Millennials get a bad rap for being accused ‘killers’ of certain business industries. One of the sectors they’re allegedly killing is the housing market. Unlike their counterparts in previous generations, millennials aren’t buying homes. And it’s not entirely their fault.
The group, dealing with lower household incomes and more expensive property prices, can’t quite afford to make a massive investment in a home just yet. Fortunately, they’ve found a more affordable way to create a home in their rental apartments.
Young professionals like wardrobe stylist Elizabeth Margulis have turned towards filling their places with plants. Instead of saving for a house deposit, the 28-year-old is setting aside money to afford her next plant purchase: a more than $250 cactus for her Chicago two-bedroom apartment.
In total, she has collected about 30 plants and has spent an estimated $1,500 for them. For context, her monthly rent of $2,000 isn’t too far from this amount. Her houseplants now form an attractive wall of greenery along her window sill but she still hopes to own a home someday.
Her situation rings true for other 20 and 30-something renters, for which a house still seems out of reach. Thus, they turn to houseplants to give their rented apartments a more homey and inviting vibe. Some even argue that choosing the right plants can turn even the tiniest and most cramped of spaces into ‘urban jungles’.
THE PLANT BUSINESS
And as it turns out, the oft-accused business killers are actually some of the biggest spenders within the lawn and garden products sector. Sources say that an estimated quarter of the $48 billion industry can be credited to the expenditure of millennials. This is an interesting statistic given the fact that the group has a relatively lower income than their parents’ generation.
Justin Mast, who’s the founder of an online plant delivery service called Bloomscape, observes that a lot of people are now buying plants before purchasing a home. Thanks to this patronage, businesses like his are thriving.
The Sill and Rooted are similar services that cater to the current generation of online plant shoppers. The popularity of creating ‘urban jungles’ within one’s apartment is also bolstered by social media where the hype for it is created by hashtags like #succulentsunday and #plantparenthood.
MORE THAN JUST DECOR
So, why are millennials willing to spend up to thousands of dollars for houseplants? Aside from giving their apartments a more homey feel, having plants around help better their sense of well-being.
Not surprising considering the constant stress that living and working in cramped cities in insecure jobs bring them. Another reason is that keeping plants brings them the feeling of being closer to nature.