January 5,2021

The 5 ‘It’ Plants of 2021, According to the Pros

AglaonemasmonsterasphilodendronspothosZZ plants, and other aroids topped the houseplant popularity lists in 2020 due to their exciting foliage colors, shapes, and ease of care.

As we go into 2021, the houseplant trend doesn’t seem to be slowing.

What plants should you be adding to your indoor garden? “The hot plant picks for 2021 will include big leafy plants like Philodendrons and Alocasias,” says Sean Dollinger, Founder of PlantX. “We’re also expecting hanging plants like Linear Hoya and Hanging Hearts to make a comeback.”

If you already have those species in your plant collection, no worries—there are several other trending plants to add to your collection. Check out these five houseplants professionals are predicting will be the next it plants of 2021.

Calathea Rattlesnake ( Calathea lancifolia)

The ZEN Succulent

“Calathea Rattlesnake is going to have its moment in 2021,” says Creative Director and Chief Maker Megan George of The Zen Succulent. “Its patterned foliage with deep purple underleaf beautifully stands out in even the simplest pots.”

How to Grow and Care for Rattlesnake Plants

The Calathea Rattlesnake features strappy, spotted leaves with deep purple undersides. The leaf pattern resembles rattlesnake tails, for which it’s named. George says Calathea Rattlesnake is an excellent plant for beginners. “This plant tells you what it needs,” she continues, “When its leaves droop, give it filtered water, and watch its leaves soak it all in.” George says using filtered water for this plant is a must. Calathea Rattlesnake is sensitive to heavily chlorinated water, which will cause the leaves to brown on the edges.

 

Pro Tip

Fill a water pitcher with regular tap water and let it sit out overnight. This step allows the chlorine to evaporate, making it safe for Calathea Rattlesnake

Lady Palm (Rhapis Palm)

The Spruce / Kara Riley

James McCann, the brand leader at Plants.com, says that Lady Palm is definitely on his list of “it” plants for 2021. The palm instantly became a top seller for the online plant retailer when they introduced it in the fall of 2020. “People love large floor plants,” says McCann. Large floor plants help create visual interest in a room and make a lovely focal point. The Lady Palm fits that description. “They make a splash in small and large spaces, are Insta-ready,” says McCann, “and are great for Zoom backgrounds.”

The Lady Palm is a fan-style palm native to China. The plant is relatively easy to grow indoors as long as you provide it with bright, indirect sunlight. Like many palms, it prefers humidity and moisture and will get brown tips with irregular watering and dry air.

Polka Dot Plant (Begonia Maculata)

Begonia macaluta Taylor Fuller

“In 2021, we see fancy foliage taking center stage,” says Jim Wood, Manager at Bonide Products. Jim says Begonias in particular, such as Rex begonia (Begonia rex-cultorum) and Begonia Maculata (Polka Dot Plant), will fly this year.

Although Rex Begonias are relatively easy to find in big box garden centers, Begonia Maculta is a prized find for house plant lovers. The Polka Dot plant features unique silver spotted leaves and red undersides, making it undoubtedly a strikingly indoor plant. Begonias, in general, are easy to maintain. They like bright indirect light, well-aerated soil that dries a bit between waterings, and moderate temperatures

 

 

Elephant Ear (Alocasia’ Regal Shield’)

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

“Elephant Ear  (Alocasia’ Regal Shield) is going to replace the Fiddle Leaf Fig as the “it” large houseplant,” says Katrina Froelich, marketing and public relations specialist from Lively Root.

Elephant Ears are popular landscape plants due to their large leaves and height. The African native plant is also easy to grow indoors as long as you provide it with bright, indirect light. The plant features light green veins on the upper surface and purple-yellow-green veins on the lower surface, which will add an unusual color distinction to any room.

The plant grows up to 9′ tall and 4′ wide, making it an instant focal point in any room. “Just like the Fiddle Leaf Fig, this plant needs a little extra TLC,” says Froelich. “But it’s such a unique and Instagrammable plant—the extra time you take to take care of it will be well worth it.”

Sterling Silver Scindapsus (Scindapsus Terubii ‘Moonlight’)

The plant that’s currently causing a stir among houseplant owners is the Sterling Silver Scindapsus. Justin Hancock, horticulturist at Costa Farms says, “Sterling Silver is relatively uncommon in the trade, having only been readily available to plant collectors.” Costa Farms released the plant in 2020 as part of their Trending Tropicals® collection.

Sterling Silver Scindapsus is a close relative of pothos, philodendron, and monstera. It’s a slow-growing, vining plant that features dark green foliage with an elegant silvery sheen on top. It’s a glow growing houseplant, which makes it adaptable in various light conditions. Jim says the Sterling Silver Scindapsus will get greater distribution in 2021.