Trend for 'indoor jungles' causing house plant sales to rocket

Liz Browne, partner at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles, with some of their house plants. P

Liz Browne, partner at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles, with some of their house plants. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

Pandemic plant parents are swiping cacti and calathea alike off the shelves in their masses with the new trend being to create an "indoor jungle".  

From small plants such as Venus fly trap, to the larger snake plant, the choice available for green fingered folk is now limitless.

And the buying bonanza is no different at Urban Jungle Suffolk - just outside Beccles - which opened in August 2017 and specialises in selling an eclectic range of house plants.

Liz Browne, partner at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles, with some terrariums, popular as h

Liz Browne, partner at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles, with some terrariums, popular as house plants for 2022. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

The plant nursery offers a unique shopping experience to customers and introduced a Mediterranean-style planting section in 2019.

Liz Browne, partner at Urban Jungle, talked about some of the recent best sellers.

A monstera (cheeseplant) making a comeback as one of the popular house plants at the Urban Jungle Pl

A monstera (cheeseplant) making a comeback as one of the popular house plants at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

She said: "Our most popular by far is the monstera cheese plant.

Spider plants making a comeback as one of the popular house plants at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery

Spider plants making a comeback as one of the popular house plants at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

"They like to grow in dark spaces and don't need much watering so are popular with people starting to grow indoor plants.

The monstera obliqua (monkey mask) one of the popular house plants at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery

The monstera obliqua (monkey mask) one of the popular house plants at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

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"These plants never seem to go out of fashion and are popular with people of all ages.

"Spider plants are another popular one.

One of the popular house plants at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles, alicasia amazonica 'Po

One of the popular house plants at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles, Alocasia Amazonica 'Polly'. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

"These really are entry-level plants and are incredibly easy to look after.

A maranta fascinator, one of the popular house plants at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles.

A maranta fascinator, one of the popular house plants at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

"Other best sellers include the goeppertia, monkey mask, alocasia amazonica, asparagus fern and the maranta fascinator."

One of the popular house plants at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles, asparagus fern. Pictur

One of the popular house plants at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles, asparagus fern. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

According to Ms Browne, a number of factors are driving the uptake in people buying house plants.

She said: "Buying house plants is a huge trend now and it is certainly gaining popularity.

Nessa Burkovska, nursery assistant at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles. Picture: DENISE BRA

Nessa Burkovska, nursery assistant at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

"It's especially gaining momentum with younger people, who often live in flats and don't have the outdoor space to grow garden plants.

"These people are investing in nature and creating their very own indoor jungles.

"Lockdown has also played a huge part in the uptake because more people are now working from home permanently.

"Our sales during the pandemic did rocket."

Ms Browne said the business had to adapt when lockdown hit.

The Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

She explained: "When we went in to the first lockdown in March 2020, we had all these indoor plants sitting around.

"So as a business we quickly turned to an online delivery service which was a huge success with our customer base.

"We also came up with the idea of mystery boxes, offering mystery plants and gifts and this was well received by people." 

Advice for starting a plant collection

Liz Browne, partner at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles, with some terrariums, popular as h

Liz Browne, offered some advice for people looking to start a plant collection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

Liz Browne offered some useful advice to budding plant parents: start small.

Mini plants at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles to make your own terrariums. Picture: DENIS

Mini plants are best for those looking to start an indoor plant collection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

"Do not buy expensive plants that need a lot of care," she said.

"Mini plants or spider plants are best for first plant purchases because they are relatively inexpensive and don't need a lot of care.

"They are easy to care for and grow in dark spaces.

Mini plants at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles to make your own terrariums. Picture: DENIS

Mini plants at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles to make your own terrariums. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

"This also gives people time to learn the plant's watering pattern and ensures they understand the process of looking after them.

"A big mistake first time plant growers make is over-watering their plants.

Mini plants in a terrarium at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mini plants in a terrarium at the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

She added: "Building on from this, it is always best to buy from someone experienced.

"All our staff own their own house plants and while our care instructions are accurate, it is always best to ask staff how to look after them."

The live-in cats Baz and Musa, who keep an eye on the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles. Picture

The live-in cats Baz and Musa, who keep an eye on the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery at Beccles. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022