For practical purposes, plants could only cohabitate with us comfortably when window sizes increased, and indoor heating systems improved. When that simpatico situation came together roughly a century ago, houseplants moved in for good. Over the decades, indoor plants have filled many niches. Some of the most popular photosynthesizing players remain the same today, but the way we display houseplants has evolved right along with our decor. We hit the BHG archives to spotlight some of the most iconic trends in houseplants over the last one-hundred years.
When home environments became more plant-friendly in the Roaring Twenties, houseplants soon became part of the lives of your average homeowner. Low-light plants such as graceful ferns quickly rose in popularity, often placed upon wrought-iron pedestals. Their tidy green foliage served as the perfect foil for the era's geometric Art Deco-inspired furniture, textiles, and patterns.
The Depression years didn't stop people from refining their indoor gardens. Along with English ivy everywhere, the expanding repertoire of popular houseplants included schismatoglottis (shown above, right), dracaena, screw pine, grape ivy, and fiddle-leaf fig. And while furniture and decor became sparer than in the previous decade, design became a bigger consideration for displaying houseplants. Glazed ornamental pots were newly arriving on the market, and furniture was being forged to hold light-loving houseplants such as cacti where they could bask in the most sunbeams.
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