Sending plants by mail: the top 3 trends in gardening

The Covid-19 pandemic sparked a gardening boom in Australia, but is this trend continuing? In this article, we take a look at the world of gardening and how businesses can tap into these trends – from selling indoor plants online to adding social media marketing to the mix for your online nursery. 

Key points

  • The horticulture industry is experiencing sustained growth.
  • The mental and physical benefits of gardening were key to the pandemic boom.
  • Online purchases of home and garden products are increasing 12.5% YoY.  

Three plant and garden trends to watch

The pandemic-inspired love affair of Australians with their gardens and plants shows no signs of slowing down; in fact, research– including Australia Post’s Online Shopping Report 2022 – indicates the home and garden sector is experiencing sustained growth from year-to-year. 

This is great news for those in the industry. Whether you’re a nursery, indoor plant retailer or garden supplies outlet, your business is looking at a healthy future. So how can you ensure you stay ahead of the curve and give Australian gardeners what they’re looking for? 

Here are three gardening trends that your business should tap into in 2022 and beyond:

1. Edible gardens

In 2020, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns generated a sudden and massive interest in growing food – from herbs and leafy greens on apartment balconies, to transforming lawns into vegetable beds or joining community gardens. 

It’s not an uncommon thing in periods of crisis, when concerns about food supply are often heightened. But this wasn’t the only reason for a surge in people growing food at home. There are also the health benefits it represents – both mental and physical – and the joy that comes from eating food you’ve nurtured from the ground up. And these benefits are not something that suddenly disappeared post-pandemic. 

Alongside the obvious environmental benefit of greening our spaces, it’s no wonder a survey by the Australian food network Sustain on pandemic gardening found that 90% of people planned to maintain or expand their edible gardens.2

For those in the edible plant industry, this represents an opportunity to think about how you can reach the millions of Australians now growing their own food. We’ve come up with a few suggestions on what this might look like: 

  • Expand your offerings to unusual food types, such as Australian bushfoods or tropical fruits.
  • Start a regular email newsletter to customers, with helpful growing tips, what’s in season and what’s not, and what’s new in store.
  • Add a blog to your website, with articles and videos on how to grow certain foods, DIY advice on building planter boxes, pruning fruit trees, etc.
  • Launch an eCommerce store and sell your plants online.  

2. Indoor plants 

Lockdowns inspired Australians to turn their homes – now also offices for many – into relaxing and enjoyable green spaces, capitalising on the multiple benefits indoor plants offer. These include purifying the air, providing relief for tired eyes, improving productivity and adding to the aesthetic quality of a home. 

This interest in indoor plants during the pandemic built on a trend that was already seeing significant growth, as more people moved into apartments. By mid-2021, however, those in the indoor plant industry were seeing sales like never before, with young people representing a large portion of those sales. 

This passion for greening our indoor spaces hasn’t died off, with many Australians still working from home some of the time.  Offices are also greening up, recognising the health and wellbeing advantages to employees. 
So how can nurseries or related businesses tap into the indoor plant craze? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok to target younger consumers – the segment showing an increased appetite for indoor plants. 
  • Provide detailed information on how to care for a specific plant, and what conditions it thrives in. 
  • Reach out to businesses in your area with special deals on bulk purchases.
  • Expand your business into online sales and mail order plants.  

3. Balcony gardens

Creating a balcony garden, in even the smallest space, is an opportunity to turn an often under-utilised area into a place to unwind, with the added mental and physical benefits of caring for plants. 

As with many aspects of the pandemic gardening boom, the importance of balcony gardens has now become a focus for architects, landscape designers, community groups and, not least, nurseries, as the health benefits of greener spaces has become so apparent. 

For those in the industry, the key is getting the message out to apartment dwellers that growing plants on a balcony, or even on a windowsill, doesn’t have to be difficult. Providing guidance to customers on what plants will work on what balcony – taking into account the direction it’s facing, size and geographical location – is key to tapping into this trend. 

Other strategies could include:

  • Creating a landing page on your website specifically for balcony plants.
  • Blog articles sharing inspiration from different balcony gardens around the country.
  • Video tutorials on creating a balcony garden.

Greener spaces, healthier humans

It’s clear that, for nurseries and related businesses, this is a perfect time to think about how you can tap into the gardening trend to transform your business. At the same time, you’ll be contributing to the growing awareness of the crucial role gardens and gardening play in improving our mental and physical health. 

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1 The Pandemic Gardening Survey Report Sustain: The Australian Food Network.

2 Inside Australian Online Shopping Report 2022 Australia Post.