JoAnne Skelly: All the garden trends for 2019

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Garden Media Group (GMG), a public relations firm based in Pennsylvania, has been predicting gardening trends since 2001. In their recent report, “Rooted Together,” they’ve incorporated statistics from the National Gardening Association’s (NGA) annual survey to come up with horticultural predictions for 2019.

According to GMG’s predictions, the U.S. is trending away from a “ME” generation toward a “SHE” generation that honors Mother Nature. NGA statistics reveal “90 percent of people spend 22 hours a day inside without enough daylight or fresh air” and “children spend on average less than one hour per day outside.” And since “18-34-year-olds now make up 29 percent of all gardening households,” young adults are connecting to nature through indoor gardening. Millennial purchases are “responsible for 31 percent of houseplant sales” (NGA).

When I read this, I laughed because I’m old enough to have been a member of the hippie generation, when houseplants were all the rage. Anyone else remember macramé hangers, creeping Charlies and spider plants?

Another positive hippie thing that has returned is “looking for fulfillment outside of themselves (the ‘New Environmentalists’) and turning to caring for the earth” with “zero waste, upcycling, recommerce, and conscious consumption” (GMG). Composting is back in order to make soil not waste. (I wasn’t aware it had gone away)!

Beneficial insect gardening is also one of the GMG’s trends. Choosing plants for pollinators rather than aesthetics and buying insect-friendly native plants and flowers will help slow the decline of flying insects, which plunged by 75 percent over the last 30 years. The United Nations “warns 40 percent of pollinators – particularly bees and butterflies – risk global extinction” (GMG). Adding ponds, compost heaps and other insect-friendly habitats, being mindful about pesticide use, protecting big trees, and leaving some areas a bit wild for overwintering critters of all types will help slow the loss of beneficial insects.

Here’s a distinctly less hippie-like trend: “RoboGardening.” There are robotic mowers and tillers. For example, the “Tertill is the Roomba for the garden. The solar powered robot whacks weeks for up to three hours” (GMG). And, have you heard about the research into robotic bees? They are “37 percent successful in pollinating flowers” in research done in Japan and Russia (GMG).

Planting by the phase of the moon is back, as are moon gardens with night-blooming fragrant flowers to attract nighttime pollinators” (GMG).

Find the Garden Media’s 2019 Garden Trends Report: “Rooted Together” at

JoAnne Skelly is Associate Professor & Extension Educator, Emerita at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. She can be reached at


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