COVID-19 pandemic sparked increase in gardening sales, study finds

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Experts noted significant spikes in the sales of things like greenhouses and plant nurseries

While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected the supply chain around the world, a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Georgia found that one industry has been thriving: the green industry. 

According to the findings, sales for anything related to gardening saw a significant increase over the course of the pandemic. 

“We saw a lot of younger consumers come into the market because of the pandemic and because they were having to stay home,” said researcher Benjamin Campbell. “Plants have been shown to help with a lot of different things related to people’s psyche. Gardening not only gave people something to do, but it also gave them a little bit more happiness.” 

Gardening popularized during the pandemic

For the study, the researchers conducted an online national survey of more than 4,200 households. Survey respondents ranged in age, and they reported on their gardening habits before, during, and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ultimately, the researchers learned that the pandemic played an important role in consumers’ gardening habits. Nearly 35% of the participants reported picking up gardening while stuck at home in 2020 simply because they were spending more time at home; additionally, more than 40% of participants reported that they increased their usual gardening habits, including making more garden-related purchases while at home due to the pandemic. 

The study showed that this also extended to more in-depth gardening projects, including installing new grass, improving landscaping, or general outdoor renovations. 

“You had low interest rates, so you had a lot of people refinancing, which gave them money to invest in their homes,” Campbell said. “You had people at home looking for something to do, whether by themselves or with their kids. This led to a huge demand for plants.” 

Rising interest in gardening may not last

Though garden-related purchases were on the rise, the researchers have reason to believe the demand may not hold up.

While many of the study participants reported picking up gardening during the COVID-19 pandemic, about half of the group who reported gardening in 2020 said they wouldn’t continue with the hobby in 2021. 

The researchers hope these findings reach the gardening industry so that officials can try to attract younger consumers into continuing with gardening beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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