While 2017 saw the rise of the fiddle leaf fig (nurseries could not stock them fast enough) and the ever-popular delicious monster (which was printed on everything from tablecloths to T-shirts), 2018 looks set to be far more water-wise on the plant trends front. Contributor Geraldine Fenn spoke to bona fide plant nerd Sylvia McKeown for her input on what’s hot right now in the world of greenery.
water-wise plant trends for 2018
‘Water-wise plants are the way to go regardless of where you are in the country,’ says Sylvia. ‘Try different types of euphorbias instead of just the run-of-the-mill stuff – there is so much prettiness from which to choose. Also look into more indigenous plants that can take the South African weather with a pinch of salt and don’t require much water. Exotic plant varieties are gorgeous, but many come from far more tropical and wet climates than we can sustain in good conscience. My plant for the year is a ceropegia, which needs next to no water and thrives on a bit of abuse. There are so many varieties of ceropegias available, and I’m all about trailing plants creeping all over my house.
‘If you have a balcony, go for something different such as highland grasses. The experts at my local nursery told me a story about creating a butterfly garden for a client’s balcony. Withing 2 weeks of planting a selection of highland grasses, the winged insects took up residence. Make this year about working with nature and the climate, not against it.’
That’s all good advice right there, and if you want to buy succulents (and maybe get stuck in a lengthy conversation about the merits of plants that look like rocks), Geraldine recommends heading to one of the succulent shows in the Floreum Hall at the Johannesburg Botanical Garden in Emmarentia, which are held several times a year.
Find out more about the world of water-wise succulents at succulentsociety.co.za.