The Secret Life of NZ Indoor Plant Parents
The Great NZ Indoor Plant Parent Survey 2022 has now closed. Over 860 kiwi indoor plant hobbyists shared their plant parent journey with some surprising and heart-warming insights. Here's what they had to say...
Gotta collect them all
The majority of NZ indoor plant parents have 31 to 50 indoor plants (19%). But if that wasn't impressive enough, not far behind are 17% who have a literal indoor jungle with over 100 plants behind closed doors. In equal 2nd place, 17% owned 21 to 30 plants.
Just say when
When asked "How many indoor plants do you have now compared to 6 months ago?" over 70% of plant parents are still adding to their collections, owning more plants now than before. Just 6% own fewer plants, with 23% keeping their number of jungle members roughly the same.
Plant shops for the win
When it comes to getting our hands on new plant babies, physical stores are the winners by far, with 76% of NZ plant parents having bought their plants from 'brick and mortar' retailers. Good news also for the many online indoor plant specialists that have popped up over COVID, in second place at 42% is buying from online plant retailers.
Facebook beats Trade Me in 3rd place with 36% having bought via Facebook, and TradeMe in 4th at 30%. Special mention goes to the many DIY green thumbs who noted many of their plants have come from themselves through propagating.
Still a lot to learn
When asked how you rate your level of experience caring for indoor plants, the biggest group at 41% of plant parents feel they've reached intermediate level, rating themselves above absolute beginner (7%), advanced beginner (20%), and novice (22%). Just 8% feel they've reached advanced to expert level.
Monstera is #1
Luckily there was no restriction on answers you could select for this one! Asked "Which plant species do you have right now?" made for a lot of votes and a long, long list - but of course not every species could be included. Here are the stand-outs both at the most and least popular species owned:
Top 5 plant species owned
Monstera takes top spot with 83% having one or more in their collection.
A very close 2nd goes to the Philodendron family at 82%
In 3rd comes the many Chain of _ and String of _ at 80%
The hardy Pothos and Epipremnum took 4th place at 75%
The humble Peace Lily came in 5th with 72%
The highly addictive Hoya are owned by 64% of kiwi plant parents.
Hopefully the 38% that own Alocasia have escaped the one leaf club.
Cute and furry, African Violets are favourites of only 15% of respondents.
A whopping 90% of NZ house plant hobbyists have got out the snips and propagated their plants.
Happy, happy, joy, joy
The most heart-warming question of the survey was "How does having indoor plants make you feel?" with respondents able to choose as many ways that described how plants impacted their quality of life.
Way out in first place was Happier at 93%. Both hovering around 50% were Calmer at 53% followed by Less Stressed at 49%. In case there was any doubt how addictive our hobby is, Addicted came in 4th at 35%.
Plant overwhelm is definitely a concern, but luckily the minority felt Worried (3%), Overwhelmed (7%), Anxious (3%) or More Stressed (4%).
Some expanded on their answers with the most common additional feelings mentioned being Proud, Accomplished and Rewarding. A few individual responses that summed it up well and echoed the feelings of many:
"I kind of feel most of those things sometimes! But the overwhelming feeling is one of happiness. I can't imagine not having plants around me, but I feel stressed when they get sick and I don't know what's wrong"
"Gives me something to invest my time in, watching something grow you are propagating is very rewarding"
"Proud - that I can not only keep something alive, but that some of them are actually thriving!"
"I love my plants but it’s overwhelming having a massive collection but I can’t part with any and still get more"
Turn on the tap
The majority of plant parents turn on the tap when it comes time to water, with 71% using tap water. In second was rainwater at 40%
Feed me Seymour
Unlike outdoor plants with all sorts of organic goodies to boost their nutrient requirements, our indoor plants rely on us to meet their nutritional needs. No surprise then that over 65% of plant parents fertilise at least once a month, however an unlucky 3% of plants never get fed!
One of my favourite things about our hobby is you never stop learning. Whatever level you rate your experience, here's more to learn...
Survey date: September 2022