Discover the famous houseplants that have graced your favorite TV shows and movies. From Friends to The Great Gatsby, houseplants have become iconic symbols, adding visual appeal and enhancing the ambiance of the sets. Explore the intersection of popular culture and indoor gardening as we delve into the world of plant-filled TV shows and movies.


Are you a fan of both houseplants and TV shows? If so, you might be curious about the presence of famous houseplants in your favorite TV shows. From sitcoms to dramas, houseplants have made appearances in various TV shows, adding a touch of greenery and enhancing the visual appeal of the sets. In this article, we will explore the intersection of books, movies, and popular culture, focusing on the famous houseplants that have graced our screens. So get ready to dive into the world of plant-filled TV shows and discover some interesting facts and insights along the way.

Famous Houseplants in TV Shows: An Overview

Houseplants have played roles in many TV shows, often becoming iconic symbols of certain characters or settings. These green companions have been used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the sets, create a specific ambiance, or even represent a character’s personality traits. Let’s take a closer look at some popular TV shows and the houseplants that have captivated audiences.


Who can forget the iconic and beloved TV series “Friends”? The show’s set, particularly Monica’s apartment, featured several houseplants that became instantly recognizable. On the left side of the TV, a Boston Fern stole the spotlight with its lush foliage. On the right side, a Pothos plant added a touch of greenery. Both plants embodied the retro and cozy 1970s style, creating an inviting atmosphere in Monica’s apartment. The Boston Fern required moist soil and regular misting, while the Pothos plant needed watering when the top layers of soil had dried.


While Jerry’s apartment in “Seinfeld” lacked houseplants, Kramer’s apartment featured a Red Maranta plant on his table. The Red Maranta, also known as the Prayer Plant, is a low-maintenance trailing plant with distinctive red veins and patterns on its leaves. It is a smaller version of the Calathea plant, renowned for its ability to fold its leaves at night, resembling hands in prayer.

“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”

In the classic 90s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Will Smith’s character lived in a luxurious mansion in Bel-Air. Though the indoor plants were minimal, a Kentia Palm stood out in the living room. The Kentia Palm, with its tall, feathery fronds, experienced a revival in popularity in the 1980s and early 90s in the United States. It is a low-maintenance palm that thrives in bright rooms and requires watering when the top inches of soil are dry.

“Boy Meets World”

Another popular TV show from the 90s, “Boy Meets World,” featured two iconic houseplants in Cory Matthews’ living room. On the left side, a Pothos plant, likely a Devil’s Ivy, graced the space. On the right side, a Fiddle Leaf Fig became a distinctive feature. Fiddle Leaf Figs are known for their large, glossy leaves and were trendy during that era. They require warmth, moisture, and bright positions but may drop leaves in response to colder weather.

These are just a few examples of TV shows where houseplants have become iconic and memorable elements of the sets. The presence of these plants added depth and visual interest to the scenes, reflecting the characters’ lifestyles and the design choices of the time.

Houseplants in Movies: A Touch of Green on the Big Screen

Houseplants have also made their mark in the world of cinema, appearing in various movies across different genres. From comedies to dramas, plants have been used creatively on the big screen to add visual appeal and symbolism. Let’s take a look at some notable examples.

“The Great Gatsby” (2013)

In the film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel “The Great Gatsby,” houseplants played a part in setting the opulent and glamorous atmosphere of the 1920s. One scene featured Phalaenopsis and Cymbidium Orchids with cascading blooms and delicate china plates filled with cake. The choice of these extravagant flowers reflected the extravagant lifestyle depicted in the story.

“When A Stranger Calls” (2006)

In the suspenseful thriller “When A Stranger Calls,” a Zen garden incorporated various plants, including structural Olea (Olive) plants, ferns, Aspleniums, Philodendron, Beaucarnea, and Nymphaeceae (water lilies). These plant choices created a tranquil and peaceful ambiance in the movie, contrasting with the tense atmosphere of the narrative.

“Leon” (1994)

In the crime thriller “Leon,” the character Leon, played by Jean Reno, tended to his Aglaonema Silver Queen plant. The plant, with its bold silver and green foliage, became an important element of Leon’s living space. It symbolized his need for a sense of stability and life amidst the chaos of his profession.

