Garden Escape Predicts: Trends According to the 2024 Chelsea Houseplant Studio Designers

Earlier this year, we shared our Garden Escape predicts 5 Top Trends for 2024.

We caught up with this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show Houseplant Studio Designers to get the scoop on the top trends to look out for at this year’s show.

Maximalist Small Spaces and Container Gardening

Make your limited outdoor space small, but mighty with maximalist design for small spaces and container gardening.

Holly from In the Garden said:

““It’s all about colour and fascinating foliage in mixed container gardens.

“This year we are noticing a pull towards our indoor planted arrangements with colour and flower. This may be a dainty succulent flower of a Kalanchoe Pumila that grabs the attention in a mixed succulent garden, or the fascinating foliage of a Fittonia in a mixed houseplant scene. As the weather warms up, we are throughly enjoying Oxalis varieties. Planting with Oxalis offers you colour, flower and interesting movement in the foliage and, what’s more, this is a plant that can be enjoyed inside and out!

“We have also noticed the desire to have lots of trailing plants on a shelf. It’s a popular request to have something green and trailing particularly for lower light settings indoors.”

How Holly and Nikki kickstart their indoor container gardens

“For us in store, our vintage vessels compliment our planted designs. We work with the colour of the container, style and the depth of pot. From here we think about a planting composition with compatible plants in order to create our indoor garden landscape. Choose plants that will thrive happily in the same light conditions and those that enjoy the same watering routine.”

For further reading on maximising small spaces, check out our Ideas to Make the most of your Small Garden blog featuring Matt Leigh from ITV’s Love Your Garden!

Step back into the 70s

Groovy plants of the past are making a comeback. The 70s era grew appreciation for biophilic design and the benefits of incorporating plants into indoor spaces, such as improving air quality and promoting wellbeing. A surge in interest towards retro and vintage aesthetics had led to a renewed interest in the iconic houseplants of the 70s. Aspidistra (also known as Cast Iron Plant), Prayer Plants and Snake plants were a favourable choice in the 70s due to their sturdiness, tolerance to low light and heat. These low-maintenance houseplants are a great option if you struggle to keep houseplants alive and thriving!

James from Plants by There shared with us how the planet-conscious lifestyle that’s becoming more popular is contributing to this 70s revival:

“The allure of ‘new, new, new’ in the world of houseplants is becoming less appealing for many, including myself. My design for this year’s show focuses on the somewhat overlooked plant varieties that had a real moment during the 1970s.

“Also, pre-loved furniture from this decade is making a real comeback so why not give some staple retro houseplants the love they deserve too? The 70s were Spider Plant and Swiss Cheese Plant mad, but that doesn’t mean we have to display them in the same tired old ways!

“I like my houseplants to be a part of the decor with simple retro-inspired planters allowing the greenery to do the talking and handmade or vintage pots being my preference where possible.”

How to step on board the 70s trend

“The 70s vibe can be easily achieved through colour, or material and it doesn’t have to cost the earth to create a stylish and impactful display. Pretty much any vessel can become a plant home with a little preparation; so, get creative and add some personality to your indoor jungle!”


D.I.Y and Upcycling

D.I.Y and upcycling is not only sustainable and money-saving, it’s a cool way to transform old, loved treasures. Ezgi from The Plant Warehouse shares her top tips on where to begin your D.I.Y and upcycling plant journey.

“Upcycling – the process of reusing and transforming items that may be otherwise discarded into unique plant pots and mini terrariums, not only reduces waste but also encourages creativity. In our stores we have seen a huge uptick in customers asking for advice on how best to repurpose their household items. It is a trend we first really noticed during lockdown, but it shows no sign of slowing down in 2024 – that’s why we’ve focused on this for our Houseplant Studio exhibit at Chelsea this year. Here are our top tips:

1. Start small

Kickstart your upcycling journey by searching your home for potential vessels. You can use almost anything. Old jars, colanders for hanging baskets, wine glasses, dolls heads. The possibilities are endless. Start small and experiment with different techniques and styles before you attempt the bigger pieces.

