Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI & Kritine Kratt AIFD, PFCI

As the trend of dwelling with house plants continues to grow, let’s take an updated look at where this trend is going and what’s next on the horizon. First, we need to understand: ‘Why’ plants? What does buying and owning a plant mean? What sense does it fulfill?

During the past three months (as of January 20, 2018): Indoor plants have seen a 90% increase in searches on Pinterest.

1. Terrariums – 70% increase

2. Hanging plants – 60% increase

3. Cactus plants – 50% increase

4. Tropical plants – 40% increase

The popularity of house plants has grown so much that new terminology for some of these plant-based lifestyles are now finding their place in the plant-panthenon of hashtags: #urbanrainforest, #housejungle, or even the cutesy #jungalow.

For millennials, there are numerous reports that come to the conclusion that they want to care for something. Plants offer a responsibility for those that want it. They can become the precursor for getting a pet and even having children.

Beautiful green plant wall background. Horizontal picture of garden with dense vegetation. Ivy, dracaena, coleus, euharis and hosta plant.

Consumers no longer buy just any plant, container or accessory for their plants, but look for those that match their lifestyle and individuality. To a greater extent, consumers are concentrating on a plant’s “significance”. People have little time, but have come to understand that plants can be a source of relaxation and, at the same time, clean the air, ensure a pleasant indoor climate and give them good feelings.

Plants are considered a feature of the green “Living” trend (see Super Floral, June 2017), but not all plants are simply green nor does the entire plant craze come from soil. This development is resulting in new trends and sales opportunities. Ornately, variegated leaves for texture and pattern are becoming sought after. Plants that have touches of color like cordyline, dracenas, coleus, ti and photinia are an argument for ‘red is the new green’.

Containers that hang; from ceramics to baskets, to macrame plant hammocks all allow for plants to be featured even in small spaces. Plant stands add elevation and height and they also allow for the grouping of multiple plants at different levels.

Along with a desire for unique containers to hold plants, decorative, yet functional accessories are also trending and add personality. Creative watering sources are a great way to add-on plant care sales. Misters in ceramic, metal and glass are attractive and useful. “Thirsty plant-waterers” can be sophisticated glass or whimsical characters.

Terrariums continue to increase popularity and consumers are expanding them to include plants beyond succulents and tillandsia. Moss is ideally suited to terrarium life. Trendy “Mossariums” are a hit with their tolerance of low light levels and love of high humidity. Underwater terrariums and aquascaping are a DIY that’s in-demand. Trending are low maintenance water gardens, filled with curious marimo moss balls which aren’t actually real moss at all, but squishy masses of filamentous algae that roll around at the bottom of lakes in Japan and elsewhere in the northern hemisphere  and have been known to be treated as pets, if a consumer really wants responsibility: treated well, marimo moss balls can live for a hundred years and more.

Originally published in the March 2018 Issue of Super Floral Magazine

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