A guide to aesthetic plants: the most stylish houseplants of 2020

Becoming a plant parent? These are the most-liked aesthetic plants on Instagram.

aesthetic plants
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Younger generations may be taking their time becoming parents, but they are practicing their skills nurturing babies of a greener variety. Enter aesthetic plants. 

These on-trend, stylish houseplants have it all: They serve as decor while also boasting all of the mood-boosting, clean-air benefits that come with surrounding yourself with greenery. 

Want to get in on all the leafy goodness? We've rounded up the most stylish houseplants on the web, where you can find them, and how to help them thrive. 

Check out our list of the best indoor plants for more houseplant ideas.

Ficus Benghalensis

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Where else to begin but with the Plant Kween herself? Christopher Griffin shares an old favorite, the Ficus Benghalensis (also known as Ficus Audrey for those of us with trouble spelling). This leafy beauty, often spotted in clothing stores for its minimal/contemporary look, is native to India where it is the national plant. 

Griffin cautions that this ficus isn't the easiest to maintain, with its specific needs for watering and sunlight. Bright, indirect light is best, and the soil should be consistently moist with short droughts between watering. It is sensitive to too much light or overwatering. She may not be easy, but she's worth it. 

Or, if you want to achieve the look without the work, you can always go for a faux Audrey Ficus instead. 


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Succulents might just be the plant of 2020. And for good reason. They're incredibly simple to maintain and tough to kill, easy to find, and they come in a ton of different varieties. (Check out the flowers on this South African Cotyledon Pendens!)

Most of all, succulents love lots of light. Rotate them frequently so that all sides of the plant can soak up the vitamin D. When it comes to watering, succulents are used to a desert climate. Give them a good soak — watering the soil directly — every so often, but let the soil dry between waterings. 

It's important the roots don't get too wet, so you'll want to choose a container with good drainage, especially as a beginner. Terra cotta pots are a safe choice. 

Philodendron Selloum

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Philodendrons have a big impact without a ton of work. The Selloum variety grows well in bright but indirect sunlight, and they like moist but not soggy soil. In the winter, water less for barely moist soil. 

With the right conditions, this plant will grow like wild, and you'll have a tree-like display in no time. They do enjoy warmer temperatures, so avoid drafty locations in the winter and keep temperatures above 55 degrees F. 

Olive Tree

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Desktop plants are great, but how about incorporating an actual tree into your decor? Olive trees are beloved on Instagram for both their attractive aesthetic, large impact, and easy maintenance. 

Since these beauties can grow quite large, you'll want to start with a roomy pot with ample drainage holes. Fill the bottom with a layer of gravel, stones, or crushed cans — anything loose. Allow soil to mostly dry between watering and then water until soaked. Add fertilizer twice a year for steady growth and get ready to feel as if you are lounging on the coast of Italy!

Hanging Ferns

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For a jungle-like atmosphere, nothing creates a beautiful canopy like drippy, hanging ferns. They're also great for virtually any room since they don't require a lot of sun. Instead, these hanging ferns prefer indirect sunlight and can be damaged by harsh, direct rays. 

They like a moist environment and require regular irrigation but not too much water. Running a humidifier is a great idea, and you'll want to keep your space between 60 and 70 degrees. Bathrooms are also great locations for these plants due to their damp qualities. When it comes to watering, add just enough water to keep the gravel moist, and you can also spray the leaves weekly with water. Once a month, add liquid houseplant fertilizer to keep them lush. 

Fiddle Leaf Fig

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An Instagram plant roundup simply could not exist without the queen of the influencers: the fiddle leaf fig. This trendy plant is beloved for its tall heights and large, shiny leaves. But before you grab this viral beauty, know that she is notoriously tough to maintain. 

Also called the ficus lyrata, the fiddle leaf fig requires ample sunlight to feed the large leaves. Indoors, you'll want it right next to a window or under a special grow lightbulb

Depending on the temperature of your home, plan on watering with about a quarter of the pot's volume every five to 10 days. Fully soak your plant and then let the soil dry, like weekly rainstorms. Additionally, be sure to replant your tree in a larger pot as it grows or it will perish. Sound like too much work? Opt for faux

Read more:

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Ann Loynd Burton

After serving as an editor for luxury publications for nearly a decade, Ann Loynd Burton struck out on her own as a freelance writer covering design and lifestyle. Along with her work highlighting decor trends for Real Homes, Loynd Burton has covered interiors for such publications as Apartment TherapyAspireCottages & Gardens, and Galerie