Earth Day: How millennials are helping drive the houseplant market

According to the National Gardening Association, the lawn and garden industry saw a spike in spending to more than $50 billion in 2018.
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 2:08 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - On a recent April afternoon, a mother and daughter pulled open the sliding door at Green Connection.

Warm air enveloped them as they walked away from the melting, dirty, gray snow piles outside.

“Oh, it’s so nice,” they exclaimed.

It’s no secret that houseplants have become very trendy. According to the National Gardening Association, the lawn and garden industry saw a spike in spending to more than $50 billion in 2018.

According to the association, the industry is led by wealthy households, and millennial households report strong levels of spending also. Millennials, according to the association, are reported to have revived the houseplant market.

“There’s no way a person can describe how plants make people feel,” said Sarah Lanners from Green Connection. “It’s just a good feeling.”

The COVID-19 pandemic is also credited with the increase in houseplants.

“You tell people to stay at home and ‘you can’t leave your house’ and ‘you shouldn’t ... visit your loved ones, you should stay home and be by yourself,’” Lanners said. “So all of a sudden people were at home and I have heard many different theories of why houseplants have increased in popularity, and one of those reasons is that people wanted something to care for and nurture and love.”

Search #plantmom on Instagram, and there are more than 3 million posts. The more inclusive #plantparenthood has more than 1.6 million posts.

To spread the love of plants and celebrate Earth Day, Green Connection is hosting a plant swap to encourage this trend and get people to socialize with other fans of flora and fauna.

You bring your own plants and cuttings to share and stay to socialize. The cost is $5 per person, with the money being donated to the Community Garden Program in Anchorage.

Lanners says that living in an urban environment, and apartment life, helped create a need for nature to live inside.

“Nature makes people feel good most of the time,” Lanners said, “and when you’re in an urban setting, houseplants in particular help bring the nature inside.”

Earth Day, and Green Connection’s plant swap, is this Friday, April 22. Find more information and tickets on the event’s website.

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