“Houseplants have become an extremely popular hobby,” says garden expert Mari Kaartokallio from Kekkilä.
No wonder, people have spent more time at home than ever before and are paying more attention to coziness and comfort. Adding living plants to your decor is an easy way to make your home feel fresh and cozy.
Abundance of plants as a new trend
In August 2020, Kekkilä commissioned a trend analysis to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the houseplant hobby. According to Kaartokallio, an abundance of plants was one of the strongest trends in the analysis. It is also easy to achieve.
“You can cover an entire window with plants, for example, or have various climbing plants drape their vines over a bookshelf like a green wall.”
Another trend noticed by Kaartokallio in the analysis is that some hobbyists specialise in a specific genus of plant, collecting and growing different varieties within that genus.
“You might accumulate a collection of Euphorbia varieties in a sunny spot or specialise in different hoyas, for example.”
Finnish plant lovers
- 40% love plants due to their atmospheric and colourful qualities.
- 60% spice up their decor with houseplants.
- 70% like to choose houseplants that are easy to take care of.
- 45% find it relaxing to be around plants.
Source: Analysis on garden trends 2021 by Kekkilä
Anyone can decorate with houseplants
Mari Kaartokallio refers to houseplants as a “well-being hobby”.
“Now that many people are working from home, tending to living plants – such as watering them or wiping dust off the leaves – offers refreshing breaks during the workday."
Studies show that plants have a relaxing effect on us and our minds are calmed by their lush greenness and the bright colours of the flowers. Plants also have slight air purification qualities as they produce oxygen.
“Growing and enjoying plants isn’t a very demanding hobby; you don’t even need a balcony or a garden. Moreover, you don’t need to turn your home into a jungle in a day. You can start with a couple of easy plants or even just one plant that you like,” says Kaartokallio.
The hobby doesn’t even require heavy investments. People often exchange cuttings with friends and neighbours to add to their collection of houseplants.
How to choose the right plants for your home
Start by examining the conditions in your home, such as the direction your windows are facing. Windows facing south offer scorching heat and direct sunlight for most of the day. North-facing windows, in turn, offer a shady place for your plants.
“In addition to light, plants need a home and food, in other words a suitably sized pot, the right kind of nutrients and water,” says Kaartokallio
Knowing where you plan to place your new plant makes it easier to choose the type. Remember to enjoy the selection process and take pleasure in the beautiful pictures found online and the tips and experiences of other houseplant lovers.
The internet is also full of information on the best conditions for each plant, for example kekkila.fi/kasvikirjasto . Of course, remember what you personally like. What kinds of plants are you drawn to and what kinds of roommates do you want them to be?
Growing crops on a balcony or windowsill
In addition to houseplants, Finns have a new passion for growing crops. Last summer, balconies were full of planters, pots and buckets sprouting potatoes, zucchinis, strawberries and much more. Growing herbs and even some exotic spices became a favourite hobby among food enthusiasts.
“Last year, the local food trend really took off and people started to truly appreciate the food traditions of their region.”
Herbs, such as thyme, are some of the easiest crops to cultivate.
“Thyme is quick in yielding crops to last the entire winter. I recommend freezing or drying its branches.”
Kaartokallio also advises people to combine different types of plants – it’s a treat for your eyes as well as your mouth.
“You can plant summer flowers and edible herbs in the same pot to really make it a feast for all the senses.”
On the other hand, Kaartokallio recommends planting herbs bought from greengrocers in more spacious pots. You can plant store-bought herbs as long as there are even a few leaves or branches alive.
“If you gently spread their roots and plant them in good-quality soil, they usually keep growing and yield new crops.”
The global green room trend is coming to Finland
Many Lumo homes have a glazed balcony that can be used like a greenhouse. It is a great place to grow tomatoes, for example.
“Remember to open a few panes every day to air the balcony. The heat may otherwise suffocate your plants.”
The green room trend is also coming to Finland. Heated and air-conditioned green rooms or spaces have been designed in a few new Lumo homes for houseplant enthusiasts. Of course, they can be used for other purposes, such as a reading nook, a remote working space or a dining area. But if you want to grow plants in it, which plants should you choose?
Kaartokallio recommends using the same criteria as always when selecting plants: the direction and amount of light and your preferences.
“A green room is a great place for a lemon or olive tree or passionflower, for example. Add a bougainvillea for an even more exotic touch.”
Similar to glazed balconies, green rooms must also be aired to avoid suffocating the plants.
Developing a green thumb takes time
Plants are living things that react to various stimuli. Therefore, there will always be surprises when growing plants.
“Sometimes, a plant simply does not thrive even if you give it everything it needs. When that happens, simply find a different plant and start over!”
Sometimes, the hobby becomes a real passion. A novice may find themselves searching for variegated specimens of a specific variety or plants endemic to a particular zone, for example.
“The internet has tons of Finnish and international forums full of advice and ideas,” says Kaartokallio.
“Rarities can be found in international web shops selling cuttings, and enthusiasts share tips and tricks in various Facebook groups.”
- desert plants that tolerate direct sunlight and heat
- Euphorbia leuconeura
- Stephanotis floribunda
- Codiaeum variegatum
- plants from the shade of the jungle
- Aeschynanthus marmoratus
- Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri'