Houseplants aren’t a new concept. In fact, humans have kept plants and trees in pots for thousands of years, dating back to the hanging gardens of Babylon!
But lately, houseplants have enjoyed a massive boom in popularity, especially with Millennials and Gen Z. Just take a look at social media: Hashtags like #plantsofinstagram, #urbanjungle and #plantsmakepeoplehappy are trending on Instagram, and the entire platform is full of gorgeous houseplant photos depicting cozy apartments full of potted plants.
Reddit and Facebook have tons of forums dedicated to houseplant care and photography. (Including ours! Check out our fiddle leaf fig care group or our monstera care group).
Mail order plant services and online shops like The Sill are popping up all over the place and I’ve been seeing all kinds of new plants and adorable planters in nurseries and home improvement stores, more so than ever before!
In fact, the recent National Gardening Survey states that “18 to 34-year-olds now occupy 29% of all gardening households.”
Why this new interest in houseplants among young people? Why this fascinating new trend?
Let’s take a look at some theories.
Why Millennials are Leading the Houseplant Trend
Houseplants fill the need to nurture
For various reasons, Millennials and Gen Zers are waiting longer to start families or are choosing to not have children at all. These generations have been hit hard by the competitive job market and skyrocketing tuition prices, so many aren’t in a financial position to have children. Some simply prefer the freedom and flexibility of a child-free lifestyle or would rather prioritize career and travel.
Speaking of travel, Millennials LOVE it, and houseplants tend to do a lot better than pets or children when you leave them alone for days or weeks, which could be another contributing factor to their popularity.
Either way, humans have an innate need to nurture something. Many people have pets, but houseplants can also fulfill this need. Plants require care and attention (some much more than others!) and this is a relatively low maintenance way to scratch this itch for many people.
There’s something magical about noticing that your plant is growing a new leaf and watching your plant grow before your eyes under your care. It’s very fulfilling!
Houseplants provide physical and mental benefits
If there’s anything Millennials and Gen Z love more than houseplants, it’s wellness. Yoga pants are here to stay and the term “self-care” is a part of our everyday vocabulary when this wasn’t even a thing a decade ago. And plants provide many mental and physical benefits!
The healthy effects of nature on our wellbeing are well-documented. Bringing plants inside just makes those benefits that much more accessible. No time for a hike or forest bathing? Prune your philodendrons instead.
Houseplants require watering, pruning, repotting, cleaning, and more, but many people find these practices relaxing because they require us to slow down and carefully tend to something. Caring for plants can provide comforting routines in an otherwise crazy and uncertain world.
Caring for plants can also provide a break from technology, which can be a welcome respite from the stress of notifications and social media and the constant stress of being available to the world 24/7 through our cell phones.
Plants are also beautiful, and looking at beautiful things can relax and inspire us. I mean, come on, how gorgeous is this?
Don’t you feel more relaxed just by looking at this?
Houseplant owners know the power of plants!
Plants bring nature inside
A big reason why most indoor gardeners love plants is that houseplants are an easy way to bring a touch of nature inside.
Millennials and Gen Zers are busy with demanding jobs and social lives and may not spend as much time in nature as they like. Many live in urban environments where nature is hard to come by.
With skyrocketing home prices, student debt, and a competitive job market, many young people are also putting off home buying and choosing to rent instead, which means that many live in apartments without their own yards.
Houseplants are a great way to carve out a little piece of nature all to yourself!
Social media brings plants lovers together
Earlier, I mentioned that houseplants have taken social media by storm, especially Instagram. Gorgeous houseplant photography can inspire others to collect plants of their own, and this trend spreads like wildfire.
Social media also provides a platform for plant lovers to inspire each other, share tips and secrets, and even arrange meetups and organizations where they can talk shop and even trade or share cuttings from their collections.
A Blooming Industry
Houseplant sales are steadily rising, and younger generations are leading the charge toward plant parenthood and “urban jungles”.
Here at Houseplant Resource Center, we hope to make your dreams of plant ownership a reality by providing excellent, user-friendly information and the best products for your plants.
Your own indoor jungle with thank you!