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Houseplant, gardening industry sees huge growth during pandemic

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jul 30, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Throughout the pandemic, many of us have cycled through different hobbies and one hobby that has really taken off is collecting house plants and gardening. Local nurseries say their business has grown significantly over the past few months, and those investing in the new hobby are reaping their own rewards by surrounding themselves with more green.

Many businesses are struggling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but one industry is doing extremely well - the houseplant industry. The owner of Indian Creek Nursery says this year his business has gone up by over 30%.

“I feel very badly for restaurants, and people like that who’ve had to close," said Scott Farrginton. "We’ve been open. It’s just been the best year we have ever had.”

While house plants seemed to be all the rage in the spring - and they are still getting plenty of love - plant sellers now say gardening has taken off throughout the summer. Mike Reynolds, Green House Team Leader at Mulhall's, says annuals are flying off the shelf almost faster than they can be replaced.

“With a lot of people being home, they wanted to get out and do their garden that they’ve always wanted, to do those planters that they’ve always wanted to do, but never had time to do," Reynolds said.

Not only is this good for those selling the plants, it’s good for those buying them as well. Several studies have found creating a green space can help with anxiety and depression, improve your immune system and help you sleep better.

“I think mentally it makes it a healthier space," said Rachel Grahovac, a plant collector. "There’s a difference between walking into like a bare, white room, then walking into a white room that has a bunch of green living plants in it. I think it makes it a more conducive space for a healthy mindset.”

Grahovac, who owns over 200 plants and runs the Instagram account @plantedinomaha, says her hobby has kept her busy and helped her connect to her family during the pandemic.

Not only is caring for plants a fun hobby and way to improve your health, it can also help you while you work from home.

A 2014 study found that workspaces with house plants had better air quality, more workplace satisfaction and better concentration.

So if you think you’ll be at home for awhile, Grahovac says look around and see what plants work best for your space.

“If you don’t have the right light conditions, you need to figure out what kind of plants will work for your conditions, instead of buying any plants that you want and then being confused when it dies.”