Plant parents: The pandemic’s plant boom potentially causing the poaching of rare species


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Many stay-at-home trends gained popularity during the pandemic, but one, in particular, seems to be taking root. The popularity of houseplants may be here to stay. 

Plant parents. It’s a thing. It began during lockdown when people wanted to bring the outside in. Now, house plant enthusiasts have turned a new leaf as they find inspiration on social media and take their money to local plant shops. 

Debbie has been in the plant business for over 40 years.

“The market for house plants is never in my history, been in such demand,” said Debbie.

She currently sells plants at Worldwide Cactus in Wichita and claims she has never seen interest like this.

“It’s done gone crazy. I’m not sure what to think of it,” she continued.

Delilah at Grow Giesen Plant tells us the pandemic has inspired many to find their green thumb.

“All that downtime to actually start collecting your house plants and learning how to take care of them for once,” commented Delilah. 

Known as plant parents, these fanatics are willing to spend large amounts of money to be the owners of rare houseplants.

“It’s the youngin’s that’s been saving a couple of paychecks. A lot of millennials,” added Debbie.

Business is so lucrative that it may cause plant poaching in areas where unique species are found.

“Plant poaching is not a new thing. But I’m sure, I’m so sure that poaching from the wild is probably gaining interest,” she claimed. 

Emily and Kelsey are recent college graduates. They have over 20 plants between them. So how do they decide which ones to buy? The short answer is social media.

“I follow a lot of plant Tik Toks,” said Emily. 

“Yeah, I found some great stuff on Pinterest,” added Kelsey. 

Both local plant shops say it’s been great for business.

“We never spent a dime on advertising. When those Facebook groups got hold of us, they propelled us into stardom,” concluded Debbie. 

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