Integrate vibrant, colorful, and eclectic design with these Zoomer-approved houseplant and garden ideas.

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Thomas J. Story

We might be well into 2024, but plant trends continue to bubble up, and with them, new ideas for the planting season ahead. The latest must-plant for spring isn’t what you’d expect, either. Gen Z is leading the way with funky and eclectic garden choices that are both whimsical and wacky.

According to garden-industry trend spotter Katie Dubow of Garden Media Group, Zoomers are shaping the botanical shopping space with “nearly three-fourths (73%) willing to pay more and wait longer for sustainable products that are of better quality.” They are also more interested in unique pieces that have a story, as well as knowing where those pieces are from and who made them, being a generation more apt to share these details and integrate them into their own narrative online. 

According to Garden Media Group’s annual trend report, there are five key themes that keep popping up in Gen Z’s pots and plots. From Technicolor garden accessories and unusually colored foliage to thematic gardens that might make some squeamish—this generation definitely has one of the most amusing and unique integrations of personality into the plant space that I’ve ever seen. With spring just around the corner, it’s go-time for planting, and we hope you find that one of these quirky plant possibilities will bring unexpected joy and creativity into your own garden. 

1. Goth Gardens

With hundreds of thousands of social media posts using the hashtags #Gothgarden, #VictorianGardens, and #Halloweengardens, Gen Z is dancing with the darker side of horticulture—literally. With plant selections ranging from deep burgundy to almost black foliage, landscapes and patio pots have gotten significantly moodier over the past year and include nighttime theatrical touches like the up-lighting of trees and shrubs. When it comes to garden tourism, cemeteries are becoming a popular attraction with some memorial parks offering movies, yoga, and hort-therapy. These travels have then influenced the creation of memorial and grave gardens back home, inspired by the first modern cemeteries where gravestones doubled as planters.

Goth-Worthy Garden Accessories

West Elm Plant Urn

Courtesy of West Elm

Modern Urn Planter, $149
Moon Phase Stepping Stones

Courtesy of Uncommon Goods

Moon Phase Stepping Stones, $42
Cage Support

Courtesy of Gardener’s Supply Company

Victorian Metal Garden Supports, $40

Try the Trend with Sunset Plants

2. Sci-Fi in the Garden (AKA: “Hortifuturism”)

This is a futuristic trend that’s perfect for small spaces and houseplant collectors—think closed ecosystem terrariums, survivalist gardens, and moon gardens where oddity plants play center stage. It’s all about otherworldly botanicals with bright variegation, unusual succulents, exotic specimen plants, and star-flecked or silver-hued foliage. Take the look outdoors and illuminate your garden with neon lights or glowing orbs for a total cosmic experience.

Future-Fusion Garden Accessories

Bottle Terrarium

Courtesy of Anthropologie

Bottle Terrarium Grow Kit, $58
Floating LED Glowing Spheres

Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

LED Garden and Pool Orbs, $76

Try the Trend with Sunset Plants

3. Bugs Are a Feature: The New Pollinator Garden

Insects have gone mainstream, with intricate and colorful beauties finding their way onto home decor and jewelry, and also being more welcomed in our gardens. In fact, the National Gardening Survey saw a 10% increase year-over-year in people planting for bees, butterflies, and birds. While Gen Z is no stranger to welcoming wildlife and wildflowers into their gardening, they’ve taken it one step further by integrating beneficial habitats into their plot planning. By incorporating choice native shrubs and evergreen grass-like plants, Zoomers are providing winter shelter for wildlife as well as insuring the spring and summer offerings of pollen and nectar. 

Wildlife Habitat Garden Accessories

Bug Hotel

Courtesy of Amazon

Extra Large Bug Hotel, $52
Bird Feeder

Courtesy of Design Within Reach

Bird Silo Feeder, $56
Bee Cups

Courtesy of Uncommon Goods

Bee Cups, $28

Try the Trend with Sunset Plants

4. Hanging Gardens

Small-space gardening interest continues to rise as the United Nations projects that 89% of people will be living in urban areas by 2050. Combined with an increased interest in container gardening, the Garden Media Group predicts demand will continue to trend upward. In fact, there was a 200% increase last year in households engaged in container gardening, and it is not just any containers that are predicted to grow in popularity—the focus is specifically on hanging gardens. When it comes to selecting the right plant for your hanging pot, choose botanicals with draping or cascading forms that require less maintenance and will naturally “spill” as their foliage grows.

Hanging Garden Accessories

Hanging Cone Pot

Courtesy of Terrain

Hanging Iron Cone Pot, $20
Rattan Plant Stand

Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Rattan Tiered Plant Stand, $199
Teak Trellis

Courtesy of Ballard Designs

Hanging Teak Garden Trellis, $405

Try the Trend with Sunset Plants

5. Color of the Year: Cyber Lime 

A punchy near-neon color has entered the garden in 2024: This hyper-bright green is said to signify the powerful connection between nature and technology. This color should evoke creativity in the garden, brightening up dark corners and dull landscapes alike. Despite its vivid appearance, it’s quite versatile, working incredibly well within a plant palette of fuchsia, bright oranges, yellow, and shades of pink—not to mention it also plays center stage elegantly in neutral vessels like white and tan. 

Bold Garden Accessories

Neon Green Watering Can

Courtesy of Etsy

Neon Watering Can, $34
Tile Square Pot

Courtesy of Revolve

Tile Square Pot, $24
Dustin Gimbel Cactus Sculpture

Courtesy of Second Nature Garden Design

Second Nature Garden Design, Custom Quotes Available

Try the Trend with Sunset Plants

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