Despite a slow start to the season in 2022, increasing inflation pressure and a recession on the horizon, gardeners are planning to continue spending on their hobby this year, according to Axiom’s 2023 Gardening Insights Survey.
Younger gardeners and men are both planning to increase spending this year, offering a growth opportunity for garden retailers.
In fact, the survey found that more men (44%) than women (33%) plan to increase spending on gardening in 2023, while 43% of both men and women plan to spend the same amount this year as they did last year.
“What the study told us is that males plan to spend more money in 2023 than females, which I think is very interesting,” says Kathleen Hennessy, chief marketing officer at Axiom. “Traditionally, we’ve all thought that our target demographic is the female homeowner. And more and more, we’re seeing males getting into gardening and landscaping, and plants in general, which I think is pretty exciting for the industry.”
And while the traditional age demographic of gardeners has skewed older, new gardeners are also going to be spending in 2023, according to the survey. More than three-quarters of first-time gardeners are planning to spend the same or more this year and 85% of gardeners with two to four years of experience are planning to spend the same or more this year.
“One part of the survey we’re really excited about is it seems like those people that have started gardening during the pandemic seem like they’re hooked,” Hennessy says. “That’s what the data is telling us — that they’re spending more money and they’re feeling successful too, which I think is pretty exciting.”
Are you likely to spend more or less money on gardening in 2023 compared to 2022?
Millennial and Gen Z gardeners are planning to spend significantly more this year, according to the survey. And that’s a good sign that new gardeners are hooked, Hennessy says.
“That says the younger generation that maybe just started out during the pandemic — even if things go back to 2019 normalcy — we can hook that younger gardener that’s going to make our industry healthier,” she says. “And this data really seems to be showing that those new gardeners who have gardened for less than four years, their interest levels are high.”
Why do you want to expand your garden?Surprisingly, IGC customers said they are less likely to spend more money on gardening than consumers as a whole in 2023.
With growing different or new varieties topping the list of reasons consumers plan to increase their garden space in 2023, Hennessy says it’s a good sign for the industry as a whole.
“Everybody talks about what’s new and exciting, and that’s a draw, especially for these new gardeners. Especially when you’re looking at retailers, they’re always focusing on what’s new and exciting, and I think that’s something IGCs should continue to do because obviously it’s something that their customers are coming in the door looking for,” she says, noting that to consumers, ‘new’ means ‘better.’
*Editor’s note: The responses on this page are from all consumers, not just IGC shoppers.
What types of gardening projects are you likely to complete during 2023?
Where did you buy most of your garden plants in 2022?
What is the most important place to learn about new plants?
The majority of gardeners are looking for podcasts and webinars, which Hennessy thinks is a good sign that younger consumers are seeking out information on new plants. But it’s also worth noting that independent garden center shoppers were much more likely to rely on their local garden center for new plant information.
“My gut reaction is that people know they can go to their independent garden center and know that they’re going to get inspired," Hennessy says. "If you’re a younger gardener and you go into a box store, you’re probably not going to get great inspiration. It’s more utilitarian. So I think that it’s important to reach people that don’t know so much about an independent garden center and how great they are.”
Did you feel successful with your garden activities in 2022?
Since so many got a late start in the garden in 2022, it’s more important than ever to encourage them to try again if they didn’t see the results they wanted this year, Henessy says.
“I think the success rates dropped a little bit because of the weather. So many areas of the country had such bad weather this season and got a bad start,” she says, noting that education is an important factor for gardeners, especially newcomers.
What is the most important social medium to learn about new plants and gardening supplies?
What type of garden do you have?
(Select all that apply.)
IGC gardeners are more likely than others to have an in-ground garden, but amongst all respondents, patio, container and smaller space gardens are increasing in popularity.
“I think especially for the younger gardeners, they’re starting out in containers,” Hennessy says. “They’re not going out and taking out a bunch of lawn and starting an in-ground garden. For them, gardening is a raised bed or a bunch of containers or a small little space. It’s not an entire landscape project.”
KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS
For more information on the Axiom 2023 Gardening Survey, download the report ataxiomcom.com/2023-gardening-survey
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