Houseplants forum→Is Monstera the new peace lily? What next?

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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 12, 2021 8:34 AM CST
A few years ago, there were so many posts about struggling peace lilies, then it was fiddle-leaf fig, and now it seems like everyone has a struggling Monstera. Back when I would have tried having one of these enormous plants, I never saw any and apparently they are everywhere now. What are your predictions for the next plant of the moment?
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Name: Omie
New York state (Zone 5b)
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Omie
Apr 12, 2021 8:59 AM CST
To me it seems like variegated 'everything' seem to be the hot new thing- variegated ZZ plant, monsteras, pothos, hoyas, peperomias, rubber plants, jade plants, string of hearts... if they are variegated they are hot sellers and way more expensive.
Other than that, I'm sure seeing a whole lot of Bird of Paradise plants in house decor photos lately. Coincidentally also my grown daughter told me she bought one recently. Maybe we all want to fantasize about being in Paradise instead of being in quarantine. ;)

elfybois
Apr 12, 2021 1:22 PM CST
It's almost always due to people buying variegated Monstera cuttings or wetsticks, then not having the knowledge or experience to grow it. No judgement from me, as I'm a relatively new plant collector myself.

Begonias are having a moment here in the UK, and of course there is the variegated Monstera.
[Last edited by elfybois - Apr 12, 2021 1:25 PM (+)]
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Name: Omie
New York state (Zone 5b)
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Omie
Apr 12, 2021 2:28 PM CST
It's funny- once you get interested in some particular thing (houseplants, hats, bicycles...) you start noticing them everywhere when you didn't ever notice them much before.
I've always kept a few houseplants, often cacti. But lately when i watch old black and white movies I suddenly see the familiar houseplants in the background of interior room shots in scenes. Ooh- there's a spider plant hanging in the window next to Barbara Stanwyck! There's a big monstera with split leaves behind Burt Lancaster's armchair in the library! Judy Garland's leaning all over those begonias!
It's kinda fun to see all these plants playing 'extras' in old movies... I never noticed them before.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 12, 2021 3:45 PM CST
Omie, IKR! My husband cracks up when I say things like "the camera operator can not focus on the plant, this is a terrible movie." I see a lot of Rhaphidophora tetraspera plants in old black'n'white movies but have never seen one in person.
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

There is a Monstera in Rick's Cafe in 'Casablanca.'

A few decades ago, hanging pots of "grape ivy" (Cissus rhombifolia) were everywhere. Grape Ivy (Cissus alata)
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ignova
Apr 12, 2021 3:48 PM CST
It does drive me crazy when you see the plants in dark corners of the set where they would never ever grow. 😆
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

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plantladylin
Apr 12, 2021 5:32 PM CST
I bought a Rhaphidophora tetrasperma back in 2007 or 2008 for about $10 and had no idea what it was because the label just said "Mini Monstera". I thought it was a dwarf M. deliciosa until someone on a gardening site identified it for me as Rhaphidophora. It's one that I either lost to a freak winter freeze, or it was in a bunch of plants that I gave away when we downsized and moved in 2011. Yes, I recall Grape Ivy being all the rage for several years; I've had a few myself at different times. It seems like certain plants just go in and out of favor every few years.

LOL, somewhere around here I have a black and white photo of me and our family dog, or possibly the cat; it was in 1967 and my very first houseplant was in the background. I think the plant was Epipremnum aureum (Pothos). I should try to find that picture. Green Grin!
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Name: Omie
New York state (Zone 5b)
Beekeeper Cat Lover
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Omie
Apr 13, 2021 5:46 AM CST
I remember when i was i think 19, having bought one of those purple passion velvet plants (gynura aurantiaca). I was so obsessed over it I would mist it like every couple of hours. It grew quite a bit and became rather messy, but i was proud of it and thought it so exotic.
Being 19, I don't even remember whatever happened to it. Life gets in the way and i think i just left it behind when i moved.

One good thing I took with me from that period was that I read a wonderful book on houseplants- Making Things Grow by Thalassa Cruso. This was around 1973.
I remember learning a lot from that book, it was written in a lively fun style.
The one thing Thalassa wrote that sticks in my mind to this day was this:
"Figure out what you can grow well and then grows lots of it." I use that as my mantra in my vegetable garden as well!
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Apr 13, 2021 6:05 AM CST
The 'it' plants now (including Monstera both variegated and non-variegated) are being pushed along by Internet Influencers mainly on Facebook, Youtube and Instagram.

