Youths’ new passion: growing houseplants

Created 18 October 2021
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When Hanoi eased its lockdown, Nguyen Thu Anh did not go out to enjoy indoor dining like many of her friends did. Instead, she bought 10 potted plants.

After a year moving to Ba Dinh District, Dinh Hoang Giang covered his balcony and rooftop with different kinds of plants. Photo courtesy of Giang

There are a dozen plants like pothos, fern, ivy, and shatavari in her 15-square-meter room.

"My mother said my room is like the Amazon jungle," the 20-year-old student says.

While her family might be astonished at her collection, it is nothing compared to other plants enthusiasts.

After a year moving to Ba Dinh District, Dinh Hoang Giang covered his balcony and rooftop with different kinds of plants. Photo courtesy of Giang

A year after moving to Hanoi's Ba Dinh District, Dinh Hoang Giang has covered his balcony and rooftop with various kinds of plants. Photo courtesy of Giang

In Hanoi's Cau Giay District, Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc’s garden has more than 70 kinds of plants.

Dinh Hoang Giang says he has lost count of the number of plants he has in his three-story house in Ba Dinh District though he only moved there a year ago.

The 25-year-old businessman says: "My plants grew very fast. The balcony on my third floor is already filled with pots and so now I put new ones on the roof".

In HCMC, painter Tran Viet Tu and his wife have covered their 100-square-meter apartment with more than 300 species of plants, and call it a "mini jungle".

Growing plants at home is now a popular trend among young Vietnamese.

On social media, groups on houseplants have attracted thousands of passionate members.

The owner of a plant shop on Hanoi's Kim Ma Street says though the city has just eased a two-month lockdown on Sept. 16, sales have doubled from last year.

The house plant collection of painter Tran Viet Tu and his wife. Photo courtesy of Tu

The houseplant collection of painter Tran Viet Tu and his wife in HCMC. Photo courtesy of Tu

A shop selling pots on Vu Trong Phung Street has even run out of stocks and is waiting for new shipments to arrive.

Nguyen Xuan Huynh, an employee at a plant shop on Dang Van Ngu Street, says most of her customers are people in their 20s.

The store says demand for plants has increased sharply, especially since last year.

Five employees have to take turns replying to messages on Facebook since "there are lots of customers contacting us to buy plants."

Huynh says: "Hundreds of customers have also sent plants to our shop, asking us to take care of them. But we cannot accept all requests since our shop is not that big".

Growing plants indoors in fact seems to be popular among young people around the globe.

According to the 2019 National Gardening Survey in the U.S., people spent a record $52.3 billion on lawn and garden retail sales last year and a quarter of that was by people aged 18 to 34, whose spending on plants has grown at a higher rate than any other demographic since 2014.

There are many reasons why young people are hooked on growing plants.

Giang and Ngoc inherited the love from their families. Tu wants to "bring nature into every corner of his life", which he admits is quite hard to do when living in a city.

Anh says she her obsession with houseplants was fueled by social media where she saw many "cool" photos of people's indoor vegetation.

Young people are also buying plants for health and wellnes