State of the Houseplant Market: 2021 Recap
Posted by: scentandviolet August 5th, 2022
While houseplants have been gaining popularity for some time, at the outset of COVID in 2020, houseplant retailers were unsure how the pandemic would impact the houseplant trade. However, as the 2021 Consumer Houseplant Purchasing Report by the Floral Marketing Fund (FMF) reveals, if anything, since the pandemic there has been an increasing interest in houseplants. Even more fascinating, the growth in the houseplant trade has been heavily influenced by houseplant keepers’ perception that plants can both boost mood and improve health.
Although houseplants were popular before COVID, the growth of the houseplant industry since 2019 has been influenced by the pandemic in very tangible ways. Most notably, plant keepers have been spending more time at home and working remotely, resulting in a growing interest in keeping plants. While houseplants have been particularly popular among consumers aged 18 to 36, houseplants have been gaining popularity across different age groups, genders and geographic locations too.
While aesthetics are part of the reason behind houseplants’ growing popularity, there’s more to the equation. As revealed by the FMF report, houseplant keepers are drawn to plants for their functional benefits (such as air purifying and the perception that plants can boost mood) as well. Intriguingly, the results of the FMF report seem to support the belief that plant keeping does improve emotional health.
These findings were produced by comparing the perceptions of houseplant purchasers against non-purchasers. Houseplant purchasers were defined as those who displayed at least a neutral interest in plants, owned at least one houseplant and purchased plants at least once a year. Respondents who did not meet these requirements were categorized as non-purchasers.
After completing the study, the FMF findings showed that 2/3 of the houseplant purchasers surveyed firmly believed that houseplants made them happier, with over 36% of respondents “strongly agreeing" with the correlation between happiness and houseplant keeping. The survey also found that houseplant purchasers, in general, had greater optimism about the future, even in the face of COVID. Conversely, respondents who fell into the category of non-purchasers displayed less optimistic feelings about the future. These results are likely due to the perceived effect of houseplants as mood boosters and the fact that tending plants helped purchasers redirect some of the negativity caused by the pandemic towards a more positive activity.
And while the houseplant industry has been growing steadily even through COVID, those currents trends are projected to continue, with plant purchasers stating that they will likely continue buying houseplants, and more of them, in the future. In fact, it’s estimated that houseplant purchases will increase by roughly 10% in all categories of houseplants, including tropicals and succulents. These findings have also been backed by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Even more encouragingly, survey respondents in the non-purchaser category also displayed interest in buying plants in the future. However, according to the study, the potential health and wellness benefits of plant keeping were the primary draw for these respondents – a fact which plant retailers may take into consideration when marketing potted plants.
Overall, the FMF study reflects a positive future for the houseplant trade. Although all categories of houseplants are popular today, tropical plants are the most frequently purchased, while plants in the indoor palm and bromeliad categories tend to fetch the highest prices. Additionally, while box stores and plant nurseries were the primarily locations where plants were bought, more plant keepers are displaying interest in ordering plants online, which is likely a direct result of COVID. However, plant keepers showed some hesitancy about ecommerce options, particularly as plants may be damaged during shipping and some buyers prefer to handle plants prior to purchase.
For plant keepers and professionals in the houseplant trade, the future is bright. Just as houseplants have been a popular hobby in the past, they are likely to remain so in the future. And, with the changes brought about by the pandemic, notably a rise in ecommerce and employees working from home, there is every reason to expect that the popularity of houseplants will continue to grow in upcoming years.
We would like to thank our friends at JustHousePlants for putting together State of The Market recap based on 2021 Consumer Houseplant Purchasing Report.
JustHousePlants is a free educational resource built with the mission of helping houseplant owners select, care for, and propagate their plants like professionals. They translate the science of plant care into simple, easy to read instructions that plant owners of any experience level can follow.
Scent & Violet, flowers and gifts is a full service florist in Houston, TX located at 12811 Westheimer Rd. We aim to create fuss-free, everyday shopping source for flowers, plants, and gifts. It is our belief that we can create better relationships through gifting, better environments through plants, and better state of mind through flowers.