Why Plant Sales are Blooming During Lockdown
  • By Alick
  • In News
  • Posted Jun 08 2020

As lockdown measures in the UK continue to restrict our everyday lives, many people are looking for new ways to fill their time indoors. While it might be easy to sit on the sofa in front of the TV all day or stay in bed ‘til late, staying productive and active is proving popular among the UK population.

We recently commissioned a survey asking 1,000 adults across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland about their lockdown shopping behaviour, to help visualise how people are spending their time at home. When plants revealed to be the most popular non-essential purchase made by UK adults in lockdown, we delved deeper by asking those who have purchased plants lately about the reasons for their purchases.

Home and garden improvements top the chart

When asked about their recent lockdown purchases, respondents were able to choose from a list including DIY items, clothes, books, games, plants and furniture. Plants came out on top as the most popular purchase in the UK amongst both men and women of all ages with roughly 1 in 5 saying they have bought a new plant since lockdown began:

The top non-essential purchases

The top non-essential purchases

UK Average

  • 18.5%
  • 17.6%
  • 14.4%
  • 13.3%
  • 9.7%
  • 4.6%
  • 51.5%

Men

  • 16.7%
  • 17%
  • 9.3%
  • 9.1%
  • 10.3%
  • 3.3%
  • 55.5%

Women

  • 20%
  • 18.2%
  • 19.6%
  • 18%
  • 9.1%
  • 5.8%
  • 47.5%
Source: Nationally representative Google survey. Figures in this table have been rounded to the nearest decimal point

With DIY items following as the second most popular lockdown purchase (noted as the most popular purchase amongst men, and the third most popular for women), it appeared home improvements were at the top of the agenda when trying to find new ways to help pass the time indoors.

When we asked recent shoppers exactly why they opted to make a plant purchase, 52% confirmed it was because they are looking to update their gardens whilst 24% said it was because they are redecorating their homes. Other reasons given included to quickly refresh a particular space, to improve mood, and even to make their home look better on video calls.

Why are plants such a popular lockdown purchase?

It is well known that plants are great for improving productivity, creativity and concentration levels. In fact, a previous survey we conducted revealed that a massive 96% of people agreed that having plants around their home improved their mood. But that’s not the only reason people have been buying more plants in the last few months.

  • Of those who have outside spaces, 73% say that they are spending more time in that space than usual because of lockdown. Overall, 74% of people who’ve bought plants in lockdown were doing so for their gardens or balconies.
  • 89% of respondents said that they have either more time on their hands compared to before lockdown began or the same amount as before, leading 33% to pay more attention to their homes and gardens.
  • 22% of 18-24 year olds say they bought plants because they were concerned about their homes and gardens looking good whilst on video calls, compared to just 4% of the population on average.
A silver lining for some that find themselves unable to carry out their usual daily activities because of lockdown, is that they now have time to transform their spaces like never before. And while 11% of our respondents said that they have less free time now as a result of lockdown, that matches up with the 11% who said that while they are too busy to look after real plants during lockdown, they still want to have new plants in their home or garden.

Trending plants during lockdown

  1. Geraniums
  2. Pansies
  3. Oriental Bamboo

With sales here at Blooming Artificial increasing by a massive 120% in the first 30 days of lockdown compared to the previous 30 days, and up 156% on the same period last year, it is no surprise to us that plants came out on top as a huge favourite across the UK. Most popular among ‘millennials’ and those over the age of 65, it’s clear that people are eager to revamp their spaces and keep them looking fresh.

Plant purchases by age group

Plant purchases by age group

% who have bought plants during lockdown

  • 12%
  • 21%
  • 20%
  • 17%
  • 21%
  • 20%


The most popular plants in the 30 days following lockdown at Blooming Artificial were the large geranium bush, the oriental bamboo. With consumers looking to bring some colour both into their gardens and indoor spaces for the coming summer months, sales of these top three plants has surged – pansy sales are up 288% on the same period last year, oriental bamboo sales are up 125%, and geranium bush sales have risen an incredible 602% compared to this period in 2019.

Generation split

When it comes to making a plant purchase, we found some very interesting differences between generations.

  • 56% of 18-24 year olds and 33% of 25-34s prefer to purchase exclusively artificial plants, compared to a national average of 21%
  • 87% of those aged 55-64 prefer to buy a mixture of both real and artificial.

Older generations are also much more likely to be buying plants for their gardens with 80% of those aged 65 and over having recently done so, compared to just 44% of 18-24 year olds. Instead, 18-24 year olds are investing in upgrading their kitchens and living spaces, with 56% recently buying plants for these rooms compared to just 17% of adults aged 65 and over. 44% of 18-24 year olds and 40% of 25-34 year olds stated they are not confident in looking after real plants, compared to 26% of respondents on average, while millennials are the age group most likely to choose artificial plants over real ones because they need something pet-proof.

No matter their age however, it is clear that UK adults can’t get enough of plants, with roughly 40% investing in more greenery than usual during lockdown.

Why artificial?

It’s no wonder that Blooming Artificial is proving popular with consumers looking for their lockdown plant fixes – though of course, we’re a little biased on that front. When asked about their lockdown plant purchases, 81% said they consider artificial plants easier to look after compared to real ones, making our plants a great alternative for those lacking a green thumb.

  • 44% of 18-24 year olds stated they are not confident in looking after real plants compared to 26% of respondents on average.
  • 32% of respondents agreed that one of the most important benefits of artificial plants is that they are easy to swap around their homes and gardens, for quick makeovers.
  • 25-34 year olds were the most concerned that plants in their homes and gardens are safe for pets with 24% stating this is a benefit of artificial plants that matters to them.
  • 24% of respondents stated it is important to them that any new plants they buy whilst in lockdown are easy to maintain once normality resumes.
  • 20% stated that they pick artificial because they need either pet-proof, or child-proof plants!

In a previous survey, we found that the average person kills 31% of their houseplants, wasting up to £108 per year. Since all of our plants are artificial, customers don’t have to worry about maintaining the right water, temperature and humidity levels for their plants. Instead, they can expect beautiful, green leaves from their new purchases all year round.

If you’re looking to update your home, garden, or even balcony, with some eye-catching greenery, take a look at our selection of artificial plants, flowers and trees.

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