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These Are the Houseplants Top Designers Love


You probably have your favorite designer houseplants, from the perennially popular orchid and maidenhair fern to a more unusual variety perhaps available only locally. AD PRO quizzed some of our favorite designers, finding a range of extraordinary plants making their way into projects—and, perhaps as expected, a high number of fiddle-leaf figs. Designers dished on their favorite sources, too. (If you’re feeling charitable, there are fundraising campaigns currently running to support flower market workers impacted by COVID-19 in New York and San Francisco). Read on to meet your new favorite houseplant.

Charlotte Moss

I buy all of my miniature orchids at Holiday Flowers & Plants on West 28th Street in New York. A small orchid is easy to care for, lasts a long time, will rebloom if you love it, and can be tucked in anywhere. Topiary requires effort, but they pay you back in spades: Myrtle, rosemary, eugenia, and coleus are just a few. In New York, I go to Milton at NY Topiary and in Easthampton, New York, Wittendale’s Florist on Newtown Lane.

Will Massie, McKinnon and Harris

At McKinnon and Harris I have a stunning miniature orange tree that I have had for 45 years. As a child, I tended it on my bedroom windowsill, and later my parents cared for it while I was in college. It’s now happily living in our lounge at McKinnon and Harris, and everyone loves the spa-like smell of the blooms and then the pungent fruit!

I’ve killed more maidenhair ferns than I care to admit. They are very persnickety and fragile, but there’s nothing more beautiful and airy with all of the fresh shades of green. They are like a pointillist painting with all these dots of green. Our mother had maidenhairs all over the house—they make any room feel loved and alive. Suzanne Rheinstein had the most spectacular one I’ve ever seen in the back courtyard of hollyhock in a huge overflowing pot.

Martyn Lawrence Bullard

My favorite houseplant isn’t actually that unusual or exotic. It is, however, the plant that makes me happy. The fern: in various forms—from the big beauty, the ostrich fern, which I always have a pair of in my entry hall sitting in giant Italian ceramic pots that resemble the heads of the ancient king and queen of Sicily and as such look like their giant green hair, to the smaller maidenhair ferns that I love to use to decorate my kitchen and sometimes even dining table, included in dinner tablescapes—creating whimsy and romance. I buy my ferns at Rolling Greens in Los Angeles, where they always have a beautiful and healthy selection.