CO-Horts Blog

Monday, September 23, 2019

"Plant Parenthood" - The rise (again) of houseplants

Posted by: Deryn Davidson, Boulder County Extension


Aaaaah, houseplants. My childhood homes were full of them. Both of my parents have green thumbs and it seemed that every nook and cranny had some lovely, green, leafy thing adding to the coziness of our abodes. Many of those same plants STILL reside with my folks and I'll just say that I grew up when MTV only played music videos and big hair and spandex were all the rage. Sometimes my chores included watering those plants and I always felt a little anxious that I was going to over-water one of the many, many pots and have to run for a towel and dry up the mess as it came cascading down out of the saucer. C'est la vie, it happens to the best of us! 

It's no surprise that once I moved out of my parent's home I began to fill my own with my collection of plants. Some I purchased, some I inherited and some were from cuttings that I took from office buildings, restaurants, college campuses, etc. What?!? Don't tell me  you never popped off a spider plant baby, stuck it in your bag and put it in a glass of water when you got home!!

Anyway, there are many, many houseplants available, depending on your lighting, your level of commitment and so on. They are great! They clean the air, bring life into a room, and some studies show they reduce stress and can boost creativity. Who doesn't want all that? Well, as it turns out, the millennial generation is hip to all this. Good on ya!! Sales of houseplants are up nearly 50% over the past few years and businesses attribute much of that to young folks (those in their 20s and 30s). I heard this figure as I was driving along listening to the radio recently. The show was one that typically covers some pretty hard-hitting topics in politics, religion, social justice issues, etc. But when I tuned in, what did I hear?? They were interviewing people about houseplants!! I was so excited!! I kept thinking this must be just a little 5 minute blurb, but no! The whole show was dedicated to it!! What fun for all the plant nerds out there. Apparently social media is playing a huge role in the rise in interest in houseplants. People like to show off their successes and find a community and support around caring for them. 

I highly encourage you to go to the link below and give a listen. You'll learn all kinds of interesting trends and other information about houseplants. Plus, it's just fun to hear a nationally syndicated radio program highlighting our indoor, foliage friends!!

The Perks and Perils of Plant Parenthood on 1A 

Six popular houseplants that help clean the air:

Chinese Evergreen


Spider Plant

Aloe Very

Peace Lily


  1. I have always been a houseplant gardener and love the greenery in my home. I have had some hoya plants for years. My favorite houseplant is Cast Iron. It has quite a family history. Hooray that houseplants are again gaining popularity! Janis Stoven

  2. Never had good luck with houseplants. Too much shade in my home, not enough direct sunlight locations. But I'll take recommendations.

    1. I suggest you check out your local garden center. Most of our houseplants are actually tropical understory plants, so really don’t want any (or very little) direct sun. Give it another whirl!

  3. I work at a garden center and have noticed in the last year houseplants are very popular again. We had many years of declining sales until January, 2019. Boom! It’s been hard to keep up! Everyone is loving them, but I especially have a great time with the younger crowd. Cactus and succulents are off the charts.

  4. Like my mom who commented above (Mom Stoven), she always had lots of houseplants. While I don't quite have her indoor green thumb, I do have a rope hoya that is decades old. It's my pride and joy and moved from Minnesota, to Ohio, to Colorado. But I'm a snake plant grower--you can't kill 'em!