This Summertime Plant Trend Is So Easy To Get On Board With

Photo: Lyuba Burakova

Calling all plant parents! To ring in the height of summer (for half of the world at least), this week mbg is serving up the ultimate plant-centric lineupEvery day, we’ll be tapping expert green thumbs for their current plant obsessions, design hacks, and foolproof care tips. Today, we’re hearing from houseplant expert Erin Marino from The Sill, a popular houseplant store in NYC that’s a green refuge for stressed-out New Yorkers (and a team mbg fave). Get ready, get set, get growing.

First it was succulents, and then giant monsteras had their moment in the limelight. So what's the trendy houseplant this summer? Over at The Sill, we're betting it's tropical vegetation with patterned leaves.

What makes tropical foliage so trendy right now? It might have something to do with its vibrant colors, fun patterns, and uniquely shaped leaves and the intricate shadows they display. Here are a few tropical patterned plants that will add an instant pop of color to your home or workspace this summer.

Since they stem from rain forest environments, you're better off simulating this atmosphere at home. Most of them prefer indirect light and warm, humid temperatures, but I've outlined the nuances between them so you can decide which one is best for your space. Happy planting!

Rattlesnake Calathea (Calathea lancifolia)

Photo: The Sill

Rattlesnake Calatheas, also known as prayer plants, have vibrant green leaves with darker-green brushlike strokes on top and dark-purple underbellies. One thing that's really amazing about them is they raise and lower their leaves from day to night as a part of their circadian rhythm, hence the nickname!

Sunlight: Medium indirect light to dappled sun. Not suited for intense, direct sun.

Water: About every 1 to 2 weeks depending on how much sunlight it is receiving. If it's getting a lot of light, it needs more water. Water when potting mix is half-dry to dry. Pro-tip: These guys love filtered water.

Humidity: Normal to slightly higher humidity. If leaf edges crisp, increase humidity.

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Medallion Calathea (Calathea roseopicta 'Medallion’)

Photo: The Sill

These plants native to Brazil have round leaves with brilliant light and dark-green markings that resemble medallions. Leaves are dark purple underneath.

Sunlight: Medium indirect light to dappled sun. No direct sun.

Water: About every 1 to 2 weeks depending on how much sunlight it is receiving. Like with prayer plants, you'll want to water these when the potting mix is half-dry to dry.

Humidity: Normal to slightly higher humidity. If leaf edges crisp, increase humidity.

Calathea Pinstripe (Calathea ornata)

Photo: The Sill

This plant's dark-green leaves have beautiful light-pink brush-stroke stripes on top and a deep burgundy color underneath. It's native to Colombia and Venezuela.

Sunlight: Medium indirect light to dappled sun. No direct sun.

Water: About every 1 to 2 weeks depending on how much sunlight it is receiving. Water these when the potting mix is half-dry to dry.

Humidity: Normal to slightly higher humidity. If leaf edges crisp, increase humidity.

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Calathea Fusion White (Calathea 'Fusion White')

Photo: The Sill

Fusion Whites have stunning leaves that are a mix of light green, dark green, and true white with pops of light, muted purple from the leaves’ undersides.

Sunlight: Medium indirect light to dappled sun. No direct sun.

Water: About every 1 to 2 weeks depending on how much sunlight it is receiving. Water when potting mix is half-dry to dry.

Humidity: Normal to slightly higher humidity. If leaf edges crisp, increase humidity.

Alocasia Polly (Alocasia 'Polly')

Photo: The Sill

Dubbed African mask plant for its striking leaf shape, the origins of this one are unknown, but it's been hypothesized that it was actually bred in a private collection. Dark-green mask-shaped leaves with bright-white veins.

Sunlight: Medium to bright indirect light to dappled sun. Tolerates low light. Not suited for intense, direct sun.

Water: About every 1 to 2 weeks. Allow potting mix to dry out completely between waterings.

Humidity: Any! Don't sweat it. Any humidity level will do.

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Marble Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Photo: The Sill

Characterized by its green variegated leaves and hardy climbing vines, this native of French Polynesia is perfect for a hanging planter or bookshelf.

Sunlight: Low light to medium light or dappled sun. Tolerates low light. Not suited for intense, direct sun.

Water: About every 1 to 2 weeks depending on how much sunlight it is receiving. Allow potting mix to dry out completely between waterings.

Humidity: Any amount.

Silver Philodendron (Scindapsus pictus)

Photo: The Sill

These have trailing vines of dark-green leaves with silver splotches that catch the sunlight. It's interesting to note that, despite its common name, this actually isn't a philodendron!

Sunlight: Medium indirect light to dappled sun. Can tolerate low light. Not suited for intense, direct sun. Put a few feet away from the window.

Water: About every 1 to 2 weeks depending on how much sunlight it is receiving. Allow potting mix to dry out completely between waterings.

Humidity: Any amount.

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Croton Gold Dust (Codiaeum variegatum)

Photo: The Sill

As you might be able to tell from its name, this one has bright-yellow and bright-green spotted leaves. Yellow leaves are not a bad sign here!

Sunlight: Bright indirect light to full, direct sun. Put on your windowsill.

Water: About every 1 to 2 weeks depending on how much sunlight it is receiving. Allow potting mix to dry out completely between waterings.

Humidity: Any amount.

Stay tuned for more plant-centric content on mbg all week. And in the meantime, check out this room-by-room houseplant styling guide.

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