CivicScience | Gen Z Houseplant Ownership Stems from the Desire to Care for Something Alive

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Gen Z Houseplant Ownership Stems from the Desire to Care for Something Alive

Image Credit: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

It may surprise you that 66% of consumers in the United States own at least one houseplant. Since 2019, plant ownership has increased two percentage points. In addition, the number of consumers with no interest in owning a plant has decreased from 27% to 26%. What could be causing this steady increase in owning plants? When asked about their motivation to own a plant, the top three reasons were to improve air quality, to have something pretty to look at, or to improve the design of their home.A closer look at demographics reveals men are most likely to buy their plants for home design improvements, whereas women are more driven by the desire to look at something pleasing. Both men and women place an improvement in air quality as a strong second. Consumers aged 13-24 are uniquely almost twice as likely as any other age group to cite the desire to care for something alive as their primary purchasing reason.

Plant Parents

When asked if you consider yourself a “plant parent,” a surprising 16% of plant owners raised their hands. Members of the LGBTQ community, non-parents, and consumers aged 13-34 are more likely to consider themselves a parent for a plant.

Taking Care of Plants Isn’t Easy

Surely plant owners realize that caring for plants doesn’t come naturally for everyone. Among plant owners, almost 50% agree that the most difficult part of caring for their plants is remembering to water them enough. 

Because of the difficulties of owning and caring for plants, there are unfortunately times when you accidentally kill your plant. It’s okay, it happens to all of us. Curiously, disappointment is the most frequent emotion (41%) that consumers feel when this happens over more intense feelings like depression or guilt. This suggests that consumers likely hold themselves responsible for failing to properly care for their houseplants, but this doesn’t stop them from trying again.

Plants and the Coronavirus

Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, houseplants have been faring about the same as usual according to their owners with around 76% faring okay or great. However, a small lucky percentage (11%) of houseplants are feeling the benefits of their owners being able to pay more attention to them because they are staying at home more. The big question is, did you remember to take your plant home from the office so you could take care of it during quarantine?

Young people are becoming increasingly passionate in their plant ownership with 21% of Gen Z and Millennials considering themselves a parent to a plant. Plant parents are also more likely to be part of the LGBTQ community and unlikely to have children of their own. 

Houseplant ownership is on the rise in the U.S. and it will be interesting to see if this trend continues into the next few months especially with more and more people working and spending the majority of their time at home.

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