KMA 2020 Trend Forecast

Amanda Thomsen
A wise man once said, “Life moves pretty fast …” and as much as that’s true, trends in gardening move pretty slow. Something that was hot and new 10 years ago with a certain type of gardener are STILL hot and new, 10 years later, with another kind of gardener. Here’s a list of stuff I’ve noticed is still somewhere on the trending bell curve:

• Banana leaf print has been having a moment in interiors for a while; banana (also Bird of Paradise for that matter) foliage is only going to get more popular for outdoor decorating, too. That means stocking more of these plants and also looking at things like outdoor pillows, rugs or other outdoor living items starring this famous tropical print.

• Black Raven ZZ plant is piping hot right now and if the Pilea peperomioides or variegated monstera fads have taught us anything, it’s that these hot plants stay hot for a few years. There’s a rush to “be the first” for influencers on Instagram and they’ll pay WHATEVER it takes to be first.

• For years, the NASA list of houseplants that help with indoor air quality has been going around and it’s clear that people are attracted to plants that do very specific things. People are also interested in outdoor super-specialized, hard-working plants … think phytoextraction, phytoremediation, water purifiers, cover crops and the more glamorous components of regenerative agriculture. Of course, this will require infographics, signage and education, just like the NASA houseplant list received. People are into this stuff—they just need to be taught that it exists.

• Wood stuff is in right now, like anything made out of unpainted wood, especially if it’s reclaimed: I don’t fully get it—I don’t think wood stuff was ever out. But it’s IN now in a big way.

• You’ll think this is me making it up, but all things flamingo are HUGE right now. It’s not just my wishful thinking, I swear it. Have your blow mold flamingos ready for spring!

• Speaking of swearing … things with swear words on them are big. I also don’t really get this one—I enjoy swearing verbally much more and I have an 8-year-old so having things labeled with swear words just makes me wrinkle my brow, but I’m seeing it out there. Think of the old “Grow Dammit” garden sign, but much naughtier.

• Not just for Christmas anymore, front door decor is still HUGE. We all want to change our wreaths/front doors at least four times a year. Maybe more. Sell seasonal wreaths.

• Peonies are never not “in,” but they’re a little extra in for right now. Focus on selling them in collections so no peony gets lonely.

• Same for sunflowers: they never go out, but they’re having an extra strong moment right now.

• Remember “put a bird on it”? Now it’s “jamming a plant into literally anything.” Old printer cartridge? Stick a plant in it and sell it. Old wagon tires? Plant it up.

• Mid-century modern bullet planters or planters with stands are in. This is the OPPOSITE of wishful thinking for me, as I’ve been trying to collect all the vintage ones forever, and now I’ll get outbid and outpriced. But I’m no purist—I can pick up the newly produced ones with glee at your garden center.

• Amethyst chunks, slabs and other crystals are still in, so top the soil of any potted plant with crystals and watch your sales vibrate at a higher frequency.

• I’m still seeing a lot of macrame, but at a less ferocious pace, thankfully.

What are you seeing trend-wise? Feel free to let me know what I’ve forgotten, missed or am willfully ignoring. GP

Amanda Thomsen is a funky, punky garden writer and author. Her blog is planted at and you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter AND Instagram @KissMyAster.