Emily Henderson

My 2 favorite Indoor plants

Some of you have asked what my favorite indoor plants are.  Here’s my philosophy, just like ANY flower, i truly believe that with the right styling (aka, the right pot in the right environment) ANY plant can look beautiful.  Even the ones you are sick of. 

We all know this example:



The 80’s rubber plant.  Seemingly over-used.  But check out what Robyn Glaser did with it:

What? you crazy. And thus began the rush on rubber plants across all anthropologie wearing hipsters four years ago.  But, naturally you don’t actually keep your plants in your beautifully worn leather bag…..

By Lili Diallo.  

Obviously the styling is kinda crucial. Don’t put it in a woven basket or a terra cotta pot. Put it in a footed brass pot or something weird and sculptural, or an old pot with age.  It’s an average plant so you have to elevate it with a beautiful pot.  You just do.  Any plant can look cool – they are all interesting sculptures in their own right, just keep the pots interesting and put them in unexpected places.  

So my two favorite all time indoor plants are:

1. The Fiddle Leaf Fig

That’s my old living room, and the tree kinda makes the shot.  Why? because they are big and sculptural and yet super graphic – their leaves are large scale and dark green and it commands attention.  They add sooo much height that they basically become another piece of furniture. 

Look, Jonathan Adler likes them.


This one probably cost $500.  But when was the last time you paid only $500 for a HUGE sculpture that brought that much impact into the room.  

I bought mine at Ikea for $60 3 years ago, but yes they in general are way more expensive and i haven’t seen one there in a long time.  Normally for a full grown (like 5-6 feet) they will run you around $150 at a nursery, PLUS the cost of the pot, and we all know that pots are ridiculously expensive.  

They need ample light or they will die. Not full sun, but in a sunny room.  I don’t think they are the most hearty of indoor plants, i’m not going to sugar coat it, but i kept mine alive for 2 years before i gave it to a client for the show during a last minute ‘how the hell do i fill that corner’ moment.  And i’m sad that i don’t have one now.  

#2 The Maiden Hair Fern

In general, i’m a fern lover.  I love Boston’s in a fun ironic way, i love huge outdoor ferns (like you’ll see tomorrow in my new office post) but Maiden Hair’s have my heart becasue they are so soft and graceful and airy.  There is something romantic about the.  


They are cheap, but delicate as hell.  Good luck keeping them alive. BUT, here’s my theory on cheap plants – they have the same impact as cut flowers and yet are cheaper, so if you kill them every two weeks, you can simply replace them. These ferns are at Home Depot or Lowe’s for $12 – $15 which is way cheaper than a pretty flower arrangement.  So yes, as sad as it sounds i probably replace them like 6 (cough, 12) times a year.  You’ll see one of them in my office shoot tomorrow on the blog.

Of course i love succulents and bonsai trees a lot, doy, but Fiddle Leaf Ferns and Maiden Hairs are the two that i always buy and i never ever sick of. PLUS i find them the easiest to style – they look good in most pots.  

Just a quick ‘plants that are harder to style’

Big palms go ‘dorm room’ or ’80’s bachelor pad’ really easily. 

money trees (especially with the braided stems). These i can like, but in general i stay away from. Some room in my past must have scarred me somehow.  

Orchids – of course they are beautiful, but they can also be ubiqutious and look mass manufactured.  I love them most in bathrooms.  Please put them in a pretty pot; in a terracotta pot they look like you just picked them up from the supermarket (which you did, but you don’t need to advertise it).  

What are your go to favorite plants, my friends.  Am i missing something?