Top indoor plants to look out for in 2021

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This new year, let’s get those green thumbs working by adopting these lovely indoor plants. From the snake plant to the Chinese money plant, here are the top indoor plants of the year!

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© Olga Yastremska | 123rf

After spending almost a whole year at home, we realised that while human companionships are treasured, our indoor plants can bring us just as much joy during the global pandemic. Not only are they pretty to look at and supply an unlimited amount of clean air into the house, they’re also extremely easy to care for. Think of them as the quiet housemate that respects your privacy and won’t blast music while you’re having a Zoom meeting. 

Now that the government has implemented Movement Control Order (MCO) until the 4th of February, it’s time to turn to our quiet housemate for solace, again. For those who are looking to turn their home into a tropical paradise, look no further, we’ve come up with a list of houseplants that will liven up your space in 2021. So drop by your nearest plant nursery and pick one of these babies up or just order them online! 

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1. Snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata)

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© Sittichai Karimpard | 123rf

You’ve probably seen these indoor plants in your relatives’ homes and for good reason because it’s one of the easiest houseplants to care for. The snake plant (you may also call it mother-in-law’s tongue, viper’s bowstring hemp or sansevieria trifasciata) is effective in cleaning indoor air (The NASA Clean Air Study also states that they are effective in getting rid of toxic substances) and can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, even during the night. Snake plants are hardy as well, they can survive in a dry environment. Just don’t overwater it or it’ll die on you. 

2. Ficus altissima

Forget about fiddle leaf fig, its time is over. In 2021, move your attention to this leafy indoor tree that will make a statement in your living room. Consistency is key to caring for this place. You need to water it moderately, make sure its soil is moist (neither dry nor drenched) and place it near a window to get bright indirect light (or filtered light). Don’t forget to mist it regularly as it prefers to live in places with high humidity. 

3. Elephant’s ear (Alocasia polly)

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© Warunporn Thangthongtip | 123rf

If 2019 and 2020 are the years of monstera deliciosa, this year alocasia polly will dethrone it by taking the top spot. Like monstera, its glossy dark green leaves are its main selling point and they can grow in different shapes and colours. The Polly can grow up to 2 feet tall, giving your room a dramatic look. When it comes to taking care of it, make sure to put it somewhere with medium to bright, indirect light, water it weekly, mist it frequently and if the leaves are yellowing, slow down on the watering. The only downside of having this is that the plant is toxic to both humans and animals, so keep them away from children and your pets. 

4. Bunny ear cactus (Opuntia microdasys)

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© Tharakorn Arunothai | 123rf

Here’s another low-maintenance plant for new plant parents. The bunny ear plant (yes, it resembles the ear of a rabbit) is a thornless and flat cactus that can grow up to 3 feet tall. Instead of spines, they grow glochids – that doesn’t mean they don’t prick, you still have to handle them with care. Place the bunny ear plant under the full sun for them to thrive. They don’t like water much, so water only when the soil is dry (and make sure to get a pot with a drainage hole and opt for potting soil that drains quickly). 

Read more: 6 best succulents to grow at home

5. Velvet calathea (Calathea rufibarba)

This houseplant with dark foliage is also set to be one of the most popular plants of the year. Pair it with a nice-looking pot in the living room and it’ll elevate the space instantaneously. Originated from South America, the velvet calathea (or you can also call it furry feather) needs plenty of filtered light to grow. Keep the soil damp (not drenched) at all times and mist it frequently or it’ll wilt. You can keep this plant in the bathroom or kitchen as these areas have a higher humidity level as compared to the rest of the house. 

6. Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides)

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© Lothe Verstraete | 123rf

Want an auspicious plant to bring you good luck this new year? Then you ought to have one of these Chinese money plants (not to be confused with money trees and money plants) at home. Its rounded glossy leaves can brighten up even the dullest corner. Alternatively, you may also place it on your home office desk to help bring positive energy to your home. If you want it to grow, place it under direct light (but not direct sunlight as it will scorch the leaves), pot it in well-draining potting soil with drainage holes, and let the soil dry out between watering.

7. ZZ plant (Zamioculcas)

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© kiwistudio | 123rf

The ZZ plant has been making a lot of headlines in the indoor plant world, mainly because it’s incredibly easy to care for. Like snake plants, the ZZ plant is also an air purifier that can remove toxins in the air like xylene, toluene and benzene. These long leafy greens thrive in low light and humid environments (so you don’t have to worry whether or not it’s getting its daily sun). Water them every two to three weeks to hydrate the plant, make sure the soil is dry before you shower it. 

8. Devil’s ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

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© feelart | 123rf

If you’re new to this plant parenthood thing, then may we suggest you start with a devil’s ivy (or commonly known as golden pothos or pothos)? This lovely indoor plant is undemanding and caring for it is effortless. Unlike most plants, they can survive in a wide range of environments, but they do particularly well in bright indirect light. Another reason why people love having this at home is the fact that they can be grown in water or dry soil. You can propagate a section and keep it in water as a houseplant or place it in a pot. However, as stunning as it is, we’re also sorry to inform you that this is a poisonous plant. They’re not fatal, don’t worry, but you may get irritation and rashes from it. It’s also considered toxic to both cats and dogs so keep them away if you have any at home. 

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