Lawn & Garden Trends for 2019

March 04, 2019

“The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.”

-Gertrude Jekyll, horticulturist, author, artist and photographer

The love of gardening is blooming in more American households than ever before. Gardening is catching on with the younger generation in record numbers.

U.S. consumers start their gardening research early. For those who use Pinterest, searching starts as early as January. U.S. Google searches for lawn and garden peaked from May 6 to May 12, 2018 and gardening Google searches peaked from April 29 through May 5, 2018.

We will cover the blossoming gardening industry, look at how homeowners use Pinterest, examine gardener’s attitudes and explore 14 lawn and garden trends for 2019 in this article. We also discuss consumers’ lawn maintenance preferences and spending habits.

Gardening Industry

Interest in maintaining outdoor spaces continues to grow in the U.S. Demand for landscape design professionals and the nursery/garden store market are both increasing. The total market value for the home and garden industry in the U.S. increased 17.2% from 2013 to 2018.

Landscape design has been a growing industry in the U.S. since 2013 and is projected to maintain 0.7% annual growth from 2018 to 2023. Demand for home renovation is expected to increase as well, which is fueling this industry’s growth. Individual property owners occupy about 34% of the market, which is the biggest share (beating out government landscape and other landscaping markets). Landscape design recently began emphasizing sustainability and green landscaping.

Nursery and garden stores are a $40.6 billion industry that has 0.3% projected annual growth through 2023. There are 17,773 nursery/garden stores in the U.S. Big box stores like home Depot and Lowe’s  continue to absorb a large portion of demand for gardening supplies.

Key Insight: Consumers are willing to invest in their outdoor spaces, whether that means hiring a professional or buying the materials and doing it themselves.

Gardening with Pinterest

Pinterest is the go-to social media platform for DIY projects.

The Pins and Properties Chasing Your Dream Home study from Chase and Pinterest that was released in fall 2018 explored how homeowners are using Pinterest. Many are using it to discover outdoor ideas.

Millennial homeowners ranked “new landscaping” as their top choice in what to look for when buying a new home and almost 1 in 3 Millennials ranked the backyard as the #1 thing to look for when buying a new home, according to the study’s findings.

Pinterest searches for several plant/landscape-related terms increased dramatically in 2018, including:

350% Increase in search for hanging plants on Pinterest in 2018

200% Increase in hydrangea landscaping searches on Pinterest in 2018

200% Increase in landscaping front yard on a budget Pinterest search in 2018

50% Increase in planting succulents on Pinterest in 2018

Pinners look for outdoor ideas early. Searches for outdoor spaces start in January. Front yard landscape searches start in April; deck decorations search begin in May and exterior design searches on Pinterest start in June, according to the study’s findings.

It’s not just Millennials who use Pinterest. Pinterest reaches 1 in 2 Gen X-ers (ages 45-54), many of whom are looking for ideas to help them plan the next stages in their lives. Gen X accounts for 26% of recent home buyers.

Key Insight: Pinterest is the place to go to get lawn and garden ideas. Content that would perform well on this platform include gardening tips, ideas, trendy hanging plants and landscaping ideas.

From the Gardener’s Perspective

Almost 8 in 10 U.S. households now garden—a record number, according to the 2018 What Gardeners Think survey conducted by GardenResearch. This report was released in summer of 2018 and revealed some interesting insights about the modern gardener.

American gardeners broke another record—they spend $47.8 billion on retail lawn and garden sales in 2017, which is a new benchmark (2018 data is not yet available). Average household spending reached a record $503 on garden retail sales (everything from bulbs to furniture), which is an almost $100 increase from the previous year.

The number of younger households that garden also reached an all-time high. 29% of all gardening households are ages 18 to 34. The proportion of older gardeners is holding steady at 35% of all gardeners.

Indoor gardening is also trending again. 30% of all households bought at least 1 houseplant.

Weeds, insects and soil conditions top the list of the most common challenges that gardeners face. These top changes have remained constant since 2012.

What do people dislike about gardening? The top 3 complaints about gardening is that it takes too much work, costs too much and takes up too much time.

Key Insight: Younger households are developing green thumbs. The younger generations are credited with driving the interest in eco-friendly, sustainable business practices. Their interest in gardening could be a natural extension of this.

Garden Trends

Is organic gardening still trending? What garden trends will be big this year?

We have rounded up trend predictions from two sources—home and garden public relations agency Garden Media and Garden Design Magazine.

