breaking news

Fourth explosion this month injures two; this time in Southwest Austin

One thing millennials aren’t killing: The plant industry

Just take a scroll through Instagram and in between mirror selfies, plant collection photos are springing up.

More than 10 million posts are hashtagged plants.

So why would “entitled” and “lazy” (as older generations have described us) millennials want to start working on their green thumbs?

Time and money are two simple explanations. Having children means forking over around a quarter of a million bucks on average. And while cheaper, people spend increasingly more money on their pets.

“Lack of time and limited space can also explain millennials growing interest in houseplants. This segment of the population is working longer hours and a higher proportion are living in condos that often regulate pet ownership, making plants a cheaper, easier alternative,” according to The Toronto Star.

House plants also can help spruce up a space as modern, clean and simple home design becomes trendier. Green life can also promote healthy living and an appreciation for the environment.

This perfectly explains why the Pantone Color Institute recently named “Greenery” the “Color of the Year” for 2017. The color authority writes, “the more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world.”

For others like myself, gardening runs in the family.

My mom has always loved planting, probably because her name is Rose. For Mother’s Day one year I bought her a bunch of seeds and plants so she could go to town on our yard. Visiting my parents usually involves a quick peek at what’s growing in the front yard (currently, there are rose bushes, tomatoes, jalapeños and Serrano peppers). And if asked to describe my grandmother’s house, the first thing I’d point out would be all the greenery on the front porch.

About half a year or so ago, I began the process of buying stuff to liven up my desk at work. The first thing I got was a total impulse buy from H-E-B: A succulent in a small brown planter. I watered it even though a couple of my co-workers joked that it wasn’t a real plant. It’s since grown to just under 5 inches in height. During the holiday season, one of my bosses gifted me with another succulent, this time in a magnetic orb planter. This one hasn’t grown as much, but I’m staying optimistic about it.

My boyfriend came home last week with a plant that his graduate professor had left him in his cubicle. It’s found a home on a table on the balcony of our apartment. I thought it looked lonely, so I made yet another impulse buy and added a miniature rose plant to our collection. See, once you start collecting plants, you notice them everywhere. A college acquaintance recently posted an Instagram of her more than 20 house plants. Three of my colleagues that sit in my vicinity have plants on their desks too.

Young people also use plants as a form of expression. Two years ago, I joined a Facebook group called “UT Plants” for Longhorn plant enthusiasts. Members get to share photos of their collections and tips for growing and buying plants. While succulents and cacti are “in,” I’ve seen my fellow millennials branching out and building gardens for herbs and vertical planters. The planters can also be the focal point, with toy dinosaurs and Pokemon figures serving as the base for growing a plant.

The millennial population now exceeds that of the baby boomers. Next time you’re in a plant nursery, don’t be surprised to see young people. “Plant parents” know no age limit.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Lifestyle

Americans binge 17 billion drinks a year, CDC estimates
Americans binge 17 billion drinks a year, CDC estimates

College students have a reputation for binge drinking, but it’s not just them. Americans drink massive amounts of alcoholic beverages, according to a new report.  Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, to determine...
Woman who broke barrier at Boston Marathon knows real power of running
Woman who broke barrier at Boston Marathon knows real power of running

You’ve seen the photos — a race official trying to rip the bib number off a female runner at the Boston Marathon in 1967, as another athlete shoves him away. Kathrine Switzer wasn’t the first woman to run Boston — that honor goes to Roberta Gibb, who jumped out of the bushes and ran, bandit-style, without an official number...
Today’s birthdays - Sunday, March 18
Today’s birthdays - Sunday, March 18

Today’s Birthdays: Composer John Kander is 91. Country singer Charley Pride is 84. Nobel peace laureate and former South African president F.W. de Klerk is 82. Country singer Margie Bowes is 77. Actor Kevin Dobson is 75. Actor Brad Dourif is 68. Jazz musician Bill Frisell is 67. Singer Irene Cara is 59. Alt-country musician Karen Grotberg (The...
Today’s horoscopes - Sunday, March 18

ARIES (March 21-April 19). Knowledge is the bread of life, and taking action is the meaty part of the sandwich. But constant action will be the thing that makes a difference. No one can live long off one sandwich. TAURUS (April 20-May 20). The change you desire is coming, though not immediately. Don’t worry about the schedule. Every time you...
Dear Abby - Sunday, March 18

Dear Abby: I’m a disabled middle-aged woman, married for 15 years. From the beginning, there was never much passion between my husband and me, but we’re friends. I’m now becoming less able to go out and do things, and I will eventually be wheelchair-bound. I want to leave him so he can find someone who is able to do things with him...
More Stories