The ultimate guide to the world’s most popular houseplants, trending houseplants of 2022 and how to care for your indoor plants
The world’s love for houseplants has surged this past year, with millions searching for a way to bring the leafy, green outdoors into their homes. Although the best indoor plants and flowers might look delicate, many can withstand infrequent watering and low light; while some are so low-maintenance that they thrive on neglect.
Whether you were a pro at keeping houseplants before lockdown, or you just started your collection last year, adding plants to your home has undeniable benefits. Research has shown that using a touch of the outdoors in your home decor can improve productivity, relieve stress and purify the air. So it’s no wonder that plants make the perfect addition to any home office space or bedroom.
We see no sign of the world’s enthusiasm for plants slowing down, so we’re sharing the most popular houseplants, the most trending plants on Instagram and TikTok and the best low-maintenance plants for beginner plant parents. We’ll also share some plants to stay away from if you have a pet.
New trends in 2022 see the rise in popularity of hard to kill plants, including cacti and succulents. Lockdowns around the world in 2020 caused a surge in Google searches for houseplants, with over 100 million more searches for the houseplants on our list than in the previous twelve months.
The most popular houseplants on TikTok
TikTok has become the primary social media platform for sharing houseplant collections, tips and care advice. There are over 719.4 million views under #houseplants alone! These are the most popular indoor plants according to TikTok.
- Cactus | 1.7BN Views
Known for being one of the world’s most low-maintenance plants, the cactus is the most viewed houseplant on TikTok. Notoriously hard to kill, cacti and succulents have taken social media by storm in recent years and are now some of the most commonly owned houseplants that exist.
Despite their history as desert plants that thrive in tropical conditions, many cacti make for perfect houseplants if placed in a sunny spot and watered sparingly.
There are over 1,000 species of cacti found all over the world, and they vary drastically in appearance. Some including the claret cup cactus produce stunning, vibrant flowers in summer, while others like the starfish flower cacti produce a distinctive scent.
- Aloe Vera | 1.4BN Views
Nature’s healer for cuts and burns, aloe vera, is one of the most popular houseplants viewed on TikTok. The succulent has a long medicinal history and it is now more common than ever to grow your own aloe at home.
Filled with vitamins and minerals, aloe vera gel can be used as an acne treatment, blended into juices or eaten in salads. After removing the thin yellow layer of latex, which can be dangerous to consume, simply slice the gel into cubes, rinse and use.
- Venus Flytrap | 477.1M Views
Venus flytraps are the most recognised carnivorous plant and are a popular potted houseplant in many countries. Although there are other carnivorous houseplants, the Venus flytrap stands out from the rest since it is the only one that moves to trap its prey.
Venus flytraps have sweet-smelling nectar within their leaves to attract flies, which provide better nutrients for the plant than some composts. Short trigger hairs line their leaves and detect touch which stimulates the leaves to snap shut.
Best kept as a houseplant so its carnivorous habits can be observed up close, the Venus flytrap thrives in sunny, dry conditions. Keep this plant away from pests like fungus gnats which can be difficult to get rid of.
The most popular houseplants on Instagram
Sharing pictures of your indoor plant collection has been popular on Instagram for years, and in 2022 it shows no sign of slowing down. The following plants are the world’s most Instagrammable houseplants.
- Cactus | 18.8M Posts
Years ago, cacti were seen as invasive pests of the desert, yet over the last 30 years, their popularity has skyrocketed. Now one of the most commonly owned plants, cacti are Instagram’s most popular houseplant.
There are over 1,000 different species of cacti growing all over the world, and they vary in shape and size, with some growing flowers. The cactus’ social media fame is undeniable, with 18.8 million tagged posts on Instagram for #cactus.
- Tulips | 7.4M Posts
Flowers are the classic plant to give as a gift, and tulips are known for their ability to thrive as potted plants. Tulips can be grown indoors in well-draining soil or in water. Their wide variety of colours and shapes makes them perfect for suiting any taste.
Tulips are the most popular flowering houseplant on Instagram. There are 7.4 million posts with the tag #tulips.
- Aloe Vera | 4.6M Posts
A known natural remedy for skin concerns from sunburn to dry skin, aloe vera is one of the most popular houseplants on Instagram. Aloe Vera plants are a type of succulent, so thrive best in sunny conditions with little water. This makes them the perfect houseplant for anyone with a sunny, south-facing window.
The houseplants rising in popularity
We looked at the total number of worldwide Google searches for over 200 popular houseplants, between December 2017 and November 2021. These plants had the biggest increase in searches over the four years.
- Cactus | 6,987,000 more searches over the last four years
Cactus, in the Cactaceae plant family, is the top plant rising in popularity according to Google searches from around the world. From December 2017 - November 2018, there were 8,103,000 total Google searches for ‘cactus’. In comparison, over the last 12 months, there were 15,090,000 searches for ‘cactus’.
- Hibiscus | 6,671,000 more searches over the last four years
Growing hibiscus as a houseplant is becoming more common, with one of the biggest increases in worldwide Google searches over the last four years out of all indoor plants. Tropical hibiscus is traditionally grown indoors, and despite its reputation for being tricky to grow, its popularity is rising.
