Why Millennials Can’t Get Their Fill of Foliage Plants and Tropicals

Why Millennials Can’t Get Their Fill of Foliage Plants and Tropicals


Millennials are looking to social media for ideas on how to use houseplants to dress up their personal spaces. Photo courtesy of Marcella Lucio/Silver Vase, Inc.

Millennials are filling their homes with houseplants. Succulents, air plants, Peace lilies, bulbs, orchids, and large-leaf foliage plants are popular options as they are easy to care for and attractive. The latest trends in tropical and foliage plants have no doubt shown the influence Millennials have on the market.


“Big, graphic foliage is super trendy,” says Angela Palmer, Co-Owner of Plants Nouveau. “Stripes, prominent veins, and bright colors are where it’s at.”

Furthermore, the air plant craze is taking the market by storm, along with the hip, unique lines of containers and display items available, which are an inexpensive way to put your personality into the piece.

Popularity in houseplants is hotter than ever, and Director of Marketing Erin Marino at The Sill says funky foliage is gaining demand. A bestseller, the Rattlesnake Calathea is one example of a plant that is gaining intrigue, because it moves via photonastic movement (movement caused by the intensity of light), standing up during the day and drooping at night.

Millennials are Greening Up Their Personal Spaces

Millennials are integrating foliage and tropicals into their personal spaces to maintain health, happiness, and style in their lives. The adoption of health benefits associated with houseplants has led to the integration of plants, not just in our diet, but in our surroundings, too, says Kelly Dressler, Marketing Communications Manager for Green Circle Growers.

More than half of the U.S. population uses houseplants to clean the air, according to the Garden Media Group 2018 Trend Report. This passion for plants becomes a fulfilling practice. Marino says tropical and foliage plants fit this bill. It is exciting to see your plants grow and therapeutic to tend to them, and you can get creative with the potting, placement, and decoration of your pieces. Houseplants also offer an ideal opportunity to bring the outside in, especially when many people don’t have the space for outdoor gardening.

Social Media Drives Millennials’ Plant Choices

Millennials are not just decorating their windowsills with plants; they are collecting, propagating, and filling their lives and social media pages with alluring foliage, says Shane Pliska, President of Planterra.

“It’s hard to find an Instagram shoot without a Monstera leaf as a prop or a shot of a living room without a fiddle leaf fig tree in the background,” says Marcella Lucio from Silver Vase, Inc. “Millennials are obsessed with using plants as part of their décor.”

Social media is in our faces daily, and it becomes obvious with every ad, blog, and suggested post just how integrated it is with our styles and trends. President of Rancho Tissue Technologies Heather May says that much of the interest comes from the vast amounts of interior design images posted online that use plants in personal spaces. Millennials get ideas and inspiration from this and are designing their personal spaces related to what they see online.

Lifestyle Choices Have Long-Term Value

Trends, by definition, shift. Is it possible to perpetuate this Millennial trend with foliage and tropical plants?

It is important to provide a convenient and quality product that needs little attention overall, while still giving a visual show. Continue to introduce new varieties, colors, and textures, says Pliska, and don’t let your customers get bored. Tropicals and foliage plants that are easy to grow and that are impressive producers with few inputs are the easiest sellers for the Millennial generation. Setting your customers up for success by understanding their needs and educating them about their specific purchases are great ways to preserve interest.

Pamela Straub of Emerald Coast Growers sums it up best: “Trends can vanish, but when they turn into a lifestyle, they have lasting power.”