Houseplants are a ubiquitous part of home décor. Not only are they an essential element in interior design, but they also improve air quality, productivity and aesthetics. In fact, they are the very definition of green design. Although popular worldwide, different regions of the world feature a highly-trending species. Sometimes, that’s because it’s a type well-suited to the environment. Other times, it’s a matter of preference and perhaps Insta-worthy appeal.
One thing is for sure though. If you’re looking for something different than what your local friends and neighbors have, you’ll want to check out these data results of the most popular houseplants in 147 countries around the world.
Home-focused HouseFresh is behind the study. In explaining the methodology for the research, they said it started with a seed list of 230 most-Instagrammed plants across the globe. They combined that information with Google search results in each country.
Then, the HouseFresh designers put together infographics in the form of maps that highlight the information. Specifically, they developed a world map that shows the most popular houseplant in the primary countries. They also constructed continent maps for a closer view of each of the six regions (Antarctica is not included). There’s even a searchable database in HTML format to hold and sort all the information.
Perhaps the most notable information is that there was more overlap than you might think between one country and another. In fact, there were even “most popular” plants that share interior landscapes in multiple continents.
Taking the top position is Monstera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant) as the number one plant in Europe, Asia and Oceania and a joint favorite in North America. In Europe, 10 countries searched for information on it more than any other species. It took the top spot in countries like Costa Rica, Canada and the U.S.
On a different note, did you know the fruit of the Monstera deliciosa is edible? It’s like garden food and a houseplant in one. Well, maybe not, but its giant leaves that look like they were developed in a Swiss cheese factory are certainly popular. The theory for this unique leaf characteristic is that the holes allow for light to filter through the top layers to equally grace the leaves below.
There’s a second plant that is equally popular in North America. Mimosa pudica is a shy plant, meaning the leaves curl away when touched. But this perennial demands attention from Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago and Belize where it is also the most popular houseplant.
Blue passionflower takes the top spot in South America, being chosen as the favorite plant in Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay and Venezuela. It’s actually a vine that can be planted inside or outside. It’s got impressive leaves, colorful blooms and an edible flower. What’s not to like?
Ironically, the blue passionflower is the national flower in Paraguay, but it doesn’t rank as the favorite based on this study. Kalanchoe daigremontiana earned that title in both Paraguay and Puerto Rico.
Next to the already-mentioned Swiss cheese plant, Europe’s second favorite houseplant is the Hedera helix, at least in Bosnia, Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova and Montenegro. If you’re not familiar with the plant, you might recognize it by it’s more common name: English Ivy. We can only hope it’s not as invasive indoors as it is on a hillside or around trees.
Oleander, or Nerium oleander, is the most popular choice in many Middle Eastern and Asian countries including Jordan, Kuwait and Oman. It’s actually an easy-care shrub. The caveat is that it’s also extremely poisonous, so it’s not recommended for houses with little humans or animal mouths.
For the rest of Asia and the Oceania region, we go back to Monstera deliciosa for the most popular houseplant, where it’s highly researched in households across 11 countries. Japan stands out from the rest of the region with a succulent that originates in Madagascar but is happy indoors.
The research reports: “Japan is the only country in the world to favor the Kalanchoe tomentosa. It’s a cute one. The perennial succulent’s furry green leaves have dabs of brown on the end, earning it the name panda plant or chocolate soldier. The chocolate soldier (yes, we’re going with that one) originates from Madagascar, and in cooler climates, it actually needs you to have it indoors with you to keep it warm.”
Twelve African countries unofficially nominated the Lantana camara as the most-searched plant. That’s where it’s a clear winner, even though it’s classified as a weed in some other areas. Besides, weeds are easy to grow, right? So enjoy, Africa, enjoy.
The pandemic has strongly enhanced the passion for houseplants, gardens and other elements of nature both within and outside the home. Thanks to HouseFresh, now you know what to plant. Just be sure to skip plastic planters whenever possible, use compost you’ve made yourself and water as necessary to keep your new plant happy.
Images via HouseFresh and Unsplash