Indoor plants sales are booming as a result of urbanization, interior design trends, and millennials' desire to have something to nurture and care for.
Growing Trend Among Young People
According to experts, the rise in sales of indoor plants and plant accessories, as well as the prominence of Instagram influencers – social media personalities with tens of thousands of followers – speaks to a growing trend among young people.
When at the age of 24 George Hudson moved to London from Derbyshire to start a political degree, he missed the green spaces he had grown up in. He started work in Walworth Garden, which let him reconnect with nature; from there, his fascination with house plant urbanization and trends grew and he now owns about a dozen.
George Hudson: "It’s partly a back-to-nature thing, a relief from the developed cities we live in,” he said. “It also gives people something to look after and care for; something people crave. There is a bit of a collector’s addiction about it." The online furniture store Made.com said sales of plant accessories had quadrupled this year. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has also reported a 10-15% year-on-year increase across the industry in houseplants since 2013. RHS retail reported a houseplant sales growth of 50% in 2018, driven largely by foliage plant sales which have doubled. Online plant store Patch said 67% of Londoners bought a houseplant in the last 12 months, according to its research. There was a 10% rise in plant purchasing for 25- to 34-year-olds. The store sold 130,000 plants in 2018 and is on track to sell 300,000 in 2019.
Freddie Blackett, Patch’s founder, said it was hard to pin a date on when the trend started. "Urbanisation is a big driver," he said. "People are increasingly living in tight spaces in increasingly tight cities so access to nature is much reduced." Blackett said the physical and mental health benefits of plants were also a draw as indoor plants help clean the air and are said to ease depression and anxiety. "Another change had been the design trends," he said. "We have seen people move away from stark minimalism."
Ali Edwards, the design manager at Made.com, said there had been a big trend for wellness within the home. "We’ve seen a rise in popularity of calming furnishings like woven rattans and spherical lighting," she said.
Alice Vincent, an author, and journalist who runs an Instagram account with thousands of followers dedicated to plants said there was something more meaningful going on for younger people. "Millennials don’t have the housing and security our parents had. We grow up slower, and that does not mean we don’t want to connect, have something to nurture," she said.