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Home Depot and Lowe’s Win Each Region in the Plant and Flower Market

August 2, 2021
Ashley Jefferson Author 6 mins read
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With summer upon us and gardens in bloom, there is no better time to explore the data that TraQline has on the plant and flower market, including: annuals and perennials, indoor plants, and trees and shrubs. There are regional differences in what choices consumers make for their plant purchases across the country. Here are a few of the insights we pulled from our analysis of the gardening market:

Key Information About the Plant and Flower Market:

While there are some regional differences, and differences between different types of plants and flowers, here are key takeaways about the market as a whole:

image of starter plants from a nursery, plant and flower market
  • Lowe’s and Home Depot are consistently top choices for buyers looking for plants and flowers of all types
  • The vast majority of plants and flowers are sold in brick-and-mortar stores
  • Despite this, consumers are becoming more comfortable making purchases online, with Amazon making it into the top retailers for both Indoor Plants and Shrubs and Trees
  • Older women (Gen X and younger Boomers) make up the largest percentage of buyers
  • Most buyers own their own homes rather than rent

Annuals and Perennials:

What Brands and Outlets in the Plant and Flower Market Are People Buying?

TraQline found that nearly half of all purchases come from Lowe’s and Home Depot. Regionally, buyers align with Lowe’s and Home Depot’s regional strengths – buyers in the South prefer purchasing from Lowe’s, while buyers in the West gravitate towards Home Depot.

With branding on plants often relatively hard to find, a relatively high number of buyers (over one third) report that they do not know brand they purchased. However, buyers in the South are significantly less likely to report not knowing brand than their compatriots in other regions of the US.

What Annuals/Perennials are being purchased and Who’s Buying them?

  • Purchasers in the Northeast and Midwest are significantly more likely to purchase only annuals.
  • Buyers in the West and South under-index on purchasing only annuals. They are more likely than average to buy a mixture of both annuals and perennials.

The average annual/perennial “plant parent” is a married woman in her late 50s or early 60s, who is retired and lives in a home her family owns. That said, buyers living in the West are significantly more likely to rent rather than own their homes than buyers in other regions. Shoppers in the Northeast tend to have lived in their homes for five or more years.

Indoor Plants:

What Houseplant Brands and Outlets Are People Buying? Trader Joe’s and Amazon make appearances

In the houseplant market, there is a lot of crossover with the plant and flower market as a whole: Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Walmart take the top three spots for both Indoor plants and Annuals/Perennials. Numbers 4 and 5 on the top outlet list are a bit different. Home improvement and garden centers make way for less traditional plant retailers like Trader Joe’s (#4) and Amazon (#5). And while they draw in comparatively few potential buyers, their ability to close the sale are as high as larger competitors. As shown by Amazon making the top 5 retailer list, consumers are more willing to purchase indoor plants online (7 percent of the indoor plant industry’s purchases are made online, compared to 3 percent of Annuals/Perennials. Shrubs and Trees are slightly higher than indoor plants, at 8 percent).

Indoor plant buyers are also not necessarily well versed in brand names for their purchases. Bonnies brand is the most often recognized brand in the South. Costa Farms is the other most commonly cited brand (tied with Bonnies at 2 percent market share for Q1 2021).

What Indoor plants are being purchased and Who’s Buying them?

Despite being referred to as “Indoor”, the most recent / historical TraQline data indicates buyers in the South enjoy displaying their indoor plant purchases on their patios. Most buyers do keep their indoor plants indoors. Very frequently, indoor plants are meant to be a part of the décor in a house.

When thinking of the stereotypical indoor plant buyer, you may be picturing someone in their late 20s or early 30s flooding an apartment with greenery. However, TraQline’s data indicates that most buyers are in their early 50s. More often than not, they are women who live in homes they own, usually with one other person.

Shrubs and Trees:

What Brands and Outlets in the Plant and Flower Market Are People Buying?

People purchasing trees and shrubs most commonly make their purchases at Lowe’s and Home Depot (24 percent and 23 percent, respectively, making up almost half of the shrubs and trees market’s unit share). Similar to Indoor Plants, Amazon also cracks the top retailer list, indicating buyers’ willingness to go online for live plants. The top outlets are:

  • Lowe’s
  • Home Depot
  • Lawn & Garden Center
  • Walmart
  • Costco
  • Amazon

Like Annuals and Perennials and Indoor Plants, consumers tend to be unsure of brand names in the shrub and tree subsection of the plant and flower market. Over a third of buyers report that they do not know the brand.

What Shrubs and Trees are being purchased and Who’s Buying them?

Buyers are more likely to purchase shrubs than trees across the board- 63 percent indicate that they purchased one or more shrubs. Nearly a quarter of TraQline respondents indicated that they had purchased one or more trees.

The buyer demographics for Shrubs and Trees are similar to that of Annuals/Perennials and Indoor Plants.   Buyers are usually female, in their late 40s to late 50s, and are homeowners. Shrub/tree buyers are more likely to own their homes than either indoor plant buyers or annual/perennial buyers. Given the long-term investment that planting a tree or shrub represents, this makes sense that homeowners would be more likely to make a purchase than someone renting a home or apartment.

If you would like more in-depth information about the plant and flower market, this is just a sample of what TraQline has available. By being able to examine data at the national, regional, or local level, you can get a firm grasp on who is buying plants and flowers, what they’re buying, and how. For more information on how TraQline can help, contact one of our account executives today!