June 6, 2018
Americans are not afraid to get their hands dirty: This year, U.S. gardeners reported spending a record $47.8 billion on lawn and garden retail sales, the highest ever, with a record average household spend of $503—up nearly $100 over 2017, based on the findings of the 2018 U.S. National Gardening Survey.
What’s more, there are nearly 200,000 participating members from coast to coast in the National Garden Clubs—with a club in every state and about 60 more affiliated organizations.
The latest research on American gardening, conducted on behalf of Garden Research by Research Now/SSI, finds that the proportion of older gardeners is holding steady (35%) , but that more Millennials than ever before—those between the ages of 18 and 34—are digging in, too. “From small beginnings with a succulent here and a houseplant there, the under-35s are now truly engaged in the full range of gardening activities.” says industry analyst Ian Baldwin.
Aside from gardening equipment, plants, and fertilizers, what is the younger generation of gardeners buying? Knowledge. Rather than getting glossy, coffee-table books, many of these gardeners are glomming on to gardening apps and advice from gardening websites.
Also trending this year? Container gardening and landscaping are setting new highs in sales. “More and more consumers are choosing not to dig holes in their leisure time. If they have the finances, they are investing in raised beds,” says Baldwin.
Indoor gardening also is making a big comeback, with 30% of all households buying at least one houseplant. Baldwin says the movement hearkens back to the ‘190’s and 1980s, “when no home was complete without various sizes and shapes of non-flowering plants in pots or macramé hangers, acting as cheap room dividers.”
And, for the first time this year, the survey offered information on cannabis gardening to the 33 million U.S. heads of households (27%) who say that it should be legal to grow for personal use, and to the 15% of households (19 million) who say they would grow cannabis if it were legal to do so. This is of special interest, the researchers noted, to the males between the ages of 18 and 34 who reported increased participation in lawn and garden activities (from 23% in 2016 to 27% in 2017).
Finally, each state seems to have a favorite when it comes to ‘the most popular planted flower”: In Alabama, for example, pansies are the go-to bloom, with sales of $3.8 million—and are usually the first annuals to bloom (The official state flower is the camellia.) In Alaska, it’s geraniums; in Colorado, petunias; and in Hawaii, begonias.
However, nationwide, the most popular flower to grow–—based on findings of a poll of 30,000 U.S. gardeners by Bombay Outdoors— is the rose; followed by zinnias, lilacs, and irises.
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