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How Far Plant Parents Go For Their Leafy Babies

How Far Plant Parents Go For Their Leafy Babies

You probably water your plants, right? And you probably read the tag and place them where they receive optimal light, too. But do you sing your verdant companions their favorite songs? Serve them green tea? Name them?

There are the basic requirements that must be met to keep plants alive and well. And then there is next-level plant parenting, where accomplished green thumbs do everything in their power to allow their plants to lead their best lives.

At Gardens Alive!, our plants are our (leafy) babies--and they mean the world to us. That's why we decided to find out what lengths other American plant parents go to for their fawned-over flora.


To do so, we went straight to the source. We surveyed more than 1,000 Americans, asking them about the number of plants they own, how obsessed they are with their plants, and what lengths they go to keep them alive. We also uncover the most devoted plant parenting habits. After collecting more than 1,000 responses, we analyzed the data by gender and generation for deeper insights. Read on to see what we found!

Plant Parents by Generation

Infographic showing the number of plants owned by each generation

Overall, Americans are here for plants! Our data shows 35.7% of respondents have a modest 1 to 3 plants while 1 in 4 Americans increase it to 4 to 8 plants. A respectable 14.3% of overachievers have 9-15 leafy babies to love, and nearly as many respondents (12.2%) live in a jungle of 15-30 plants.

When we split out plant parenthood by generation, a consistent phenomenon appears. Each generation owns and cares for fewer plants on average than the preceding generation. For example, we found that 28.0% of Baby Boomers, 24.2% of Gen X, 13.5% of Millennials, and 6% of Gen Z own more than 15 plants. Likewise, 11.5% of Gen Z, 8.7% of Millennials, 3.5% of Gen X, and 3.5% of Baby Boomers don't own any plants at all.

But at Gardens Alive!, we realize this doesn't mean that younger Americans are turning away from raising leafy babies--they may simply be taking a quality over quantity approach. After all, 82.5% of Gen Z still owns 1 to 15 plants on average, and that's a lot of lullabies to sing!

Planting a Family / Putting down Roots

Infographic displaying insights about naming plants by generation

So Americans have plenty of plants but are they simply backgrounds for your Instagram photos or members of our families. Well, that depends on who you ask, and ask we did! An impressive 38.1% of respondents admitted greeting their plants after a long day at work and engaging in conversations with them.

Our further generational analysis supports our opinion that the younger generations are going for intimate bonds with fewer plants. It turns out Gen Z is most likely to name their plants (36.9%), while Baby Boomers are least likely to do the same (14.9%). In between, Millennials and Gen X fall in line with the trend, being 32.1% and 25.4% likely to name their plants, respectively. Not only that but 1 in 4 Gen Z respondents reported that they believe they are hurting a plant when they prune or snip it. There is a strong emotional bond between young Americans and their plants.

What are some of our favorite names from respondents' plants? We're so glad you asked.

Infographic showing our favorite names given to plants by their owners

As we have seen, plants are a considerable part of American families. So much so that 28.8% of respondents have a room dedicated just to plants and their sunlight requirements. Plants may not require nearly as much love and attention as children, but they're still getting their own rooms just like human kiddos.

Beyond additional rooms for sunlight, nearly 1 in 6 Americans really go the extra mile for their leafy babies with 15.5% saying they play music for their plants, 15.1% massaging their plants leaves, and 14.6% going so far as to call their plants their own children.

Infographic displaying data about the extra care Americans give their plants

Green For Greens

Infographic displaying insights on the amount of money Americans spend on their plants

What does all of this doting on leafy babies cost Americans? As it turns out, not much. The majority of respondents, 64.8%, spend $100 or less per year on their plants, and that's far less than most people's annual coffee budgets. Our results show that 15.2% spend $101 to $200 annually while an exclusive 9.2% spend $201 to $500. Our most devoted respondents (3.1%) are gunning for Plant Parent of the Year awards with annual budgets that exceed $500.

But regardless of how much you can spend on your plants, the reality is that it does not cost much to add a few leafy babies to your family tree. Moreover, it doesn't cost anything to come up with a name, sing a song, or rotate your plants on a schedule for optimal light exposure.

The Meaning of Plant Parenthood

Infographic illustrating the reasons why Americans love their plants

It's not just about what we do for our plants--the bond American plant owners share with their leafy babies is reciprocal. A stunning 2 in 3 respondents claimed they felt stress relief as a direct result of their plants. Whether it's the boost in oxygen in our indoor air, their ability to take us away from our daily problems, or the beautiful and natural shapes they lend to our interior decor, plants have an undeniable zen factor for many Americans.

Furthermore, Americans attribute unique personalities to their plants. A vine may climb its trellis in a quirky way, or a fiddle leaf fig may crane its branches toward the window. Whatever the case may be, plant parents of all generations are personifying their verdant companions.

Infographic showing how much Americans like their plants compared to other interests

Naming, personifying, talking to, and spoiling plants unsurprisingly leads to a bond that is hard to break. When tested with difficult ultimatums, plants fared very well. Alcohol was the first vice to fall in the name of plant parenthood, with 54.5% of respondents giving up drinking instead of getting rid of all of their plants. Netflix had a slightly tighter grip over our respondents, but an astonishing 43.9% would still give up the streaming service to keep their plants.

In some cases, plant relationships even surpassed romantic ones. Surprisingly, 1 in 5 Gen Z Americans would break up with a significant other instead of parting ways with their plants. What's more, 21% of Americans wouldn't date someone who couldn't keep plants alive.

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that at Gardens Alive!, we have some of the most doting plant parents. We wouldn't bat an eye at the sight of massaging leaves, playing plant music, or calling plants "children." Whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned plant parent, we have all the resources needed for you to find the perfect leafy baby for you to name, love, and call your own.


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