Ten of our most popular houseplants - Sprouts of Bristol

Ten of our most popular houseplants

07 de June, 2024Jessy Edgar

With nearly four years of business under our belt, and many more years of looking after plants, we decided to pull up the stats and find out what our bestselling plants of all time are. You might have heard people refer to these as ‘standard’ or ‘boring’- but these plants are classics for a reason, and are well loved by many types of plant parent. Most of the plants on this list are quite easy to look after, too! They just need the right position in your home to make them happy, and we have some tips below for you to do just that!

  1. Nerve Plant - Fittonia
    We sell a range of different Fittonia at Sprouts, and it's easy to see why! They come in a range of colours, some with smaller leaves and some with much larger ones. We recommend Fittonia for terrariums too, as they prefer evenly moist soil and can be divas with infrequent watering!

    If you have owned a Fittonia before but not had much success, we have some helpful tips for you: they like bright indirect light; when you are watering, you want to keep the soil evenly moist at all times, but not soggy and never standing in water; and finally, they like a warm room and higher humidity - so they could be well suited to a warm (not draughty) bathroom that is used for daily showering.

    Just recently, we have had Fittonia in a range of hues, including: almost-white pale lilac, zesty lime green, bright ruby red and even one that was deep grey - so we're sure there's a Fittonia out there for you, even if you haven't found it yet.

    Inch Plant - Tradescantia albiflora 'Nanouk' - Sprouts of Bristol
  2. Inch Plant - Tradescantia blossfeldiana ‘Nanouk'
    We do love Tradescantia at Sprouts and we have sold over 45+ varieties to date. The Tradescantia ‘Nanouk' originally comes from Central America, however this particular variety was bred in Holland, like many plants destined for the houseplant industry. This type features bubblegum pink, lilac and green-striped leaves on upright stems which can grow upwards relatively quickly. We have even had them flowering in the shop, and they have the sweetest little flowers!

    We would suggest putting Tradescantia in bright light, set back from a south facing window or they can take a few hours of morning sun if it's East-facing. We have found they thrive on an East-facing windowsill, just be careful they don't get too dehydrated in summer and check for watering every week or two. Water from the bottom once the soil has nearly dried out all the way.

    Lemon Lime Prayer Plant - Maranta leuconeura var. erythroneura 'Lemon Lime' - Sprouts of Bristol
  3. Prayer Plant - Maranta leuconeura var. erythroneura 'Lemon Lime'
    With their strikingly striped leaves, it's no wonder these prayer plants are so popular! Back when we started Sprouts, we could only really get the pink-striped variety of Prayer Plant, Maranta leuconeura ‘Fascinator Tricolor', but as the years have gone on, the wholesale prices for others have fallen (can you believe we used to sell Lemon Lime Prayer Plants for over £50 each!). Loads more Maranta varieties have made their way into our homes, and into Sprouts; a particular favourite of ours and our customers is the Lemon Lime Prayer Plant. It could be described as the perfect ‘green’ plant- the stripes on its leaves are still a striking high contrast, whilst all being lovely shades of vibrant green.

    Now, I bet you are wondering if it's hard to look after? We'd actually say not so much! Maranta like bright indirect light, and we would recommend keeping them away from windowsills and keeping the soil lightly moist. They appreciate high humidity so a bathroom used for daily showers would be a good option. If you would like them in another room, they can thrive in a self-watering pot too, which opens up more possibilities for their placement.

    Pink Quill Plant - Tillandsia cyanea - Sprouts of Bristol
  4. Pink Quill - Tillandsia cyanea
    "Look at that vibrant pink bract!" We say.

    "What's a bract?!" We hear you cry!

    Well, it's the name for the unusual-looking, bright-pink bloom in the middle of the plant. It's not really a flower but is a modified leaf, and the actual flower is contained inside the bract. In most Bromeliads the flower is generally classed as insignificant, but I think that's a bit mean- I'll just say they are small and sometimes hard to notice. Thankfully, that isn't the case here. While the flowers of the Pink Quill only last a few days, they are a vibrant bright purple, popping out between the grooves at the edge of the bract. This creates an amazing contrast between the glossy bright pink bract and the velvety electric violet petals.

    In terms of looking after these plants, in their natural environment, they would live in the dappled light beneath trees in clearings in the rainforest, so bright, indirect light would be best suited for these plants. This plant would like to stay slightly moist so don't let it dry out too much, checking it weekly should be fine depending on how warm it is.

    Parlour Palm - Chamaedorea elegans - Sprouts of Bristol
  5. Parlour Palm - Chamaedorea elegans
    This plant has been popular for years. Way back in the 19th century, no Victorian parlour would be complete without an array of houseplants, including Parlour Palms, hence the nickname. We usually have a range of sizes of parlour palms in, from tiny, barely-10cm-tall babies to 6-foot giants (at least, compared to 5’2” me!) so you can choose to grow your own from one of the tiny babies, knowing that it will take many years as they are slow-growing… or opt for a mature specimen to add that instant impact that Victorian ladies would have been swooning over.

    In terms of care, Parlour Palms prefer bright, indirect light however they will cope in a slightly shadier spot. We would recommend keeping the soil lightly moist; a self watering pot would be perfect for this plant. As Parlour Palms like high humidity, keep it away from radiators as this will dry the plant out and cause its leaves to get brown tips.

