“It’s no secret that houseplants have become very trendy as of last year, 2020, around the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic,” he begins, referring to a surge in demand spurred in part by the lockdown-induced solitude of spending so much time indoors.
The YouTuber has amassed a modest but loyal following of 135,000 by sharing watering how-tos, plant unboxing videos, and tours of his personal 350-plus plant collection. In this particular video, he’s discussing houseplant trends that are already over.
“Let’s go ahead and get started,” Pileggi says, picking up a glazed terra cotta pot and launching into a list of once-trendy-but-now-overdone plant species.
Pileggi is one of many micro-influencers who have tapped into the houseplant boom of the last few years. A rising number of internet personalities have turned owning massive plant collections into a lucrative personal brand, and the pandemic has only heightened this reality. While the shared desire to bring greenery into our homes initially stemmed from a reaction to climate anxiety and rising urbanism, Covid-19 intensified these emotions and multiplied them with the twin desires to have something to care for, to fill long hours at home by bringing the great outdoors in.
Much of this trend was fueled by social media. According to analytics from social media management firm Sprout Social, plants were mentioned on Instagram an average of more than 3,000 times a day in July. The hashtag #plantmom has been used more than 2.6 million times on the social media site, by both everyday plant owners and influencers serving up growing guides and house tours. Meanwhile, its gender-neutral counterpart, #plantparenthood, has been used more than 1.3 million times. Over on TikTok, #plantsoftiktok has accumulated 3.4 billion views on the video-sharing platform.