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10 Elegant Houseplants for Dark Academia Spaces

a dark academia corner of a home filled with houseplants

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There's no denying that houseplants can instantly uplift any indoor space. They can bring diversity and instantly make a room feel more awake. We are big fans of putting plants in any space, but especially homes with a Dark Academia aesthetic. 

What is Dark Academia in Interior Design?

Dark Academia is a classic yet moody style that is characterised by the use of rich colours and sophisticated decor. Some describe this style as gothic, evocative, and regal, while others prefer a more cosy, refined, and darkly elegant aesthetic. 

Despite the versatility in its look, all Dark Academia spaces have one thing in common - they embrace academics, literature, and the arts, oozing romanticism of all things intellectual, possibly evoking imagery of dusky autumn days and historical architecture.

Why Use Plants in Dark Academia Spaces?

a dark academia bedroom with plants, natural materials, books and a gold lamp

Indoor greenery is extremely effective at enhancing any interior design, and Dark Academia spaces are no exception.

The right plants will do a fine job of breaking up this style's dark colour schemes, infusing life and nature into the design, and enriching the beauty and elegance of the space. 

10 Houseplants to Put in Your Dark Academia Space

For those aiming to create a Dark Academia aesthetic, we recommend choosing plants with a haunting yet regal appearance. These can include houseplants with striking features such as unique foliage or intricate leaf patterns. Go for plants that make you want to take a closer look and explore their complex details. 

When selecting plants for your space, it's important to consider your personal preferences and the amount of space available, as it's easy for plants to overwhelm a room if attention to layout is neglected.

We've compiled a list of 10 houseplants that complement Dark Academia home decor beautifully, adding a much-needed contrasting element to create balance. 

1: English Ivy (Hedera helix)

english ivy leaves

An ancient climbing plant, English ivy has a rich history, with some believing it is symbolic of eternal life. You'll commonly find English ivy climbing up historical buildings and twining itself around archways and over roofs, but it's also very easy to grow indoors and is tolerant of low-light conditions, making it ideal for pairing with Dark Academia's deep colour schemes. 

With a hardy nature and evocative aesthetic, English ivy can complement Dark Academia's haunting yet timeless atmosphere.

2: Nerve Plant (Fittonia spp.)

a nerve plant with pink veins

The nerve plant is named after its unique veins, which can be found in various colours ranging from pink to white, depending on the variety. The contrast between its small leaves and intricate veins gives it a delicate yet dramatic appearance, making it a perfect fit for a Dark Academia plant collection.

3: Velvet Philodendron Micans (Philodendron hederaceum var. hederaceum 'Micans')

the leaf of a philodendron micans houseplant

The philodendron micans has heart-shaped and velvety leaves that feel soft to the touch. Due to its trailing nature, it is perfect for hanging planters, which can create a balanced decor arrangement and draw attention upwards. If you are looking for a plant to complement the Dark Academia style, this philodendron is a great choice since its velvety texture matches the aesthetic.

4: Monstera (Monstera deliciosa)

the folded leaf of a monstera houseplant

The monstera plant, which is also known as the "Swiss cheese plant", is a popular choice among houseplant enthusiasts. It has a distinctive leaf shape that can grow up to 18 inches wide. The name of this tropical beauty, monstera deliciosa, means "delicious monstrosity", which refers to its unique and contrasting appearance - both beautiful and monstrous. Adding a monstera plant to your Dark Academia space can enhance the dramatic and evocative atmosphere we are after.

5: Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)

a venus fly trap houseplant

The Venus flytrap is a unique and intriguing addition to any plant collection. Its carnivorous nature sets it apart from other houseplants, and while it may not be everyone's cup of tea, it can add a touch of mystery and intrigue to any space. Plus, its dark and melancholic vibe perfectly complements the moody and contemplative atmosphere of the Dark Academia aesthetic.

6: Jungle Velvet Calathea (Calathea warscewiczii)

someone holding a jungle velvet calathea

Similarly to the philodendron micans, the jungle velvet calathea has velvety leaves that are sure to satisfy the tactile senses, along with gracefully drooping foliage and aesthetic leaf patterns that will add a sense of luxury and complexity to any Dark Academia space. 

7: Terrariums

a globe-shaped terrarium filled with a variety of small plants in a kitchen

Terrariums are small-scale ecosystems that are typically constructed inside glass jars using a combination of soil, moss, stones, and small plants. They are not only beautiful but also low-maintenance, making them a perfect addition to any Dark Academia-inspired space. The miniature world inside a terrarium can create an enigmatic and mystical atmosphere, that adds a touch of magic and intrigue to the overall design.

8: Alocasia Sarian (Alocasia 'Sarian')

the leaf of an alocasia sarian houseplant

The alocasia sarian is a plant known for its fascinating vein patterns and dramatic arrowhead-shaped leafage. The pointed shape of its leaves beautifully complements a gothic Dark Academia aesthetic, while the vibrant green colour adds life and freshness to the atmosphere.

9: Satin Pothos (Scindapsus pictus 'Exotica')

a pair of hands holding a satin pothos houseplant

The satin pothos is a stunningly elegant plant that has deep green, heart-shaped leaves. Its most notable characteristic is its leaf pattern - silvery spots that lend the plant an almost weathered appearance while still appearing fresh and vibrant. This adds another layer of interest to Dark Academia's aesthetic, especially those that include vintage or antique decor. Like other pothos varieties, the satin pothos is an excellent choice for hanging planters as it trails beautifully, drawing attention upwards.

10: String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii)

a hand holding a string of hearts houseplant

The string of hearts plant, with its delicate and unique leaf patterns, can bring a touch of ethereal beauty to your Dark Academia Space. Its heart-shaped leaves add to the romantic ambience commonly present in this style.

The plant's trailing vines can easily be draped over shelves, creating a stunning visual display that adds to the overall aesthetic of the space.

Now that you have some great ideas for dramatic and moody plants to add to your Dark Academia space, personalise your choices so they complement your decor collection. Plants are a natural and uplifting way to enhance any design and we believe they are a must-have for a beautiful home. If you're interested in more Dark Academia houseplant ideas, check out our Dark Academia Plants board on Pinterest!


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