FRONT LINES
2/1/2021

A Window Into 2020 Plant Purchases

Ellen C. Wells

A colleague forwarded a link to the latest “why’d you purchase plants in 2020?”-type survey and I have to say, it’s illuminating. The responses really shed some light on the horticulture industry and our corner of it. And I thought we’d peer through the glass a bit for an analysis of their findings.

The survey, “Plant Love: Exploring Plant Purchasing Habits and Plant Care in 2020,” was conducted by, of all businesses, a window treatment company by the name of Stoneside (hence my attempted puns in the preceding paragraph). The company conducted the 990-person survey to, as it says on the survey page, “understand how many plants they’ve purchased in 2020, how they picked their flora, how good they think they are at keeping their plants alive and how these new green-thumbs have helped their relationships at home.” That last part about relationships is interesting, and as you read through the survey questions and responses you see that the survey spend a fair amount of time digging into the emotional and behavioral implications of plant purchases and plant care.

But back to the general survey results for a moment. Here are a few numbers that stood out for me:

•  45% chose plants based on appearance, 36% on what they produced and 19% on the conditions required (so much for “the right plant for the right place”)

•  GenY spent the most on plant purchases ($134), with Millennials and Boomers both spending around $121

• 55% sometimes/always talk to their plants

• People who talk at least sometimes to their plants were 3.5 times more likely to say gardening has decreased their stress

• Boomers (62%) and Millennials (60%) bought more houseplants than Gen Xers (50%)

• 29% of people in a relationship were asked to stop bringing plants home and 43% have fought over plant expenditures

While it’s not the most robust survey ever, there are a lot of interesting questions and revealing numbers in the survey data. I suggest you take some time to peruse the numbers and read their conclusions at www.stoneside.com/resources/articles/plant-love. And, yes, they’re able to relate window treatments to plant care. Automated blinds can help your orchids bloom more reliably, don’t ya know. GP

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