As Covid-19 took the world by force in the Spring of 2020, people everywhere were stuck at home for an indeterminate length of time.
One of the ways many people made their life in isolation more bearable was to add houseplants to their space.
For some, this meant just adding a plant or 2 to their space. For others, this meant turning their homes into urban jungles.
What is an urban jungle? It is a home that is located in an urban area, but when you walk inside it feels like walking in a jungle because of the way houseplants have been placed throughout the home. Check out one example in the gorgeous photo below.
As more people took an interest in houseplants during the pandemic-induced isolation, demand for plants drastically increased causing a huge spike in plant pricing.
The rapid changes in houseplant interest and pricing inspired me to research what those changes looked like and write the post published in September 2020 entitled: Why are Houseplant Prices So High in 2020?
It’s been over a year since the houseplant boom began and much has changed, so I thought it would be the perfect time to research what those changes are.
In this post, I will discuss:
- How has the amount of interest in houseplants changed?
- How has the availability of houseplants changed?
- How has the pricing of houseplants changed?
Additionally, in 2020, we looked at three different popular types of houseplants (Philodendron, Monstera, and Hoya) and how interest in those specific plants has changed before and throughout the pandemic. We will do a brief follow-up with data from September 2020 to September 2021 for each of these plant genera.
Where is the data in this article from? (Click to Expand)
All of the graphs utilized in this article are created using data from Google Trends on August 29, 2021.
The Y-axis or vertical axis of the graph is a measurement of interest in a particular subject. The X-axis or horizontal axis shows specific dates to show how interest changes throughout a specific period in history.
According to Google Trends, the graphs show Interest Over Time. What is Interest Over Time? Google Trends explains that “The numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data for this term.”
You can see more about Google Trends at https://trends.google.com/
Now we will move on to the plant data!
Table of Contents
- How has interest in houseplants changed in 2021?
- How has availability of houseplants changed in 2021?
- What does this mean for the price of houseplants in 2021?
- How has interest in 3 specific genera changed in 2021: Philodendron, Monstera, & Hoya
- What are my predictions for houseplant interest and pricing in 2022?
- Related Posts
How has interest in houseplants changed in 2021?
Shortly after the pandemic began, houseplant interest spiked rapidly to at least 10 times the interest before the pandemic began.
As the world began to find ways of fighting Covid-19, thanks primarily to vaccinations, life started to resemble something a bit more like life pre-pandemic.
This shift toward a new normal allowed people to leave their homes more frequently and resume some social activities, which meant less time was spent caring for and accruing more houseplants.
These changes are reflected in the Google Trends graphs below, showing a slow, but steady decline in interest.
The chart below shows a visual depiction of how dramatic the houseplant boom was at the beginning of the pandemic and how it has been changing since.
The second chart shows how interest in houseplants has changed over the last 5 years. It provides an impressive look at the significance of 2020’s events on the houseplant hobby and industry.
How has availability of houseplants changed in 2021?
2020’s surge in houseplant interest created a huge opportunity for growers to dedicate time and efforts to propagate “rare plants” at a faster rate.
Many plants that were fairly difficult to find before the pandemic began have become more and more available throughout 2020 and 2021.
Some examples of plants that are now popping up much more readily here in the United States, thanks to surging interest, are Philodendron Silver Sword, Alocasia Silver Dragon, Philodendron Pink Princess, Alocasia Dragonscale, Hoya australis Lisa, and Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form.’
One of the plants that used to be nearly impossible to find, Alocasia nebula Imperialis, is now available and marked with a fairly reasonable price.
In fact, I saw a table full of them at my favorite local nursery that offers both rare and common plants. I was shocked and had to work hard to convince myself not to walk away with one since this plant was on the top of my wishlist for a long time!
What does this mean for the price of houseplants in 2021?
Once places around the world began to resume a new normal thanks to vaccinations, houseplant interest slowly declined at the same time that more and more people were entering the houseplant industry to grow and sell plants.
The increase in growers and types of plants being grown (to meet 2020’s demand) coupled with the slow decline in interest throughout 2021 has resulted in lots of available plants with fewer people looking to buy them.
This has meant a rapid fall in houseplant prices, especially among rare plants.
Many rare/popular plants used to cost hundreds of dollars or more for a small plant, but are now available for a fraction of the cost.
The classic houseplants that collectors are used to seeing at their local nurseries have also decreased in price and increased in availability.
Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Variegated Monsteras are still in high demand and high in price. Another example is Hoya compacta Mauna Loa, which is still a relatively hard-to-find plant that sells for a high price.
But I do honestly believe that even these plants will increase in availability and decrease in price over the next year or two.
How has interest in 3 specific genera changed in 2021: Philodendron, Monstera, & Hoya
Last year we looked at how interest in three specific, popular genera of plants had changed. These three are Philodendron, Monstera, and Hoya.
I wanted to follow up on this part as well to see how interest in each has changed throughout 2021. For all three, interest remains high but has leveled off. The interest in each of them hasn’t dramatically increased or decreased throughout 2021.
What does that mean? The popularity of these plants is here to stay, at least for a while!
What are my predictions for houseplant interest and pricing in 2022?
My gut feeling is that we will continue to see prices drop throughout 2022 for the most part so that plant prices are closer to where they were before the pandemic hit.
However, I do think some of the more popular plants will continue to be expensive in relation to other plants.
What will actually happen? Who knows! If we enter another lockdown (which isn’t too farfetched at this point), it’s possible we may see another increase in prices. I don’t think it will be so drastic this time though, but only the future knows what it really holds. 🙂
Interesting take — thanks for sharing! There’s another side to the economics than just supply/demand, and that’s what’s going on with the growers on their side. Due to inflation and challenges with the supply chain (as well as the cost of labor in a lot of states as the minimum wage increases), a lot of growers are seeing their costs rise somewhat dramatically, making it increasingly expensive for them to grow their plants. I suspect we’ll see more growers increasing their wholesale prices to compensate. It will be interesting to see how retailers absorb this.
Hi Justin – thank you so much for sharing this insight. It is definitely something I hadn’t thought about but makes a lot of sense since we are seeing supply chain challenges (and inflation) in many areas outside the houseplant world too.