Interest in plants among young people is growing Email
Written by ALCC   
Tuesday, October 09, 2018 04:00 AM

Young woman with plantsRecent findings conflict with the notion that young people are not as interested as older generations in green industry careers. Landscape industry employers can find hope that, with some creative outreach, adults under 35 can find their way to a successful career and help fill the labor gap. 

In September, Garden Media Group published their 2019 Garden Trends Report, “Rooted Together—Reconnecting with the Natural World.” The company’s trendspotters found that young people are interested in the natural world and interact with it as an escape from always-on technology. 

In a desert of work, stress and the internet, nature – both indoors and outside – has become an oasis,” the report says.  

While previous trends showed an interest in gardening as self-care, the current trend shows that working with plants is a way to help the greater community—and save the earth. If young adults are looking for careers that improve the environment and make life better for everyone, they need look no further than the green industry for that satisfaction.

Millennials and Gen Z adults who seem stuck inside using technology are learning to unplug for the sake of their mental and physical health. But they are also learning to use technology to support their interactions with nature—from pollinator drones to robots that pull weeds. 

The report drew many conclusions from the National Gardening Association’s annual survey, which says more people are gardening and spending more money on lawn and garden retail plants and products than ever before. The average household set a spending record of $503—up nearly $100 over the previous year, setting a record $47.8 billion in retail sales. 31% of houseplant purchases were made by millennials.  

29% of all households that garden included 18-34 years olds, and 27% of males in that age category said that they are doing more lawn and garden activities. Both statistics mark an increase over previous years. It looks like interest in plants is on the rise. 

That interest is no fluke. Efforts designed to pique interest in horticulture and in careers related to plants have also been growing. National campaigns like NALP’s Industry Growth Initiative and the horticulture industry’s Collegiate Plant Initiative https://www.collegiateplantinitiative.org/ appear to be producing results.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
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