Container trends: What’s new for ‘22
Photo courtesy of Russell's Garden Center

Container trends: What’s new for ‘22

From statement pieces to classic neutral shapes and designs, here’s what customers are buying this year.

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April 2, 2022

When it comes to selecting the perfect piece of pottery to set off their houseplants, customers are becoming more intentional with their purchases. While the ongoing supply chain crisis has thrown a wrench into many retailers’ container offerings this year, it doesn’t seem likely to dissuade customers from visiting their local IGC and picking out the perfect container. Garden Center spoke with Gethsemane Garden Center, Landon's Greenhouse and Russell's Garden Center regarding the supply chain crisis (which you can read out about in our upcoming April issue) and the latest container trends, which we dive into below.

What container sizes and styles are popular right now?

Gethsemane Garden Center
Perry Kim, statuary manager:
Midcentury modern continues to be a trend — things like bullet shapes
and things that are reminiscent of the ‘50s and postmodern design. Classical statement pieces continue to be big, particularly for outdoors.

Whether it's concrete, fiberglass or traditional ceramics, they want something larger scale — some sort of statement piece for the front of the house, in pairs, is often a trend.

I think a lot of people are also now looking to have that one unique thing, whatever that unique thing is. I try to supply different or interesting statuary containers or sculptural pieces. I think with that, they're willing to invest a little bit more like, ‘Oh my God, that stone container would look perfect in this spot!’ and it's OK that it's $1,000.

Landon’s Greenhouse
Erin Kinsey, production manager:
Houseplant pots are definitely popular, we could not keep them stocked last year. I mean, we have a bunch of larger pots — about 24 inches — but the little 8- to 10-inch pots, people were going mad over. And I think that's COVID-related, partially because people were at home, and they wanted something in their house to take care of. Houseplants skyrocketed, so pots did too.

Russell’s Garden Center
Elizabeth Russell-Skehan, president:
Since January, what's mostly been selling is pots for houseplants and succulents. Things like little pots, novelty pot, ceramic. Our stock pots, like plastic and clay, we couldn't get in right away. So normally we would sell a lot of those, but basically whatever we can get in, we are selling.

Are any colors popular this year?

Gethsemane Garden Center
PK:
A lot of white and gray kind of modernist-looking containers are continuing to be hot. Pantone announced that their Color of the Year was Very Peri, so those kind of lilac-periwinkle/light purple shades all have been kind of hot.

Blue has consistently been a strong color, just because it goes so well and really makes certain plant material really pop, like anything with variegated leaves, where you have the dark green and the yellow and the leaf against the blue background. Blue has always been sort of a traditional container color.

Landon’s Greenhouse
EK:
We've sold a lot of things, but we did have a surplus of blue pots. For some reason, people were not interested in the blue! We couldn’t give those away last year. I don’t why, but that’s what we ended the season with!

What overall trends are you taking notice of this year?

Landon’s Greenhouse
EK:
Sitting on your patio, you want to have a nice pot of flowers in the back. So, we've noticed that a lot of people are interested in that kind of instant gratification. We still have our people that want to grow something from a small plant or from seed, but we have a lot of people that want to come to the store and come home and have a finished beautiful pot.

With the things that we grow, we'll have them in a plastic hanging basket, but a lot of people, they'll buy a nice, pretty, ceramic container they love, and we'll just pop it out of the hanging basket and just drop it right in. So, it's immediately a finished beautiful ceramic pot.

Gethsemane Garden Center
PK:
For probably the last four to five years, lightweight stuff has been popular. We have stuff made out fiber resin or plastic, but it doesn't look like cheap plastic — it’s got some sort of design element or design shape to it.

Since COVID happened, when so many more people were staying at home, the other big trend is kind of larger privacy pieces. We sell fiber resin containers that are long, big rectangles that people can use as sort of a divider wall between their balcony and their next-door neighbor's balcony. And then they could grow tall grasses or some sort of small tree specimen to create that kind of privacy.

What customer demographics trends have you noticed?

Landon’s Greenhouse
EK:
I do think specifically here we have a lot of snowbirds (people who spend the summers here and then leave in the winter). But because of the pandemic, a lot of people stayed, so they bought more pots and they bought more plant material, just because they were here so they could enjoy it longer.

I would say for the younger crowd, I think we've definitely got a lot of younger interest, whether it’s gardening or  just houseplants. I think that it's just become kind of the “hip” thing to do again. As far as the younger generations, as far as plants go, there are things we're seeing there. For example, what we've grown in the past, like geraniums, we used to sell out. Now they’re kind of an “old” flower. People are wanting new and crazier things. And I think it's probably the same with pots. They don't want just a plain old black pot; they want something with crazy patterns.

Gethsemane Garden Center
PK:
The lightweight stuff is popular with both older and younger people, or people with smaller city apartments that maybe are doing container gardening on their terrace, balcony, or even rooftop. A lot of these newer designed houses have deck spaces built on top of their garages that people use as their entertainment area, so they want lightweight containers that they can drag up to the roof of the garage. But that it would also be durable and sure provide some backdrop to their outdoor deck.

Editor's note: These interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.