Collecting houseplants is harmlessly addictive, so let’s feed the beast with the plants you need, along with care tips for each.

Grubb Nadler plants
Caitlin Atkinson for Flora Grubb Gardens

Collecting plants has become a national pastime, and there’s certainly an aspect of “more is more.” Flora Grubb, the face of the iconic Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco, which she co-owns with her partner, Saul Nadler, says she’s seen collection fever firsthand.

“I have this joke that’s like ‘Things 19-Year-Olds Say,’” Grubb says. “‘I have 20 plants in my bedroom. I have 30 houseplants in my bedroom…’ Almost every [job] application we get, they want to tell you how many plants they have, which is adorable.”

The trend isn’t limited to the younger set, either. As Sunset’s garden editor, I used to focus almost exclusively on what interesting varieties I could find for my raised garden beds. But in early 2021, I got bitten by the houseplant bug, and since then my indoor collection has grown exponentially.

Case in point: I used to own just a few houseplants—a couple of spider plants and, not surprisingly, a fiddle-leaf fig. But in less than two years I’ve acquired a rattlesnake plant, two peperomia, a tangle of Spanish moss, five air plants, a snake plant, a prayer plant, a rubber tree, and two satin pothos. What was I thinking? All I can say is they certainly augment my home decor.

Grubb says she sees houseplant obsession at her garden center on a regular basis, and she points to Instagram as part of the appeal. “It really seems like the ability to use social media to show the world what you’re doing in your indoor home garden is inspiring to people,” she says. “They can make something that’s for themselves, then they have that opportunity to share it with the whole world. It’s in some ways really inspiring.”

Here are six houseplants that Flora Grubb says you should add to your (burgeoning) collection, along with care tips for each.


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