- Snake Plant | 5,918,500 more searches over the last four years
Also known as ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’, the snake plant is known for being one of the best low-maintenance indoor plants. Perfect for beginner plant owners, snake plants are resilient and can handle neglect. Over the last four years, snake plants have surged in popularity, and are now one of the most commonly owned indoor plants.
The most timeless houseplants
These houseplants have consistently ranked in the top-10 most popular houseplants each year over the past 4 years.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has been the most popular houseplant for the last 4 years, according to global Google searches. For each year since December 2017, aloe vera is the most-googled indoor plant. There were 17 million total searches for aloe vera over the last 12 months - more than any other year since 2017.
Cactus plants have been popular online for years, and thanks to their resistance to neglect they have remained one of the world’s favourite houseplants. Over the last 4 years, cactus plants have been the second most-popular indoor plants according to Google searches.
Hibiscus has remained in third place over the last four years, as one of the world’s most loved houseplants. Tropical hibiscus is native to Asia and traditionally grown indoors, producing flowers from summer to autumn.
Potted hydrangeas are a popular choice of gift, and mophead hydrangeas are best suited for growing indoors. Hydrangeas have been among the most searched indoor plants of the last 4 years worldwide.
Begonia are some of the most popular flowering plants, and while there are over 2,000 types of begonia, all are native to tropical regions including Asia and Central America. Commonly kept as houseplants, begonia thrive in bright, sunny conditions. Begonia are one of the top most searched indoor plants of the last 4 years, consistently ranking among the most Google searched houseplants.
These five low-maintenance plants are the easiest to care for
Plants make any room look nicer, but keeping them alive can be trickier than it seems. Luckily, whether you have a natural green thumb or not, these plants are some of the hardest houseplants to kill. Just give them a little light and the occasional watering, and watch them thrive.
- Snake Plant
There’s a reason why the snake plant is one of the most popular houseplants of 2022 - their ability to thrive in low light conditions means they’re the ideal plant to add colour to a dark room. They only need watering around every fortnight, so they’re the perfect plant for forgetful plant parents.
- Spider Plant
The spider plant gets its name from the spider-like spiderettes which hang from the mother plant. Spider plants have been known to grow even in windowless rooms, however, we recommend giving yours bright, indirect sunlight. Easy to propagate, cuttings of the spiderettes can be rooted in soil and make a great gift.
One of the easiest plants to grow for beginners, Pothos is a great plant for bathrooms and dark bedrooms, thanks to its ability to tolerate low light conditions. It grows around 12-18 inches in length each month and can be trained to grow around objects and shelves. Try training the vines with removable wall hooks for a touch of nature in your interior design.
- ZZ Plant
One of the trendiest houseplants, the ZZ plant is practically neglect-proof. The zamioculcas zamiifolia has become a social media sensation since it can tolerate a range of conditions. It grows distinctive lime green leaves that turn dark emerald when matured. Water only when the compost feels dry, or every 2-3 weeks, and keep in bright to low indirect sunlight for the best growth.
- Air Plants
The popularity of air plants is on the rise, and since they require no soil to grow, they are some of the most versatile houseplants you can add to your space. Although you can place them almost anywhere, their climate determines the level of care they require. In drier conditions, soak your air plants in water around once a week. In wetter climates, you might find they only require a weekly mist.
These five houseplants are toxic to pets
Many common indoor plants can be harmful to pets, and while most won’t cause more than a stomach upset, some can be lethal. These are some houseplants to steer clear of if you own a pet.
Tulips are one of the most popular flowering houseplants and can be found growing in many people’s gardens. All flowers from the lily family contain glycosides, which can be toxic to dogs and cats. The most toxic part of the plant is the bulb, and once eaten it can cause symptoms like vomiting and hypersalivation.
- Peace Lily
Another plant from the lily family, the peace lily is a popular common houseplant that can be toxic to cats and dogs. Its toxicity is considered mild to moderate, and if ingested it can cause symptoms including irritation of the mouth.
- Aloe Vera
One of the most popular indoor plants, aloe vera can be harmful to cats and dogs. Its toxicity is considered mild to moderate, and it can cause tremors and vomiting if eaten.
- Jade Plant
The jade plant is a succulent that has risen in popularity as a houseplant for its ability to be easily propagated and maintained. The jade plant is in the rubber tree family and can be toxic to cats and dogs.
- ZZ Plant
One of the most forgiving houseplants to grow for beginner plant enthusiasts, the ZZ plant is mild to moderately toxic if ingested by pets. The toxins in the plant can cause symptoms including stomach aches and vomiting.
The most popular houseplants of 2022
Below is a full list of the most popular houseplants of 2022 based on worldwide Google searches from the last 12 months - did your favourites make the list?
Flowercard wanted to discover the most popular houseplants of 2022 and the most trending houseplants on Instagram and TikTok. Using a list of 242 houseplants from Guide to Houseplants, and Instagram, the number of posts tagged with ‘#[plant name]’ was recorded on 17/12/21. The common names for all houseplants were used.