We’ll start with the four major gardening trends that Garden Media identified in its Garden Trends Report 2019. Here are its gardening trends for 2019:

1) Indoor Gardening

93% of Americans spend their times enclosed either indoors or in vehicles

Pinterest searches for indoor plants is up 90%, with terrariums, cactus plants and tropical plants as the top search terms

Plant parents” Millennials were responsible for 31% of houseplant sales in the past few years, perhaps because they are the “rent generation”

Millennials make up 40% of the U.S. rental population

2) Earth-Friendly Movements

83% of landscape architects say the hottest trend is sustainable designs using native plants

700% increase in search term “Zero Waste” on Google last year

9% of plastics are recycled and 8 million metric tons of plastics are dumped into the ocean every minute

Compost reduces household waste by about 40%and is considered the “new recycling”

There’s a ban on plastic bags in 349 known cities, counties and states; Hawaii and California are the only two U.S. states with plastic bag bans.

3) Lunar-acy

“More people are turning to the moon for sage advice on the best time to plant, prune, weed and harvest,” Garden Media said in its report.

Plant annuals and vegetables that bear crops above ground during the waxing moon

Plant flowering bulbs, perennials, biennials and vegetables that bear crops below ground during the waning moon

A large percentage of consumers plant flowers and plants that glow at night

4) Minty Fresh

Vintage, mint green is making a comeback in home décor and in the garden

Mint is the “new neutral”

Mint is also on trend with gut health: mint helps with digestion, freshening breath and improves gut health; there’s been an increase in consumer interest in gut health in recent years

Garden Design Magazine also included indoor plants and its variation on earth-friendly gardening in its ten 2019 Garden Design Trends.

1) >Keep it low maintenance

2) Create a staycaction spot

3) Make backyard structures focal points

4) Include private, secluded spaces

5) Make a notable first impression

6) Include unexpected elements in your arrangements

7) Include food in landscapes of all sizes

8) Give back with gardens (both to earth and the community)

9) Grow plants indoors

10) Invest in lasting garden furniture

Key Insight: Indoor gardening and eco-friendly practices are the hottest garden trends for this year. There is also more of a push to enjoy the outdoor space (see Garden Design Magazine’s trends #2, 3, 4 and 10 especially).

Maintaining the Lawn

What are homeowners’ priorities when it comes to lawn maintenance? A recent report from Field Agent examined lawn and garden expected activities for 2019.

Almost 9 in 10 homeowners (87%) plan to do their own lawn and garden work. Just 11% planned to hire another entity to handle the work this year.

Their top priorities (listed in order of most important to least) include maintaining a healthy yard, curb appeal and having a welcoming lawn/garden.

What are homeowners planning to do their lawns this year?

82% Mowing

76% Weeding/Trimming

71% Planting flowers/plants

70% Clearing

61% Trimming/Sculpting Bushes

56% Fertilizing

51% Mulching

49% Watering

46% Killing insects

39% Planting/Laying Grass

32% Lawn/Garden Structures (fire pit)

Key Insight: Most homeowners prefer to take a DIY approach to maintaining their lawns, with an emphasis on activities that keep their yards healthy and attractive.

Supply Spending and Shopping

Field Agent’s recent report also delved into consumers’ spending habits and preferences for their lawn and garden materials.

59% of homeowners plan to spend more on their lawn and garden supplies/equipment than they did last year. Three in 10 plan to keep their spending levels the same and just 11% plan to reduce their spending. How much are they spending (on average) on supplies?

$122 on Mulch/Rock/Soil

$166.40 on Plants/Flowers

$79.30 on Fertilizer/Weed Killer

$61.60 on Irrigation Equipment

$35.20 on Insect Killer

Nearly a quarter (24%) of homeowners plan to purchase lawn and garden supplies online or via an app. Shoppers ranked cost/value as the most important criteria for their purchases, followed by quality, product reviews and environmental impact.

Which resources influence lawn and garden purchases?

61% Family/Friend’s Advice

43% Online Product Reviews

36% In-Store Displays

35% Online Videos

32% Product Packaging

30% Employees

22% Social Media

20% Company/Brand Websites

19% Non-Commercial Websites/Blogs

Just because they are shopping for supplies doesn’t mean they enjoy the experience. Common dislikes include:

Time-Consuming

Toxic/Harsh Chemicals

Deciphering Packaging

Disorganized Stores/Sections

Environmental Concerns

The Smell

Not Knowing What to Buy

Too Expensive

Differentiating Products

Too Many Options

Difficult to Carry

Finding Knowledgeable Help

Key Insight: A combination of digital and traditional channels influence lawn and garden purchase decisions, with word of mouth as the most influential. That is why it is so important to understand what consumers dislike about their purchases—give shoppers a reason to rave about their shopping experience!

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Direct Mail
Marketing Strategy
Multi-Channel Campaign