“Mad Men”

The TV show “Mad Men” takes place in the advertising world of the 1960s, and the absence of plants in Don Draper’s office speaks volumes. Don Draper’s office is described as a blank canvas lacking personality and warmth, which could have been improved with the presence of houseplants. The deliberate choice of a plant-less environment highlighted the character’s disconnect from nature and foreshadowed the lack of emotional fulfillment in his life.

“Alexander” (2004)

In the film “Alexander,” the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were showcased, featuring lush and vibrant plants such as Musa Bajoo, Scindapsus, and Scandens. This depiction of the legendary hanging gardens exhibited the grandeur and beauty associated with plants throughout history.

These examples demonstrate how houseplants have been used in movies to enhance the visual storytelling and evoke certain moods. They serve as subtle yet impactful elements that contribute to the overall cinematic experience.

The Popularity of Houseplants in Popular Culture

Houseplants have become increasingly popular in recent years, transcending their role in TV shows and movies. This trend can be attributed to several factors, including their ability to improve indoor air quality, their visual appeal as accessories in interior design, and the psychological benefits they provide. Let’s explore the reasons behind the rising popularity of houseplants in popular culture.

Proven Health Benefits

Research has shown that living with houseplants can have numerous health benefits. They have the ability to purify the air by removing toxins and releasing oxygen. This contributes to improved indoor air quality, which is particularly important in urban environments with significant air pollution. Houseplants also release moisture vapor, which helps to increase humidity levels, reducing the risk of respiratory-related issues such as dry skin, coughing, and sore throat.

Furthermore, the presence of houseplants has been associated with reduced stress, improved mood, increased productivity, and enhanced concentration. Their natural beauty and calming effect can create a sense of tranquility in any space.

Interior Design and Aesthetics

Houseplants have become key accessories in interior design, enabling individuals to create specific styles and moods within their living spaces. From minimalist arrangements to indoor jungles, there are endless possibilities for incorporating houseplants into various design aesthetics.

Indoor gardening is not just about growing plants; it is about using them as decorative elements. Plants can provide texture, color, and visual interest that complements furniture, artwork, and other design elements within a room. They can also serve as focal points, adding a touch of nature and life to the space. With the wide variety of plant species available, individuals can choose plants that fit their preferred style, whether it be modern, bohemian, traditional, or something in between.

Books and Influencers

The popularity of houseplants has been further fueled by the publication of books on indoor gardening and plant care. These books provide guidance on using plants as decorative elements in interior design, offer tips on plant selection and care, and share inspirational stories and photographs.

Additionally, the rise of social media platforms like Instagram has given birth to a community of plant enthusiasts and influencers who share their love for houseplants. These influencers showcase their plant-filled homes, offer advice, and inspire others to incorporate plants into their own spaces. The visual appeal of houseplants, coupled with the aspirational lifestyle depicted by these influencers, has contributed to the increasing popularity of these green companions.


Houseplants have become more than just living organisms in our homes; they have become symbols of style, wellness, and connection to nature. Whether they are featured in our favorite TV shows or movies or serve as decorative elements in our living spaces, houseplants exert their influence on popular culture. From the nostalgic sets of 90s sitcoms to the opulence of period dramas, plants play a silent yet significant role in our visual experiences.

As we watch our favorite TV shows and movies, we can appreciate the attention to detail and the thought put into incorporating houseplants into these narratives. They not only enhance the storytelling but also reflect our society’s growing appreciation for nature and the benefits it provides.

Next time you settle in for a TV marathon or immerse yourself in a film, keep an eye out for those famous houseplants. You might start noticing their presence more often and the impact they have on the scenes. And who knows, you might even be inspired to bring a bit of that greenery into your own home, channeling the ambiance of your favorite TV show or movie.


[^1]: Houseplants in 90s US Sitcoms. (n.d.). Retrieved from
[^2]: The Most Iconic Houseplant Trends Through the Decades. (n.d.). Retrieved from
[^3]: Leafy Legends: The Vibrant History of Houseplants — Plant Care Tips and More · La Résidence. (n.d.). Retrieved from
[^4]: 5 film scenes which make inspiring use of plants. (n.d.). Retrieved from
[^5]: Houseplants in tv shows – YouTube. (n.d.). Retrieved from