The experts at plants.com have shared with me their thoughts on what indoor plants are enjoying a surge in popularity right now, and those that just might be the next big thing in houseplants.
Popular now are two aroids: anthurium, with its waxy, long-lasting flower-like leaves that inspire the common name flamingo flower; and dieffenbachia, an incredibly easy foliage plant that gets attention with its variegated leaves. If you like variegated pothos but would prefer a plant with a bushy shape (rather than trailing stems), dieffenbachia is a great option.
Among tropical plants, philodendron and monstera have risen to the top of the list. Philodendrons offer options—there's the smaller-leaved, trailing heart-leaf philodendron, like 'Brasil', that suits a windowsill or shelf, but I also love the big, bold statement philos, like split-leaf philodendron, with its jagged edges, and shrubby 'Congo Rojo', which has a red tinge to its sizable leaves. These two choices are best kept as floor plants, as is the Swiss cheese plant (Monstera delociosa), which develops namesake holes in its foliage. Be aware that this is a rain forest plant that wants to climb; copious water and a sturdy support will help it reach full potential—and it requires ample space.
The Plants.com team also sees cacti and other succulents as retaining the popularity they've held for several years now, but one succulent in particular is coming to the forefront: black echeveria, which grows as a tidy rosette and adds visual depth to a windowsill collection with its very dark green leaf tips.
Other up-and-coming plants for 2021 include the lady palm (Rhapis excels), a floor plant with multiple stems topped by fan-like foliage; and the money tree (Pachira aquatica), whose multiple trunks are often braided beneath its topknot of bold foliage.
For more details about these houseplants and many more, check out http://www.plants.com.