Houseplants on the horizon
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Houseplants on the horizon

Here’s a sneak peek at the trends retailers can expect for the coming year.

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January 24, 2021

The houseplant category racks a major profit for most garden centers, and like any business, trends and preferences tend to shift from year to year. Floral arrangement website FlowerCard.co.uk combed through 10 years’ worth of Google data to determine the latest houseplant trends and here’s what they found:

  1. Fishbone cactus (which saw a 2,280% increase)
  2. Bunny ear cactus (1,985% increase)
  3. Blue star fern (1,795% increase)
  4. Mistletoe cactus (1,467% increase)
  5. Velvet calathea (1,291% increase)
  6. String of hearts (1,057% increase)
  7. Happy bean plant (796% increase)
  8. Chinese money plant (668% increase)
  9. Snake plant (624% increase)
  10. African milk tree (566% increase)

We spoke with Dimitri Gatanas, owner of Urban Garden Center and Heidi Coscia, sales associate at Rolling Green Nursery, to shed some light on the trends for 2021, and if the data mirrors what they see at their IGCs.

Classic favorites

Snake plants will always be a houseplant staple, and their popularity isn’t dying any time soon. According to Gatanas, “people can’t get enough of them” and he estimates that it’s probably one of the top sellers at Urban Garden Center, as it comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and hybrids. Sansevieria cylindrica, which is a cross between a succulent and a snake plant (also called African spear, skyline spear, cylindrical mother-in-law’s tongue or spear orchid), is especially popular right now, he says.

“It’s the sleepiest plant ever in history. It's been around forever. Nobody ever really paid attention to it. But if you really think about it, everywhere you go, you see more,” Gatanas says.

Coscia also says the snake plant is a big selling category at Rolling Green Nursery, as it tops the list in air purification.

Hot trends

Of the top trends for 2021, Gatanas and Coscia both confirm that string of pearls (or string of dolphins, hearts, etc.) are experiencing a popularity surge. Market these with hanging planters or other wall décor items to inspire customers to make their own unique green living spaces.

“It seems more people are getting back to macramé hangers and the strings are a great size hanging near a window (not huge like a spider plant),” Coscia says.

Look for the rest of this story in the April issue of Garden Center, which will also contain the full houseplant report for 2021. You can take a look at last year’s report by visiting the link here.

For the full report on 2021 houseplant trends, click here.