A few short years ago, filling one’s living room with spider plants and peace lillies would have been seen by interior designers as unforgivably retro.
Now, millennials have brought 1970s houseplants back into fashion as they turn to gardening as a form of achieving ‘wellness’.
As the renting generation often cannot afford gardens, they have turned to easy-to-rear house plants in order to fill their tiny homes with calming green, the Royal Horticultural Society has said.
They have seen huge increases in sales of low maintenance house plants, with cacti sales rising by 34 per cent last year.
Urban dwellers have opted for the peace lily, which is efficient at removing pollutants from the air.
Sales of the Spathiphyllum (peace lily) have increased by 23 per cent in the past year.
House plants are a firm Instagram trend, with green-fingered youths contributing over 2.2 million posts of trailing greenery to the hashtag #plantsofinstagram.
Matthew Pottage, Curator, RHS Garden Wisley, explained: ‘Social media shows that this is a huge and growing trend – hashtags such as #plantsofinstagram and #houseplants are used in their millions and tweets on houseplants often receive thousands of retweets. In daily life I see fiddle leaf figs and Swiss cheese plants everywhere, especially amongst the younger generation who don’t remember the 1970’s houseplant trend.”
Also coming back into fashion are ferns, which are credited with having soothing properties.
Guy Barter, Chief Horticultural Advisor, told The Telegraph: “Ferns are often found in relaxing places where we can reconnect with nature and concentrate on being in the moment, places such as streamsides, woodlands and grottos.
“A number of the gardens at RHS Chelsea this year have opted for natural planting palettes to encourage us all to reconnect with nature – green is known for its soothing properties and ferns are incredibly hardy all year round and come in a variety of textures and forms.
“Ferns are perfect plants for urban gardens as they can grow happily in shaded areas – as the importance of green spaces in our cities for our mental health and wellbeing continues to grow then we are likely to see an increase in the use of ferns both inside and outside the house as a result.”
This year the RHS announced a three-year partnership with the NHS to highlight the benefits of gardens, gardening and green spaces on the public’s mental health and wellbeing.
Work will start on a Wellbeing Garden at RHS Garden Bridgewater next year, designed by Ben Brace, Horticultural Projects Manager at the RHS. A second, designed by Matt Keightley, will open at RHS Garden Wisley in 2021.