2. Account for drainage space

Always remember to consider drainage space when selecting both plants and containers. Unless you are using something with holes, a portion of your vessel will have to accommodate drainage materials. Avoid overcrowding small containers with large plants. While a leafy plant may look gorgeous in a teapot, it will not be ideal in terms of providing enough space for your plants’ roots to thrive.

3. Choose sturdy materials

When choosing your materials choose something that will withstand watering. You may have to line it first to prevent eventual water damage.”

Statement Plants

Statement plants don’t have to be expensive or rare to help add that finishing, show-stopping touch to a room.

Julie Hill from The Little Botanical says: “The Dracaena Dragon Tree is the perfect striking tall houseplant. With its architectural spikey foliage and remarkable adaptability to thrive in a variety of lighting conditions, it not only looks great but is independent too, so it won’t need constant attention.

“Not only known for their incredible air-purifying qualities, Dragon trees are also thought to bring good luck and prosperity into your home. We’ve featured them in our Chelsea exhibit this year! These gorgeous houseplants grows vertically, making them ideal for small indoor spaces, perfectly complementing compact living areas while maintaining a clean, sophisticated look.”

Dark Foliage

Deep, dark foliage is trending. With dystopian, dark and mysterious media becoming mainstream, it’s influential to the settings of literature, TV and film.

Gemma Haigh, founder of The Plant Parlour is known on Instagram for her anthuriums and extensive collection of houseplants.

Gemma said: “Dark foliage is really popular amongst plant lovers at the moment, and it’s not hard to see why. Large, velvety leaves have a luscious deep green colour and tend to be shade lovers.

“Try your hand with Alocasia Regal Shield, Alocasia Black Velvet, or the voluptuous Philodendron Gloriosum. Or, for a more underrated variety that’s increasing in popularity, try anthuriums. These epiphytic houseplants often have red emergent leaves, dark, deep leaves, and striking silver veins.

“Make a statement with an Anthurium Andraenum with glossy black spathes on its flowers, a stunning Anthurium Clarinervium or an Anthurium Crystallinum – all of which are excellent for beginners. Style yours against paler backgrounds for contrast, or against a dark background colour to create a moodier atmosphere.”

Exotic Plant Education

Exotic houseplants are becoming more popular in homes, adding a touch of unique beauty and rareity to modern interior décor.

You may be guilty of unwittingly killing a houseplant or two in your journey to becoming a plant parent but being unsure why or how… It can be tricky to keep plants alive if you’re new to houseplants, so taking the time to learn about the species you home can be a total game changer.

Abbi Dixon from Botanic York tells us why learning about your plants’ origins is so important for its survival.

“Obviously if you want any exotic houseplant to thrive you have to learn a little bit about its native habitat. Replicating a plant’s particular habitat is the best way to ensure good health.

“One of our most popular indoor plants at the moment is the Peacock Plant (scientific name: Calathea Makoyana) which is native to the Amazon rainforest, where it grows in the undergrowth shielded from direct sun by the thick canopy above.

“Knowing that the plant naturally grows in shade, avoiding direct sunlight in the home is a must – as are bright south-facing windows.

“It also benefits from humid, warm conditions, so a moisture rich room like a kitchen or bathroom is ideal. Misting can be used to increase humidity but it must be kept away from cold draughts. This plant hates drying out and should only be watered when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch, preferably with rainwater.”

Will you be visiting RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024? Keep an eye out for these trends across the Houseplant Studios and beyond, and say hello to this year’s Houseplant Studios Designers!

Our first ever printed Garden Escape Zine will be available at Chelsea Flower Show 2024 in limited quantities. It’s also available to download online if you don’t manage to get your hands on a copy!

Don’t forget to share with us your favourite Chelsea Flower Show 2024 moments by emailing: [email protected]

Stay on trend and follow the hashtag #chelseahouseplants

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