When COVID-19 forced lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, some people adopted a pet. Some people adopted a plant. Or two plants. Or 70 plants, according to HuffPost.
- Plant adoptions soared to unprecedented levels last year, reports NBC News. New “plant parents” saw themselves nurturing their greenery in a personal way.
As COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available and some parts of life return to pre-pandemic normal, the question remains if plant parenting is around to stay, says Bustle.
How popular is plant parenting?
Seven in 10 millennials reported that they consider themselves a “plant parent” — in a pre-pandemic study from January 2020, reports Deseret News.
No renewed survey has been conducted, but gardening and plant parenting undeniably grew last year, says Bustle.
- During 2020, gardening-related sales increased by almost 19%, reports MarketPlace.
- Plant stores reported surges in demand almost too much to keep up with, says NBC News.
- New Instagram accounts and Facebook groups dedicated to plant care sprang up, reports MarketPlace.
Why did plant parenting grow during COVID-19?
Gardening became a form of self-care during the coronavirus pandemic. Plants have a scientifically supported healing effect with gardening a few times a week being associated with higher levels of perceived well-being, lower stress and increased physical activity, reports Bustle.
- For renters and urban dwellers, plants offer a way to connect with nature without worrying about pet policies, says HuffPost.
- For millennials — a generation already delaying major life milestones — plants offer an opportunity to nurture something yet require less attention, time and money than a pet or a child, reports HuffPost.
During long lockdowns, people also used plants as a distraction from other stresses and as a way of filling suddenly lacking socialization, says NBC News. Online plant communities became vibrant, positive corners of social media during anxious and difficult times.
- Taking care of a plant also gave people a sense of control over some part of their life, says NBC News.
How do I green thumb I just wanna be a plant parent like the rest of my peers— NinjaBertle (@_itsjustBert) June 23, 2021
What will happen post-pandemic?
Some houseplants probably thrived during the pandemic, but others probably didn’t survive. Even if the plants may not be alive, interest in plant parenting has so far continued, reports Bustle.
- Gardening-related sales in 2021 are up 30% from last year, reports MarketPlace.