The most popular plants in Australia show very little variation between the states, apart from the Northern Territory. Whether in the cool, rainy indoors of a Fitzroy townhouse in Melbourne, an apartment in Glenelg, Adelaide, or a renovated Queenslander in Stafford, Brisbane, chances are you’ll come across a Monstera.
By far the most popular plant according to sales data from Bunnings Australia, only the Northern Territory bucks the trend instead opting for the Croton.
National greenlife buyer for Bunnings, Alex Newman attributes the Monstera’s popularity to its adaptability.
“Monstera, Spathiphyllum, Calathea and pothos have been some of the most popular choices for our customers so far this year. Monstera is suitable indoors and outdoors for the warm, tropical climate of Queensland, but can only be kept indoors in places like Victoria and Tasmania.”
Also known as the Swiss cheese plant, fruit salad plant, Mexican breadfruit and split leaf Philodendron, the Monstera deliciosa has large, perforated foliage that justifies its unusual nicknames. Reaching between 10 and 20 metres high in its natural habitat, it has origins in the rainforests of Central and South America along with the islands of the West Indies.
When planted in a pot indoors, the Monstera is most likely to contain its height at 4 to 5 metres tall and 2 to 3 metres wide. Adaptable to most climates, the only environment that isn’t conducive is extreme cold.
“Monstera deliciosa is one of my go-to plants when it comes to someone starting their gardening journey,” says Jason Chongue, creative director at The Plant Society. “They prefer bright light and it’s best to keep them moist over the warmer months. Reduce watering in the cooler months and allow the plant to dry out in between watering.”
In Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales, the Monstera is followed in popularity by the Spathiphyllum (also known as the peace lily).
“Spathiphyllum is a great hardy plant when it comes to indoor gardening,” says Chongue. “They’re easy to care for and they also bear white flowers throughout the year.”
Variations tend to be in the size of leaves, how glossy they are and slight differences in the flowers, though all cultivars produce white flowers. Native to South American and the Indo-Malaysian archipelago, the Spathiphyllum is most likely to thrive when not over-watered and kept out of direct sunlight. It is effective in cleaning the air and can be placed near computers to soak up any toxins, though it is toxic to humans and animals so make sure to keep it well out of reach of small hands and paws.
In Western Australia and Queensland, the third most popular variety is the pothos, though different varieties. The Scindapsus in Western Australia and the devil’s ivy in Queensland.
So what is your favourite Indoor house Plant? Let us know.