Casual Gardener: Houseplant-tastic

Aloe vera is regarxded as 'the most aesthetically pleasing houseplant' with more than 2.3 billion views on TikTok
Aloe vera is regarxded as 'the most aesthetically pleasing houseplant' with more than 2.3 billion views on TikTok

New research has identified the most eye-catching houseplant...

WE will soon be in the midst of what is unquestionably the worst time of the year for gardeners. December may have some redeeming features but when it comes to satisfying that desire to cultivate and propagate there isn't a great deal going on. Over the coming weeks, this column will likely feature some of the tasks you can undertake in preparation for next year's growing season but for the most part it's best to occupy yourself over the next few dark and damp weeks perusing seed catalogues or sketching plans for that next big landscaping project.

Or perhaps your attention could turn to your indoor plants? Houseplants provide all-year-round interest, and are an especially welcome distraction when conditions outside aren't conducive to exercising those itchy green fingers. But rather than aesthetics, robustness and light requirements, our choice of houseplant is often dictated by what's available at the discount supermarket. Cheap doesn't always mean it's a bad choice but plant selection should be based on something more than solely cost.

Whether the findings of the latest research conducted by self-styled gardening experts provides the correct guidance on choosing the best houseplant for your needs very possibly depends on your age and if you qualify as a 'boomer' or not. The study sought to find which plants are the most aesthetically pleasing not by surveying the Women's Institute or canvassing the opinion of staff at Kew Gardens but by analysing data from TikTok.

If you don't know what TikTok is then it's likely you won't understand the following explanation but here goes nonetheless... TikTok is a short-form video hosting service in which users upload content such as pranks, stunts, tricks, jokes and dances. It also has some more worthwhile applications and is used by many plant enthusiasts to show off their collections.

The team checked which houseplants gained the most views on the platform and ranked them in descending order.

The study found that aloe vera is the most aesthetically pleasing houseplant with more than 2.3 billion views. A succulent, evergreen perennial, that originates from the Arabian peninsula, aloe vera is relatively easy to maintain, thrives in sunlight and prefers warmer temperatures.

Second on the list with some 312.4 million views is the (misnamed) pothos plant, more commonly known as devil’s ivy. Also known as Ceylon creeper, hunter's robe and ivy arum among many other names, Epipremnum aureum is treasured for its leaves, which are heart-shaped, bright green and variegated with white, yellow or light green streaks and blotches. It’s a trailing plant with stems that can grow up to 20 metres long.

In third place, with 242 million views, is Monstera deliciosa, better known as the Swiss cheese plant, due to the 'holes' that develop in its mature leaves. This popular plant is relatively easy to care for and rarely gets any diseases. Originating in the rain forests of Central America, Monstera deliciosa needs plenty of space and ultimately some support indoors, either by way of a moss stick or a frame that it can be tied to.

Other houseplants gaining traction with TiKTok users include the Sansevieria, more commonly known as the snake plant, and the fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata).

A spokesperson from said of the findings: “TikTok is a hugely influential platform for every aspect of day-to-day life, including gardening and houseplants.

"It is fascinating to see which houseplants prove to be more favourable online when it comes to decorating your home with this list being made up of many beginner-friendly houseplants.”