    String of Hearts - Ceropegia woodii - Sprouts of Bristol
  6. String of Hearts - Ceropegia woodii
    Cute little heart shaped leaves with pink undersides, dangling down from their pot, what's not to love! If you are after a pretty, pet-safe and easygoing plant for a sunny spot, this is the one for you. When String of Hearts are happy they even have cute little purple flowers, which have traditionally been known as a botanical emblem of love and devotion.

    String of Hearts have tubers under the soil where they store water; they are from Southern Africa they have evolved these tubers to be able to cope with harsh sun and droughts. However, too much sun can burn the leaves, and cause them to dry up. That doesn’t matter so much in the wild but we don’t want it to happen in our homes! So we would recommend a few hours of morning sun or a spot with indirect bright light from a south facing window. In terms of watering, let the plant dry out completely before you drench it again- and if the leaves are starting to wrinkle, that means it's time to water!

    Peace Lily - Spathiphyllum 'Chopin' - Sprouts of Bristol
  7. Peace Lily - Spathiphyllum
    We have had a huge range of Spathiphyllum, A.K.A. Peace Lilies, in the shop over the years, from miniature varieties with the cutest flowers to giant ones with leaves as big as my head! We have even had the ever-popular variegated ‘Diamond’ variety which sometimes gets wonderful green variegated flowers.

    Many customers repot and are then unable to get their Peace Lily to flower again; usually, this is down to too regular repotting and not enough feeding. Peace Lilies like to be snug in their pot, and this will encourage them to focus on foliage and flower growth rather than roots; a high-potassium feed will also help with flowers. When caring for a Peace Lily, we would recommend any level of indirect light; even a shadier spot will do! When watering, keep the soil lightly moist at all times but not soggy. Potting into a self-watering pot, which can manage the moisture levels of the soil for you, also works well for a Peace Lily.

    Boston Fern - Nephrolepis exaltata 'Green Moment' - Sprouts of Bristol
  8. Boston Fern - Nephrolepis
    We love ferns at Sprouts and Boston Ferns are no exception. You might think all ferns look the same, but we have had more than ten different varieties of Boston Ferns in before - and yes, we can tell them apart. Some of them, like the Lemon Button fern, have almost circular blades on the frond, whereas ‘Cotton Candy' has tiny little blades on the frond which almost look fluffy, I suppose like cotton candy (or, in the UK, candyfloss). Some of them have really big fronds reaching over 1m long, whilst some miniature varieties have fronds only a few centimetres long.

    Caring for ferns is easy if you get the position correct. We would say bright, indirect light, but they can cope with a shadier spot as long as they aren’t kept too soggy. Water the plant only when the very top layer of soil has dried out - let's say the top 10%, or in a larger pot, about an inch. And ferns like high humidity, so we would recommend keeping them in a humid room like a bathroom.

    Begonia 'Fireworks' - Welsh Grown - Sprouts of Bristol
  9. Begonia - all varieties
    There are so many varieties of Begonia. I believe we have had over 100 different varieties in the shop over the years. This makes it hard to pick just one - so I'm going to choose all of them! There are stunningly colourful types like Begonia Rex, which almost look painted and shine in the sun, or the lofty Cane Begonias, like the ever-popular Polka-Dot Begonia, which can reach 10ft tall!

    When caring for Begonias, there are differences between the different species, but generally, we would suggest keeping them in bright, indirect light, or under a grow light. Begonias with red and/or black foliage need more light than those with greener foliage. When watering Begonias, we recommend keeping the soil lightly moist and not allowing the plant to sit in water at all. Also, it's very important to avoid getting water on the leaves - so no misting as this can cause powdery mildew.

    Swiss Cheese Plant - Monstera deliciosa - Sprouts of Bristol
  10. Swiss Cheese Plant - Monstera deliciosa
    Last, but very much not least: I couldn't do a list like this without including the humble, wonderful and oh-so-lush Monstera deliciosa, otherwise known as the Swiss Cheese Plant. This plant has been creating gorgeous tropical paradises in our homes since the 70’s, and it's easy to see why it's so enduringly popular.

    Monstera are easy to look after. We would recommend quite bright, but indirect light, (especially with south-facing light), and allowing its soil to dry out almost completely before watering. Feed regularly with a house plant food when the plant is producing new leaves. And - this might surprise you - we wouldn’t recommend repotting that regularly… otherwise you’ll end up with a plant in a 50cm pot in just a few years. We’ve actually found we get more growth and bigger leaves without repotting as often. We believe this is because when you repot a Monstera, the plant focuses on root growth to fill out the pot and provide stability for the plant when it begins to grow upwards again. However, in the wild, these plants grow up trees- so they are used to not having all their roots in soil, and will be happy creeping or climbing!

So, if you have been eyeing up one or two (or even ten!) of the above but weren't sure about them, this is your sign to try these plants out in your home. Far from being 'basic', a houseplant being popular probably means it's a good bet for keeping alive in your home! To help you with this, we have detailed care instructions on each plant page so you can be sure to give the plant just what it needs and make your own home oasis in no time.

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