Millennial Garden Research

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Millennial Garden Insights

Millennials are generally looking for outdoor plants that are low maintenance for their gardens, but are also interested in plants with health benefits such as super foods. They mostly get advice on gardening from their family and friends, but they also seek advice from in-store employees, especially since 82% of millennials' plant purchases come from home improvement stores. More details follow.

Where Millennials Learn About Gardening

  • According to a survey conducted by Field Agent, 73% of millennials get gardening advice from their family and friends, compared to 48% who use their smartphones or tablets to get information.
  • In-store employees are still important, though, as 44% of millennials rely on the advice of store employees to help them with their gardens.
  • Brand websites are a source of information for 38% of millennials and brand catalogs captured 30% of the vote.
  • Online videos are popular for 34% of millennials looking for garden information, along with the 28% who rely on social media.
  • Unbranded Lawn and garden websites and discussion boards are a source of information for 25% of millennials, printed or online magazines and newspapers are popular with 18%, and printed or online books are used by 13% of millennials.
  • Millennials prefer to get their gardening information from in-person workshops and through hands-on participation.
  • They would rather be involved in their learning than listen to lectures or read about gardening online.
  • This generation also understands how to use technology, such as gardening apps, to improve their gardens' success.

Favorite Plants

  • Succulents are currently considered the "trendiest plant among millennials," because they are low maintenance, difficult to kill, and have a modern angular look.
  • Millennials are at the forefront of the craft beer trend and as such, they enjoy growing hops, which thrive in small spaces because they climb like vines. Hops are mostly planted for home beer brewing purposes.
  • Rosemary, mint, basil, and lavender are also popular with millennials who like to have fresh herbs for cooking and for cocktails. They also do not take up a lot of space to grow, so millennials who live in smaller homes can easily incorporate them into their gardens.
  • Due to their health-conscious, yet budget-minded nature, many millennials are growing super foods like kale, micro greens, and goji berries. Organic food is expensive, so millennials are choosing to grow it themselves.
  • Air plants are also popular with millennials because they are easy to grow, easy to maintain, and easy to display in small areas.
  • Cat owning millennials are also growing their own catnip to save money and to ensure their pets' safety.

The Health Connection

  • Millennials are often referred to as the "wellness generation" and they recognize the connection between human health and plants. According to experts, millennials "appreciate that plants improve air quality, lighten our mood and help us think more creatively."
  • They also see gardening as a way to cooperate with nature and are interested in "composting, planting pollinator gardens, using native and heirloom plants, gardening sustainably, [and] installing edible landscapes."
  • Gardening is a stress reducer for millennials, who are turning to hands-on activities as an "antidote to this insane connectivity to electronic devices."
  • Therefore, they are looking for relaxing types of gardens and are not as interested in the "typical homeowner-type gardening, lawn care and yardwork" that characterized gardeners of past generations.
  • In terms of mental health, environmental psychologist Sally Augustin, Ph.D says that millennials are attracted to gardening because "green, leafy plants are good for our mental outlook. Something about the colors and the shapes helps our brains think more creatively, cut stress levels, and get along better with others."
  • Health reasons are also behind millennials' desire to plant super foods in their gardens.

Low-Maintenance Plants are Best

  • Based on many of the types of plants millennials like to buy, it is clear they prefer those that do not require extensive care such as succulents and air plants.
  • One millennial even stated that caring for her plants "takes up about ten minutes of my time each week, which feels like a nod to, but a far cry from, the hours upon hours my parents would spend tending to our yard and garden when I was growing up."
  • According to the owner of the plant retailer Sill, "No 25-year-old that I know has six hours on a Sunday (or a backyard) to spend gardening, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an interest in plants! We’re helping to usher in this new way to garden that reflects the way millennials want to use their leisure time."

Inspiration Comes from In-Person Stores and Nurseries

  • Millennials purchase their plants mainly from home improvement stores (82%) and mass merchandisers (77%). Nurseries are also popular, but much less so than home improvement stores and mass merchandisers at 38%.
  • Only 11% of millennials report shopping for plants online, which suggests that most of their inspiration comes from seeing the plants in person.

Factors in Selecting Lawn and Garden Products

  • Price is by far the biggest consideration for millennials when they shop for gardening supplies, including plants and seeds, as 50% of millennials named it their number one priority.
  • Quality is millennials' second highest priority for gardening supplies at 35%, followed by environmental protection and preservation at 8%, and in-store convenience at 7%.
  • Millennials do not look for a brand when considering garden products, as 51% gave "brand" the lowest priority rating in terms of factors they look for when shopping for garden products.

Research Strategy

Most insights about millennials and their garden preferences came from reputable media articles and industry publications. We did use a slightly older article (2016) that provided hard data on what millennials are looking for. We used this because it provided concrete evidence on their preferences and a more recent survey is not available.