Garden & Landscape Tips

Growing herbs indoors
Growing herbs and other edibles indoors is a developing trend.
CBCK-Christine / iStock / Getty Images Plus

What’s shaping up as the hot gardening trends of 2021? Here are five that gardening trend-watchers see in their compost-stained crystal balls:

A big year for veggies

Edible gardening surged in 2020 as stuck-at-home Americans saw dwindling grocery shelves, and figured a pandemic year might be a great time to start a hobby - growing some of their own food. An estimated 16 to 18 million new gardeners got their hands dirty last year - primarily growing fruits, herbs, and vegetables.

Seed companies, growers, and garden centers are gearing up for subsequently strong years, figuring that if even a percentage of the newbies stick with it, that’ll mean edible gardening will remain as strong as it has been since World War II Victory Garden days. According to the Pennsylvania-based Garden Media Group’s 2021 Garden Trends Report, more than two-thirds of adults are now growing vegetables, herbs, and/or fruits (or are planning to do so!).

Vegetable garden
16 to 18 million new gardeners got their hands dirty in 2021, mostly growing edibles.
Geirge Weigel

Edibles indoors

In many cases, people have chosen to experiment with growing edible plants indoors. Besides a growing niche in hydroponics (raising plants with nutrient-supplemented water instead of in soil), several growers are introducing compact edible plants bred specifically to grow on sunny windowsills or under lights. Growing herbs indoors is especially catching on, according to the National Garden Bureau.

Yards as escapes

A second COVID-fueled change is a surge in yard upgrades. Both DIY and pro-landscaper projects skyrocketed in 2020 as a wave of homeowners diverted dining-out and travel money into improving their outdoor-living space. Landscapers say more and more people across all budget ranges want features such as outdoor kitchens, outdoor speakers, outdoor TVs, and especially an outdoor fireplace or firepit to gather around.

Even more houseplants

Houseplants have been a trend the last few years, and they’re showing no signs of dwindling. The theory is that because Millennials are delaying child-rearing and often living in rented apartments and condos, they see houseplants as a convenient, space-saving way to grow plants as well as a way to nurture and connect to nature. Growers and garden centers say that COVID-19 further fueled houseplant interest because people were home more, were looking to add life to the many first-time home workspaces, and bought houseplants as backdrops for Zoom and other virtual meetings.

Enjoying plants at home
Houseplants are becoming even more popular as people are spending more time at home.
Eternalcreative / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Eco-friendly gardening

With climate change fueling weather extremes that alternate between triple-digit heat and erratic freezes, between “flash droughts” and record-setting downpours - gardeners are increasingly interested in tough plants that can roll with the punches.

 

Time-tested native plants are leading the charge along with a trend toward “rainscaping” to control and make the best use of water. Also on the upswing – a move toward shrinking big lawns in favor of more plantings with wider diversity.

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