This started some time ago. Whenever one of these folks shows a plant on their YT site, it blows up and the price immediately goes up among people who are selling plants (often without a ,license) on the internet.

Especially AROIDS. The prices have gone through the roof. A plant that you could just walk in and buy somewhere a few years ago for $20 will now command $200-up. A lot of it was fueled by Covid. People got stuck at home, nothing else to do....let's become plant collectors! Let's become EXPENSIVE plant collectors.

Just yesterday on a page I belong toon Facebook someone posted something like..."Hey I am REALLY SAD today. SELL ME SOMETHING. I am willing to spend $400. Show me what you have'"

And that is common place. Some plants are selling for over $1000. People are auctioning off Anthurium seeds from more obscure species for $500-1000 for THREE SEEDS. A couple rare plants have sold for $10,000-15,000+.

But there are cracks starting to show. As people get vaccinated for Covid and and able to go back to work they find they have no time for the plant thing. Also, many people will no longer pay the unreasonable prices being asked. I think the 'craze' is slowing down.

SO all those fools who paid $150-300" for a single node stem cutting of a variegated Monstera and going to be real sad when Costa Farms finally releases its tissue cultured variegated Monsteras to box stores, probably in 2022
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[Last edited by Gina1960 - Apr 13, 2021 7:52 AM (+)]
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Name: Omie
New York state (Zone 5b)
Beekeeper Cat Lover
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Omie
Apr 13, 2021 6:57 AM CST
I agree, houseplants is definitely one of the home hobbies/interests that has been fanatically taken up by folks stuck at home during the pandemic. Particularly young folks! Like learning to knit, cook, build model railroads, whatever... learning about growing houseplants or starting a vegetable garden is a positive thing that enriches one's life far beyond the now.
It's cool that there are so many teens and young adults who are now enthusiastically learning about how to nurture living things. They use Instagram and youtube and FB to share and learn, the same way we older generation used after school clubs, 4H, and libraries. They learn as they go along, I do the same whenever i get into a new interest.

I agree that the craziness of paying $400 for a 'rare' cutting is likely to die down soon- probably a good thing! Maybe a few of those cuttings will become gorgeous big plants that bring somebody lots of joy for years, who knows? Then again other people will learn an expensive lesson about impulse buying. One doesn't need a pandemic to learn lessons like that though- I can relate...I'm guilty myself of occasionally spending too much on some impulse buy over the years. ;D
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Apr 13, 2021 7:51 AM CST
That has been the problem. I have a nursery license and I sell both plants and seeds. I sell Anthurium berries from my own plants, and plants propagated from my own plants. I don;t buy plants and flip them for a higher cost, or gouge people. You would be surprised how many people will buy something then say, 'OK, can you give men a crash course on how to grow this? What conditions does it need?'

People are buying rare plants that are most likely being poached out of the wild in some cases because there are irreputable people willing to buy from foreign countries where people are willing to fake phytosanitary certificates in order to ship out endangered plant material they are basically going out in the jungle and cutting off a plant. Then that importer is hiking the price 500%.

A couple of these folks have been caught out but many others slip by.

So there will always be a new 'IN' plant. A 'plant of the moment'. First it was Fiddle Leaf Fig. Then it was variegated Monstera. A couple years ago, the International Aroid Society used to GIVE AWAY a cutting of variegated Monstera to new members who signed up. That's how common they were. Now they are like GOLD. Then it was Anthurium warocqueanum. Who knows what it will be next? Even Pink Princess Philodendron that used to cost $20 has made a resurgence and now sells for $300+
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Name: Omie
New York state (Zone 5b)
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Omie
Apr 13, 2021 9:24 AM CST
The good thing is that for every person who has the ability to pay $200 for a variegated monstera cutting on Etsy, there are maybe dozens of young people who have learned how to propagate their own plants on youtube and are now rooting and sharing cuttings with all their broke young friends. lol

PleasantJules
Apr 13, 2021 10:38 PM CST
I do the same thing! I love seeing plants in old movies. It probably is driving my husband crazy.

Omie said:It's funny- once you get interested in some particular thing (houseplants, hats, bicycles...) you start noticing them everywhere when you didn't ever notice them much before.
I've always kept a few houseplants, often cacti. But lately when i watch old black and white movies I suddenly see the familiar houseplants in the background of interior room shots in scenes. Ooh- there's a spider plant hanging in the window next to Barbara Stanwyck! There's a big monstera with split leaves behind Burt Lancaster's armchair in the library! Judy Garland's leaning all over those begonias!
It's kinda fun to see all these plants playing 'extras' in old movies... I never noticed them before.


Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Tropicals
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purpleinopp
Aug 8, 2021 5:36 PM CST
It has been a summer of Monsteras. I guess there ain't no cure this summer for the Monstera blues. I'm not involved but am seeing so many discussions. Just like FLF in 2017-8.

I wonder if folks will turn to Rhaphidophora tetrasperma as the Monsteras that aren't struggling start to outgrow the room they're in? I see so many great Rhaphs in old B/W movies. It makes me wonder if the plants were placed for the movie or happened to be there in whatever building.

Or will those who struggled turn back to peace lilies, the common struggling plant before FLFs, after learning they had insufficient light for Monstera? Or ...ZZ? I hope they find heart leaf Philodendron. So stalwart in almost any situation. But I am not a setter of trends.

I have no idea but it's interesting to watch the trends flow by.
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Name: Omie
New York state (Zone 5b)
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Omie
Aug 8, 2021 6:28 PM CST
There are also soooo many threads about people's "Droopy Dracena!"... and marantas turning 'crispy'... money trees dropping their leaves.... and BOPs with 'root rot'. Blinking
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Aug 9, 2021 6:25 AM CST
Yeah, not to be unkind. But many of these plants really are not supposed to be grown as houseplants. NOT that it can;t be done. The plant industry relies on these plants dying in a timely fashion. So that they can then sell you another of the same to try again, or sell you something else.
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Aug 9, 2021 6:32 AM CST
Omie said:The good thing is that for every person who has the ability to pay $200 for a variegated monstera cutting on Etsy, there are maybe dozens of young people who have learned how to propagate their own plants on youtube and are now rooting and sharing cuttings with all their broke young friends. lol


Omie that's a nice thought. But it usually does not work that way. At least not on the pages I frequent. People want to make a 'return on their investment'. Many many many people buy these plants, and if they are able to be further divided, they chop them more and attempt to resell them to make their $$ back + some.

I know two people personally at least (and NO I do not condone this) that import 'indirectly' go to nurseries like Ecuagenera by ordering from their Ecuadorean website, where typically plants are $50 cheaper retail than in the US, have them imported on the nursery's import license (which the nursery will do for no extra charge) then they pick them up at the US outlet. If the orders are coming in with the larger orders that the nursery makes to restock, there is no additional charge. And you get the cheaper plant price. They will order 3-5 of one plant, then resell them themselves with a large mark up. It really surprises me that the nursery will allow them to do this, because they are aware of what is happening. But its been their policy for 20 years that you can order from Ecuador, and they will bring it to the USA and take it on their show circuit for orchid and plant shows, and allow pick up from the show. Its the same thing I guess, just pick up at their US outlet
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Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
sw_gardener
Aug 9, 2021 7:58 AM CST
This thread has proven to be extremely interesting. I have admired the above mentioned Monstera in Casablanca many times. Hilarious!

Last year I came across a variegated Syngonium for about $10. It's currently in a 6" pot but I've seen hanging baskets of them go for $120 plus

The social media crazes are frustrating. I shared a photo of my Oxalis corymbosa aureo-reticulata (which is another darling of instagram) on a forum and it received thousands of upvotes. I shared a picture of a beautiful orange Kohleria in full bloom and it got almost no upvotes. It just seems sad how perfectly beautiful easy to grow plants are being ignored because they're not popular on certain media sites.
The neighbor's lawn is always nicer.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Tropicals
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purpleinopp
Aug 9, 2021 8:11 AM CST
Interesting. This site and a travel forum are the only social media I use. No idea what goes on there or in the world of online plant buying. My observations are in regard to posts on this site & occasional visit to some store that sells plants.
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The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
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Ireland (Zone 9a)
Region: Europe Houseplants
Aphria
Aug 9, 2021 9:47 AM CST
I think it can also be the case that reading other people's threads reminds you to post a question about the same plant that you have. Well it does for me, anyway! I believe that Monsteras have always been very popular houseplants but yes, I did notice a number of posts lately...mine included! I always tend to have a spurt of houseplant buying/obsession at this time of year when my garden is on the turn for autumn. The monstera was sitting in a huge DIY store with only artifical light to survive in and as it still looked very healthy it jumped into my basket nodding
[Last edited by Aphria - Aug 9, 2021 4:13 PM (+)]
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