Move over Pokémon Go, houseplants are quickly becoming the latest collectibles for millennials. Social media has the millennial generation in a frenzy over the latest “rare” houseplants and succulents. The question is: how can we in the green industry capitalize on this generation’s gardening trends? 

Millennials are a whole new type of customer who is semi-plant aware. What I mean is: they know what plants they want, driven solely by social media and the status symbol of owning that certain plant, but they are often not knowledgeable about how to be successful growing them. 

Here are some display and marketing ideas to help make sure these young customers fulfill their need to feed each new plant addiction that takes the internet and their generation by storm. 

  • Greet them with plants: Show off that you have the plants they are looking for by making displays of the new, popular varieties at your entrance, to catch their eyes right as they come in.
  • Allow their personalities to show: These customers may all want the exact same houseplant, but you can make an easy add-on sale if you show them some unique pots, planters and containers to put their newest acquisitions in. Provide them with an option that shows a little bit of flare and gives it that extra personal touch. Mixing colorful, unique pots in with your houseplant displays provides options on how to personalize the plants. Have some finished planters to highlight how they will look when planted. Young customers may have the DIY attitude, but you can still help by showing them what is possible with new, unique combinations and ideas. 
  • Information – signs, signs, signs! Most millennials seem to be finding their information on the internet, but Google “shockingly” can be wrong. Make sure that the best growing conditions and care are clearly posted by the plants, as well as any related information such as why they to grow that species, historical relevance and fun facts.
  • No imagination required: Use macramé hangers, plant stands and pots in your displays to help highlight how plants would look in a household setting. Most millennials are living in smaller homes, apartments and condos so show them how they can fit as many plants as possible into their limited spaces.  
  • Being socially and globally aware: Millennials are in tune to being socially and environmentally responsible. Highlight the products that are made locally or have a positive global impact.

This is an internet-driven generation, spending most of their time on social media sites. Instagram, YouTube and ever-increasing digital options are where they go to:

  • find out what plants are becoming hot and popular,
  • share information in house plant groups,
  • find the plants they are hunting for, and
  • swap and trade plants through plant sharing groups.

Post regularly and often on a variety of social media. In our new information-overloaded world, it is hard to stay relevant amongst all the other noise fighting for attention. Just keep hammering away; not every post has to be an earth-shattering event. I recommend posting:

  • simple things happening at your store,
  • new merchandise,
  • something blooming,
  • new perennial varieties,
  • plants that your staff loves,
  • lesser known plants – generate your own buzz about them, and
  • a little humor and attitude to make posts memorable.

While millennials are not the gardeners that we are used to serving, they have green thumbs in their own right. They are a driving force in changes happening in the green industry, and we cannot afford to overlook them as a target market.