A wave of color is sweeping the nation, and the color is green. People are longing for nature. No other setting evokes feelings of tranquility and wellness more than a plant-filled patio or room. In fact, this growing love affair with horticulture is apparent everywhere you look. Plants, in their spectrum of shapes and sizes, are fulfilling the needs of multiple generations, from Baby Boomers to Generations X, Y, and Z. The obsession with gardening grew 10% in this country in 2018, according to Euromonitor International (the world’s leading independent provider of strategic market research), reaching $40.2 billion in sales and is expected to reach $49.3 billion by 2023. Here in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is supporting this surge in gardening through education, plant swaps, garden tours, contests, and the Philadelphia Flower Show.
While the numbers illustrate the burgeoning interest in gardening, there are many theories for the psychology behind it. “I believe the pops of green spotted on social media channels created a wide-spread plant-induced happiness into what is otherwise a dismal online world,” says Katie Dubow, Creative Director, Garden Media Group, publisher of the Garden Trends Report. “This world is filled with influencers and their perfect families, homes, bodies, and vacations. The thought that adding one, affordable piece of that perfection into our own lives is an easy, and addictive, thing we can do to add joy,” she says.
According to Euromonitor, the largest proportion of plants sold are succulents. GrowIt! – a mobile app with 50% of its users under age 35 – says escheveria was the most popular plant with users in March 2019. Indoor aloe came in second. “Instagram pages such as @PlantParenthood and @HouseplantClub reveal the most popular plants include monstera, string of dolphins, pilea, and echeveria,” says the Garden Trends Report.
Browse Instagram, or Insta-green as Dubow calls it. “That instagrammable feature of plants, as seen in all pages from designer Emily Henderson to lifestyle blogger, A Beautiful Mess, position plants as a must-have accessory,” she says. “The rise of Instagram accounts and blogs featuring houseplants boasts hundreds of thousands of followers, such as The Horticult, Homestead Brooklyn, The Jungalow and Urban Jungle Bloggers.”