Houseplants are a quick and easy way to dress your home in autumnal color.
Anthuriums can add hues of pink, red or white. The philodendron's cascading, heart-shaped green leaves bring a touch of the outdoors inside. And of course, the poinsettia's red and green foliage is a popular choice for holiday décor.
It's no secret — houseplants are back in style.
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"They are naturally chaotic and provide great contrast to the structure of a room and its furnishings," says Sarah Cole, a Boston-area interior designer. "They bring life, literally, to a room."
But with so many houseplant varieties, how's a neophyte to choose? If you are new to the crazy, cool world of houseplants, don't fear: Instagram is here to help. On the photo-sharing social media platform, houseplants and their owners have carved a niche under hashtags like #plantsofinstagram and #plantcommunity.
Like their counterparts from the world of pop culture, "plant influencers" garner loyal followings in the hundreds of thousands. Their photos depict beautifully grown, tended and displayed houseplants — on shelves, with cats or filling an entire room. They promise to help you find the most popular, beautiful and in-demand houseplants.
Some plant influencers' suggestions for fall:
Ana Carlson @sillappeal
Followers: About 8,900
The Los Angeles-based owner of Sill Appeal, an online store for plant décor, says houseplants brighten a home in the throes of winter darkness.
"Plants that bloom in the fall are always a good choice for shorter days," Carlson says, mentioning holiday cacti and African violets as good choices.
"These old-fashioned plants are making a comeback," she said. "African violets are beautiful, and they can bloom year-round with proper light and care."
Another popular fall plant, according to Carlson, is the variegated croton.
"The croton's leaves are colorful, but they need a lot of light to keep their vibrant colors and not drop leaves," she said. "Without special care and conditions, it can be hard to keep it healthy in most people's homes."
One easygoing plant that's becoming more popular in the U.S. is the ZZ Raven. Its new growth is green like the regular ZZ variety, also known as Zanzibar gem, but the raven turns black as it matures. "Black plants can be really cool for Halloween," Carlson said.
Eliza Blank @thesill
People pay more attention to their homes as summer turns to fall, says Blank, owner of the New York City-based houseplant boutique The Sill.
"In preparation to hunker down for the winter ahead, people buy more houseplants," she said. "We see deeper color foliage and patterned foliage trending, along with the darker hues of planters."
Her fall picks include: the philodendron, rubber trees and the visually interesting alocasia.
Nick Pileggi @Phillyfoliage
Variegated plant varieties are both interesting to look at and wildly popular, says Pileggi, the curator at Urban Jungle, an eclectic houseplant shop in Philadelphia.
The pink princess philodendron is probably the most coveted plant right now, he says. But the variegated monstera is close behind. One of these plants might cost up to $200. Growers haven't yet cultivated them for the mass market.
"If you say a plant is rare, people will pay anything for it," Pileggi says.
The cissus discolor and a peperomia plant are among his fall picks.
Karin Scholte @botaniquegreen.home
Followers: Around 5,000
This year's fall plant, Scholte says, is the ficus elastica.
"The variegated ones bring light and color in a darker period," she says.
She also recommended plants from the codiaeum family: "Their colors are so bright and are the same as the leaves from the trees outside," she said. "And they give me a warm feeling like a blanket, especially when they're bigger and hanging down from a shelf."
Erin Harding and Morgan Doang @houseplantclub
If you don't have any plants, these plant influencers say fall is the perfect time to add some green to your home. Having a tropical plant inside during the darker days can help lift your spirits.
Harding and Doang think the African violet and begonia varieties will be hot this fall.
"African violets seem to be gaining popularity on Instagram, probably because of the wide variety of foliage and because they flower indoors," Doang said.
As for begonias, Harding says, "there are thousands of species, making it fun to collect them all."