Everyone should get a plant, and not just because they look cool. The real reason is that houseplants are a major component of biophilia, the process of ethically bringing nature into human spaces for mental and physical health benefits. Keeping plants around is proven to increase feelings of wellbeing and creativity, and decrease stress—and now, a new study says they can also raise your social media engagement.
The data comes from the Hollywood Hills realtors at RubyHome, who see a lot of houseplants during their showings. They've compiled a study about the top 10 most-liked leafy friends on social media, and... drumroll... here's what they found:
The most popular houseplant on Instagram is Aloe Vera.
There are over 5 million hashtags devoted to the succulent, which—fun fact—is actually a member of the Lily family! Aloe plants originated from Africa, but now grow across the world. It's used as a salve for burns, rashes, and even acne, and counts Cleopatra as an OG fan. (She would rub it all over her body.) Aloe doesn't require a ton of watering or intense care, making it an ideal plant for beginners.
Agave Americana is the #2 pick... at least on social media.
You've seen it as a syrup and sweetener at every cool cafe, but Agave is also a wonderful houseplant. Originally from South and Central America, it's got deep green leaves that don't require a ton of water, and can thrive inside or outside—as long as the temperature is warm. Blue Agave is used for tequila, but that's not the kind you want in your apartment, because it can weigh up to 200 lbs.
Those cute striped spiky guys? They're named Haworthia.
And they're the third most-popular houseplant on Instagram, likely because they look like tiny green hedgehogs. Hailing from South Africa, these succulents love bright light and humid air (or weekly mists from a spray bottle!) and are also called "zebra cactus."
The most-tagged flowering plants on IG are pink! (Obviously.)
They're called Stonecrop or Sedum flowers, and they bloom in tiny hot pink, yellow, and white clusters. In nature, you can find them clinging to rocky terrain, including their native habitat in the Appalachian Mountains. At home, they do great in wider pots, near lots of sun—and on Instagram, they have over 700k shoutouts.
The most popular cactus on Instagram has half a million tags.
It's the Pincushion Cactus, aka the Mammillaria. Native to Mexico and Honduras, this spherical cactus has bright magenta blossoms, and fits easily in windowsills and plant walls. (But keep it away from your puppy, because ouch!)