London - From the spiky prickly pear cactus to the delicate, tumbling string of hearts, house plants have come a long way since the spider plants you used to propagate at primary school.
Instagram feeds and hipster homes alike are currently subject to a botanical takeover. Those with a penchant for interiors relish filling trendy concrete and macramé planters, plus unusual foliage and shapes, while for the holistic-minded the care, outside-in and air-purifying health benefits are what appeals.
"I think that as most people in cities are living in small apartments or houses without gardens, they are inspired to bring greenery indoors, growing things on their windowsills and buying cacti or succulents to help green up their homes," says Sophie Lee, the founder of trend-leading plant shop Geo-Fleur.
"People are also now interested in propagating their plants and giving their plant babies to friends – especially pilea peperomioides – so it's creating a community of plant lovers."
Key to the trend is that many of the more popular plants are low-maintenance and therefore easily approachable for the less green-fingered. Sophie recommends starting off with a cacti collection: "They like to be kept really dry and misted once every ten days to increase the humidity. Most people over-water their plants by drowning them in water, forgetting for two weeks and then drowning them again. Given bright light and a nice warm room, most house plants will survive."
Or if you want a helping hand with your newfound plant-owning responsibilities, try Sophie's book Living With Plants or Rose Ray and Caro Langton of RoCo's book House of Plants.