House plants were our link with nature in lockdown – now they could change how we relate to the natural world
Dr Giulia Carabelli looks at the role plants play in these times of forced isolation.
They’re not the first generation to keep house plants, but millennials seem to have earned a reputation for gratuitous indoor foliage. Bloomberg reporter Matthew Boyle claimed that young people have helped revive “the once moribund market for house plants” in the US, where, according to the National Gardening Association, sales surged 50% between 2016 and 2019. In the UK, the Royal Agricultural Society reported a 65% increase in house plant sales in 2018 alone.
Why young people in particular might be so fond of house plants has invited numerous explanations. Lifestyle reporter Casey Bond argued that house plants offer something to nurture that’s cheap and doesn’t involve a lot of maintenance, with obvious appeal to a generation whose entry into parenthood is stymied by house prices and economic instability. Young people today are thought to be more conscious of mental health and self-care too, and plants have been proven to reduce stress levels and improve mood.
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Article originally appeared in The Conversation.