The millennial generation is spending thousands of dollars on houseplants, despite the fact that they don’t own homes

The millennial generation is spending thousands of dollars on houseplants, despite the fact that they don’t own homes

In the past, 20-somethings living in a rented flat saved for their first home by renting a room in a house. 

For Elizabeth Margulis, a new houseplant is high on her priority list

The 28-year-old Chicago wardrobe stylist has spent almost as much on plants as on her $2,000 monthly rent in the three years since she moved into her two-bedroom. In her living room, they now form a green wall along the sill of an L-shaped bank of windows “to establish their environment,” according to her explanation.

She’s giving up coffee shops and cooking at home a couple of days a week to save money for her next purchase, an enormous cactus costing upwards of $250. Her south-facing windows are more essential than owning her own house for the time being. That’s why finding a place with enough natural light was necessary to her, according to the interviewee. It was better for her to apply for a loan from PaydayChampion and she may own what she wants.

It’s not just her. As a 20- or 30-something, you may think dormers and a white picket fence are beyond your grasp. The more practical option is to use plants to make rental properties seem more welcoming and cozy. 

According to this theory, small spaces may be transformed into urban jungles with the correct plants and sophisticated planters. A cluttered corner suddenly looks stylish with a monstera or fiddle leaf fig alongside. Some young renters are forking out hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get the appearance they want – the type of money that homeowners would spend remodeling their kitchen or bathroom.

There are a lot of individuals who purchase plants before they buy a house,” Justin Mast, the creator of Bloomscape, a Detroit-based online plant delivery business, tells CNN. “Plants are well suited to this new stage of development.”

According to the National Gardening Association statistics, millennials accounted for almost a quarter of the $48 billion spent on lawn and garden items in 2018, despite having lower family incomes than earlier generations.

In the past several years, there has been a slew of new plant delivery services, including Bloomscape, the Sill, Rooted, and more. This is particularly appealing to millennials, who are more likely to use social media hashtags like #urbanjungle, #plantparenthood, or #succulentsunday. There was an 8-percentage-point difference between millennial homeownership and Gen X homeownership in 2015, according to an Urban Institute study.

People in their twenties and thirties, who often work long hours in uncertain employment in congested cities, are more prepared to spend more on plants because they value their mental health 

Rooted, a New York-based plant delivery business has a 93 percent client base comprised of millennials and women. “It comes down to health and wellbeing, social media interior design trends, and the desire to be closer to nature,” co-founder Kay Kim says.

A representative for a New York real estate firm claims that many of her tenants are young people who choose to decorate their rooms with plants rather than hurry to buy a house. Usova, a residential real estate agent with Compass, says it “livens up the flat” and “helps people remain in a rental.”

Erin Marino, director of brand marketing at The Sill, a plant-delivery company, says that plants help create the kind of fashionable décor that was previously solely associated with homes that spent on high-end finishing. Marino adds, “It’s almost aspirational.” As long as I have student debts and can’t afford a great house, I’ll be happy to have plants in my life.

She says that she enjoys seeing plants develop and keeping them alive as a part of her hobby. There’s nothing more exhilarating than returning home to see that your monstera has sprouted a new leaf. As a reward for all your hard work, “It’s good to watch it pay off.”

David Matusiak, a San Francisco-based gardener who keeps an eye out for plants often taken out by contractors, warns that buying plants may quickly become an expensive mistake if you aren’t vigilant. The 27-year-old energy analyst makes purchases for plants in San Francisco boutiques; instead, he does it while visiting relatives in San Diego to view them. “It’s straightforward to spin [out of control], particularly if you’re not attentive,” he adds when it comes to planting purchases.

Matusiak believes that he has spent more than $3,000 on 30 new plants during the last three years. In San Francisco’s costly real estate market, where the average home price was about $1.6 million last year, it felt out of reach even if he saved that much money for a house. Compared to other aspects of my life, the amount of money I’m spending on plants is enormous.

New York City designer Aisha Richardson, 35, is on board with the sentiments expressed here. Even though she spends close to $300 a month on plants, she doesn’t need to own any in Brooklyn. 

Her three-bedroom flat, which she shares with two roommates, now seems more like a home since she spent money on plants, including a $250 fiddle leaf fig tree. According to Richardson, who spends $950 a month to rent a place, “You can’t permanently decorate when you’re renting. The plants, however, convert your home into a jungle. “However.”

Richardson isn’t waiting for a better opportunity when it comes to expanding her collection. Instead of giving up her love of plants, she adds, she intends to leave the city.

Leon E. Hill