In recent years, succulents have enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame, enabled by their mood-boosting bravado, serious ability to stay alive with sporadic waterings, and irresistible Instagram charm. Despite giving everyone the urge to double-tap, they’re also functional—even those devoid of a green thumb would be hard-pressed to kill one. So you get greenery that brings oxygen—and life—to your space, with minimal effort. No wonder they became the plant-world version of America’s sweetheart.
But as often happens with A-listers, however, there comes a time when a fresh face (or three) bursts onto the scene to steal the spotlight.
While succulents—and their super-sized, stylish friend, the fiddle leaf fig (AKA the plant you’ve seen in countless magazine layouts and furniture catalogs) will always hold a special place in your hearts (and Instagram feeds), it’s time for some new chlorophyll, if you will. Erin Marino, director of brand marketing at New York City plant shop, The Sill, believes that these plants will be the next to takeover your Instagram feeds in coming months. It’s easy to see why—they’re low-maintenance, eye-catching, and 100 percent ready for strategic placement in your next latte selfie.
Keep reading for three plants that could soon inspire major social media fandom.
Marimo moss ball
“This aquatic plant deserves a medal for its ability to survive in low light and cool conditions,” says Marino. Though it looks like a moss ball, it’s actually freshwater green algae called Aegagropila linnaei. Regardless, it’s totally adorable and equally low-maintenance—like a plant pet rock. Keep it in a clear glass container and change the water every one or two weeks.
Yes, the aloe vera plant is technically a succulent—but its stature and shape create a completely different look than the pint-sized plants that have been everywhere the past few years. And of course, there’s also the beauty benefits. “This should be a staple house plant,” explains Marino. “It’s a natural remedy for annoying skin irritations like sunburn in the summer, or dry skin in the winter.” Try snipping off a thick leaf at the bottom (don’t worry, it won’t hurt the plant), and then squeeze out the gel from inside to soothe skin. The aloe vera plant is versatile, and relatively easy to keep alive, but help it flourish by giving it some bright light.
“The leaves of the Calathea respond to light cycles,” explains Marino. “These responses are called ‘nastic movements’ and make for unbelievable time-lapses.” The patterns on the Calathea, she says, are also eye-catching because the dark green almost looks painted onto the light-colored leaves.
Trying to create an urban jungle inside your home? These 7 mood-boosting plants are also perfect for small spaces. Plus, you can make your in-home greenery do double-duty; here’s how to grow your own all-natural cleaning supplies.