Ideas & Inspiration

Most Popular Houseplants on Pinterest and Instagram

Ficus Lyrata
Fiddle leaf fig in a living room

Ficus lyrata, fiddle leaf fig, has thick, waxy emerald green foliage marked by veins and puckering. The leaves resemble the shape of a fiddle, which gives the plant its common name, and its superlative popularity. At a mature height of 48 inches, fiddle leaf fig has the visual heft to balance out pristine Instagram-worthy white decor.

This plant can live outdoors in tropical zones 9 to 11, but everyone else gets to enjoy it as a houseplant. (Although, it may also enjoy a summer outside.) Fiddle leaf fig has a reputation for finickiness, but once conditions are right, you have a winner. Ficus lyrata thrives in bright light and consistently moist soil.

Pet owners note: Fiddle leaf fig is toxic for cats and dogs. 

Sansevieria in a terra cotta pot

Sansevieria is more commonly known as mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant. Choose sansevieria when you need a low-light, high-style plant. This favorite features rigid sword-shaped leaves up to three feet in height, and colors in varying stripes of green and gray with yellow edges.

Snake plant is one of those houseplants that thrives on neglect: inadequate light, infrequent watering and inconsistent fertilizing are its love language. It’s an ideal first houseplant for new homeowners and apartment dwellers. Learn how to love sansevieria in this guide to snake plant care.

Golden Pothos
Golden pothos in a hanging basket

Golden pothos' popularity stems from its versatility. The vine with variegated, heart-shaped leaves will sit contentedly in a small pot on a desk, asking only for water and good light. Prune back pothos to keep it small, or let it find its bliss as it sends out shoots all across the room.

In summer, give pothos a vacation outside in a hanging basket. Bring it inside when nighttime temperatures dip into the 60s (degrees Fahrenheit). 

Pothos likes moist soil. Here’s how to test for this: with your fingertips. Every few days, touch the soil with your fingertips, pressing down lightly. When the soil feels dry, that’s when you water the plant, letting water pour through the plant and into the saucer. Pour out any water that settles in the saucer.

Pink orchid bloom

Orchids are captivating for many reasons, with rich jewel tones and velvety soft petals. They’re (understandably) addictive, because once you have success with one, you’ll want to try more colors and different varieties.

To get started, follow the advice of the experts at Just Add Ice Orchids and begin with the phalaenopsis orchids online. Place your gorgeous new orchid away from drafts and in bright light. The Just Add Ice watering method is simplicity itself: just place three ice cubes on the top of the potting medium each week.

More about orchids: Orchids bloom in late winter and early spring and the blooms can last up to three months. Learn more about growing orchids.

Peperomia plant in a bright window

Peperomia is a happy little plant, with variegated foliage and an easy-growing reputation. This compact plant lives for small spaces like office cubicles and cozy apartments.

Peperomia likes bright light and only needs water when it dries out. Just use the fingertip test described above to determine when to give peperomia a drink.

Plants like peperomia shouldn’t be alone. Find compatible houseplants that also appreciate bright light and regular watering in our list of small-space houseplants.

Pilea Peperomioides
Pilea peperomioides, the sharing plant, in a pot

Pilea peperomioides, the sharing plant, is Instagram’s houseplant darling. This plant has good looks, with perky green foliage on lanky stems, and good manners to boot. Easy propagation led to the name “the sharing plant.” Pilea grows “babies” that you can dig up and share with friends. Friends plant the babies in pots, place them on window sills and will soon have more plants to share.

Care is easy: Give the sharing plant medium light, but not direct sun, and regular watering.

Hoya in a container in a bright window

Hoya (sometimes called wax plant) has exotic looks and low-maintenance needs. Give this beauty bright light and plenty of water and you’ll be sharing it with the world for many years. Hoya can come in hanging baskets, but it’s equally content in a container on a shelf or table where it can spread out its (slow-growing) vines.

Red Aglaonema and Fittonia
Red aglaonema and fittonia in white pots in a bright window

Red Aglaonema (above, right) a vibrant member of the family known as Chinese evergreen, is colorful, durable and tolerant of humidity changes. Its crisp red borders make it a Valentine’s favorite. Do not overwater and it will reward season after season.

Fittonia, also called nerve plant, (above, left) and aglaonema are fast friends. Fittonia’s graphic foliage plays well next to aglaonema, and they both tolerate some low light, and have similar water needs.

Ficus Elastica, the Rubber Plant
Ficus Elastica, the Rubber Plant, in a container on a table

Ficus elastica, the rubber plant, fits in where fiddle leaf fig just can’t deal. Like its fellow ficus (lyrata, the fiddle leaf fig), it grows several feet high and features bold foliage. You’ll find that the rubber plant is more easygoing than its cousin.

Decor-wise, the rubber plant fills the gap between the pristine white sofa and Scandinavian side table in your next Instagram post. Maintenance-wise, the rubber plant tolerates low light and likes moist soil, and it cooperates if you occasionally miss a watering.

For care and maintenance, most houseplants appreciate a dose of liquid houseplant fertilizer every six months for optimal growth.

Keep in mind that houseplants sometimes share living space with pets. Before bringing a houseplant into your home, check out the ASPCA’s lists of plants that are toxic and non-toxic to pets.

The orchid images are from Green Circle Growers. Houseplant images are from Costa Farms.

Whether you need the right plants, seeds or potting soil, The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them.