocasia will make you smile every time you look over at it. It's a medium-light plant so you will want to position it in a bright area of the house with mostly indirect light. It may require a little more care than a snake plant, but it has a lot of love to give.
If you look up “houseplants you can’t kill,” pothos (Epipremnum aureum) will always be there. This leafy vine is one of the easiest plants to grow, and grow it does. The tropical vine’s trail can reach up to 10 feet indoors, even longer in its natural environment. What makes it so simple to grow? Well, it loves low-light conditions and sporadic watering (another drought-friendly variety) and is one of few plants that can actually purify indoor air.
There is so much to love about this glossy green plant. Its striking leaf shape is a beautiful addition to any interior, but the best part about the stylish species is that it actually thrives in low light, making it better suited to an indoor environment. It’s also drought-friendly because it prefers to be on the dry side. A philodendron won’t need to be watered more than once a week. There are literally hundreds of species, but the split-leaf philodendron (Monstera deliciosa) seems to be the most popular thanks to its large-scale leaves.
Perhaps one of the trendiest of today's list is the monstera. It's beautiful split-leaf shape, glossy green color, and ease of care. When young, the Monstera leaf is intact, but these split as it ages and become Swiss Cheese–like, hence it’s the reason for its other common nickname, Swiss Cheese plant.
Just like most of us, the Monstera also needs a lot of space. It likes to be the hero of a room not tucked away in a corner where no one can see, so give her the love she needs. Consider adding a support from the base such as a small trellis or a pole to keep it upright as she grows.
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This post was originally published on July 21, 2015, and has since been updated.