When you can’t leave home, bring the outdoors in! Rebecca Bullene, founder of plant-design company Greenery NYC, shows you how to get in on the houseplant craze.
Has your Instagram feed been looking a bit leafy lately? It’s all thanks to the “plantfluencers”—nursery owners, decorators, and “plant stylists” who are turning humble houseplants into social media darlings. And the reason the rest of us are gleefully following, according to Rebecca Bullene, owner of the Brooklyn-based nursery and landscape-design company Greenery Unlimited, is that plants are a balm for modern life. “After spending so much time on our screens and inside, people are craving a connection to the natural world,” she says. So we seek it first on our phones, and then in our local nursery: Houseplant sales have increased 50 percent in the last three years, and there’s no sign of a letup.
Whatever the reason for the trend, we’re here for it: Plants give you something to care for, they look pretty, and they can ease stress. To get in on the horticultural action, follow Bullene’s advice: Choose something that will thrive in your space—whether that’s a sunny windowsill or a low-light corner. Also consider your personality. Do you love the idea of doting on a plant, or do you fall in the did-I-water-this-last-week camp? To help you narrow your search, Bullene chose nine favorites that will satisfy a range of plant parents. See what might be a match before adding to your growing family.
The Cool Kid
The art school–worthy leaves of the African Mask plant add a graphic pop to any space. But beware: It’s toxic for your furry friends.
With its burgundy leaves, the purple oxalis brings moody color to your plant-family palette.
The string of bananas is a triple threat: It looks great, has a supercute name, and thrives easily.
Fido’s Best Friend
The wavy-edged leaves of the bird’s nest fern have a pretty ribbon vibe—and are pet-safe, too.
“After spending so much time on our screens, people are craving a connection to the natural world.”
—Rebecca Bullene, founder of Greenery NYC
Tiny spikes on the prickly pear cactus make it look soft (but it’s not!). Keep it around for the vibrant flowers.
Real-life Leaf Print
This rain forest beauty gets better with age. As the monstera grows, cool notches and holes appear in the leaves.
In the wild, the crafty Ric-Rac cactus hangs from rain forest trees. In your living room, it’s happy in a regular pot or a hanging basket.
Part of the succulent family, snake plants are often called “unkillable,” perfect for black thumbs. Just don’t overwater it!
“You don’t want a plant that takes a good photo and then dies a slow death. You want one that will thrive in your space so you can forge a lifelong connection with it.”—Rebecca Bullene
Big and Beautiful
Have some space to fill? The burgundy-and-green-leafed rubber tree can double in size in about a year.
By Hannah Baker | Photographs by Jeffrey Westbrook | Styling by Megan Hedgpeth | All plants and pots courtesy of Greenery Unlimited