Good fern! Plants are the new pets for most young Americans, survey suggests

EVANSTON, Ill. — Need a last-minute gift idea this holiday season? According to a recent study, you might want to shop at your local home and garden store. Researchers find millennials and members of Gen Z consider houseplants the “new puppies” — but without the mess and major responsibilities that comes with a real pet. In fact, a majority of young adults think of their growing plant collections as actual pets!

The poll, conducted in October 2021 by CraftJack, surveyed 1,111 Americans who have houseplants to determine which species is the most popular, how much people spend on plants, and how much they humanize their green little buddies. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 68 years-old, with the average age being 30.

According to the poll, the typical houseplant keeper has at least four plants, the oldest of which is five years-old. Two-thirds of respondents prefer just buying houseplants over gardening because they’re easier to care for. In fact, most respondents spend just five minutes each week tending to their plants.

Which plant pet reigns supreme?

Succulents rank as the most popular houseplant in the United States, and rightfully so! According to Americans, they’re cute, there are many to choose from, they don’t take up much room, and they come at a reasonable price. Monsteras deliciosa, the tropical “Swiss cheese” plant, is the most popular plant on social media.

When you compare it other hobbies, and even raising actual pets, tending to plants is a very inexpensive pastime. Houseplant enthusiasts spend an average of $75 per year on plants and things that go along with them, including plant food, fertilizer, and indoor containers.

‘Pets are the new kids and plants are the new pets’

As for who’s developing more of a green thumb over the last two years, the poll finds young adults are more likely to become plant parents during the pandemic. Roughly two-thirds of respondents under 40 (63%) say their assortment of plants grew during COVID lockdowns.

All this life in the house is having a positive impact on their owners however, as over 50 percent say houseplants have a positive effect on their mental health during COVID. Furthermore, one in three plant owners believe that having a plant is more beneficial to a person’s overall health than meditation!

Six in 10 young adults believe “pets are the new kids and plants are the new pets,” according to the poll. Moreover, a third of these respondents identify as “plant parents.”

Singles add they’re more likely to be interested in a new partner who owns houseplants, with 35 percent calling it a turn-on. As for what plant parents are naming their “kids,” the most popular choices include “Keanu Leaves,” “Fernie Sanders,” and “Edgar Aloe Poe.”

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