Discover the iconic houseplants that have left their mark in pop culture! From their appearances in films and literature to their rise in millennial obsession, explore the role of houseplants in our shared cultural experiences. Enjoy the beauty, symbolism, and connection they bring to our favorite stories.


Welcome to our deep dive into the world of houseplants and their iconic presence in popular culture! From books to movies, these vibrant and evergreen beauties have made a significant impact in various artistic mediums. In this article, we’ll explore the role of houseplants in pop culture, shedding light on their appearances in films, literature, and the cultural trends surrounding them.

So, if you’re a plant lover or simply intrigued by the greenery that enhances our favorite stories, keep reading to uncover the fascinating world of iconic houseplants in pop culture.

Films and Houseplants: A Captivating Combination

Houseplants have the power to transform movie scenes, adding a touch of beauty, symbolism, or even menace to a story. Let’s explore some of the most iconic houseplant moments on the silver screen:

  1. The Great Gatsby (2013): In this extravagant adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, the lavish party scenes are adorned with an abundance of cascading blooms and china plates filled with cake. Phalaenopsis and Cymbidium Orchids take center stage, displayed in large numbers and color-coordinated with macarons[^1].

  2. When A Stranger Calls (2006): This thriller incorporates traditional eastern feng shui elements into the house’s Zen garden. Olive trees, ferns, Aspleniums, Philodendron, Beaucarnea, and water lilies create a serene and harmonious atmosphere[^1].

  3. Leon (1994): In this acclaimed film, the vibrant Aglaonema silver queen plant is a symbol of hope and redemption. Its splash of color injects life into a dreary and neglected setting[^1].

  4. Mad Men: The hit TV show “Mad Men” showcases the office of Don Draper, a character known for his cold and detached demeanor. The only plant in his office is a Monstera, subtly highlighting the lack of personal touches in his life[^1].

  5. Alexander (2004): The epic film “Alexander” features the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Musa Bajoo, scindapsus, and scandens create a lush and grand representation of these legendary gardens[^1].

These cinematic moments demonstrate how houseplants are used to evoke certain emotions, enhance storytelling, and create visually captivating scenes.

Houseplants in Literature: A Botanical Connection

Houseplants have also made their mark in literature, weaving their way into the pages of beloved stories and poems. While specific “iconic” houseplants may not be mentioned, the presence of greenery in literature often mirrors the themes and emotions conveyed in the narrative. Here are a few notable examples:

  1. Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “The Secret Garden”: This classic novel brings the transformative power of a hidden garden to life. The garden serves as a metaphor for personal growth, much like the houseplants that thrive within its walls[^2].

  2. Virginia Woolf’s love of gardening: The acclaimed author had a deep fascination with flowers and plants that often found expression in her works. Whether it is the symbolic significance of flowers in “Mrs. Dalloway” or the vivid descriptions of gardens in “To the Lighthouse,” plants play a role in Woolf’s literary landscape[^2].

  3. Poetry and the representation of plants: Throughout literary history, poets have utilized plants to evoke emotions, explore themes of growth and decay, and reflect upon the cycles of life. From William Wordsworth’s daffodils to Emily Dickinson’s beloved blooms, flowers and plants have been intertwined with poetic expression[^3].

While famous houseplants may not take center stage in literature, their presence in gardens and greenhouses provides a backdrop for the exploration of human experiences and natural beauty.

Houseplants and Pop Culture: A Millennial Obsession

Houseplants have experienced a resurgence in popularity, particularly among millennials. Why have these green companions captured the hearts of a generation? Let’s explore the cultural trends that have contributed to the rise of houseplants in popular culture:

  1. The rise of the self-care and wellness movements: Houseplants align perfectly with the emphasis on self-care and creating an oasis of calm within one’s living space. These green companions offer a sense of tranquility, connection with nature, and an opportunity to cultivate mindfulness[^1].

  2. Social media’s influence on the plant community: Instagram, in particular, has played a significant role in popularizing houseplants. Users share photos, care tips, and plant-related information, fostering a supportive and like-minded community. Plant swaps, shows, and workshops further enhance the sense of connection among plant enthusiasts[^1].

  3. The appeal of nature without the financial burden: Houseplants provide a sense of nurturing and companionship without the financial responsibilities of pets or children. They offer the opportunity to care for another living being and witness its growth, making them an attractive option for those seeking a fulfilling and low-maintenance hobby[^1].

  4. Houseplants as decoration and interior design elements: The aesthetic appeal of houseplants cannot be overlooked. From small succulents adorning windowsills to large, tropical specimens creating a jungle-like atmosphere, these green beauties add a sense of vibrancy, life, and freshness to any space[^1].

While fads may come and go, the love for houseplants seems to be standing the test of time. From millennials to plant enthusiasts of all generations, these captivating plants have found a special place in our hearts and homes.


The presence of houseplants in popular culture is far more widespread than one might initially imagine. From their noteworthy appearances in films to their subtle symbolism in literature, these green companions add depth, beauty, and meaning to the stories we love. Their popularity in today’s culture is a testament to our desire for connection, wellness, and a touch of natural beauty in our lives. So, whether you’re tending to a Monstera in your office, finding solace in the pages of a garden-centric novel, or admiring the lush greenery in your favorite film, houseplants continue to shape our cultural landscape.

Next time you encounter a houseplant in a movie scene or immerse yourself in a garden-themed book, take a moment to appreciate the silent role these iconic plants play in our shared cultural experiences. They truly are the unsung heroes that breathe life into our stories and bring a touch of nature into our daily lives.


[^1]: ‘5 film scenes which make inspiring use of plants – Film and Furniture’. (n.d.). Retrieved from [^1]:
[^2]: ‘The Most Iconic Houseplant Trends Through the Decades’. (n.d.). Retrieved from [^2]:
[^3]: ‘Why Millennials Are So Obsessed With Houseplants’. (n.d.). Retrieved from [^3]: