The annual National Gardening Survey finds the proportion of older gardeners is holding steady (35%) but younger households reached an all-time high in gardening participation. “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, who participated in the survey.
“18 to 34-year-olds now occupy 29% of all gardening households. It’s a strong sign that they are finally 'in,'" Baldwin says.
What is this young gardener buying? Knowledge. Rather than getting glossy, coffee-table books, many of these gardeners acquired gardening apps and information from gardening websites.
Overall, American 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 the previous year.
Container gardening and landscaping set new highs in gardening sales, too. “More and more consumers are choosing not to dig holes in their leisure times. If they have the finances, they are investing in raised beds,” says Baldwin.
Indoor gardening is also making a big comeback with 30% of all households buying at least one houseplant. Baldwin says it harkens back to the ‘70’s and ‘80s, “when no home was complete without various sizes and shapes of non-flowering plants in pots or macramé hangers acting as cheap room dividers.”
The National Gardening Survey also includes information on cannabis for the first time -33 million households (27%) said it should be legal to grow for personal use, and 15% of households (19 million) said they would grow cannabis if it were legal to do so. Males in the 18-34 year old age category reported increased participation in lawn and garden activities (from 23% in 2016 to 27% in 2017.