Find out what's (literally) growing in popularity right now.
If you care about home trends, then you've probably seen a lot of the trend forecasting rolling in for 2024. We've covered the Color of the Year predictions from major paint brands, furniture trends, kitchen trends, bathroom trends, and more. One area you may not have considered in the conversation of home trends, however, is your garden. But, gardening styles, approaches, and philosophies also change with the seasons—and The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) has identified the top gardening trends for 2024.
“These 2024 gardening trends are based on what we have seen by attending conferences, exhibitions, visiting countless personal and public gardens, and conversations with professionals," explains PHS’s vice president of horticulture, Andrew Bunting, in a press release. "They are a fantastic way for gardeners to get inspired and get a feel for what professionals at the forefront of this industry are doing in their own gardens. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned expert, these trends and plant selections can breathe new life into your space in an approachable way."
Learn more about 2024's top gardening trends, below.
It's no surprise that environmental concerns are top of mind for many gardeners, but several eco-conscious practices have gotten even more attention as of late. According to PHS, here are several ways that gardening can promote environmental stewardship:
Movements such as “Leave the Leaves” in the fall help reduce landfill waste.
Converting two-cycle gas powered engines (blowers, lawn mowers, etc.) to battery operated machinery reduces carbon emissions.
Creating habitats for overwintering insects by not cutting back perennials in the fall provides shelter and a source of food for insects and animals.
“Rewilding” or converting portions of lawn into meadows using eco-friendly plantings.
Using peat-free potting soils to help lower demand for peat harvesting. Peat bogs are vital wetland habitats for many animals, insects, and plants, and harvesting damages these important ecosystems.
Buying from brands that focus on native plants (such as American Beauties) can add to backyard biodiversity and lessen the usage of resources such as water and fertilizers.
For beginner gardeners, growing your own produce may seem too advanced. However, PHS says growing fruit at home has gained popularity as a fun and lower maintenance alternative to growing vegetables. For those with yard space to grow fruits outside, persimmons and pawpaws are currently popular choices, according to PHS, as alternatives to the more traditional pears, apples, and peaches. And for container fruit gardening, PHS recommends Bushel and Berry blueberries, the Fignomenal dwarf figs, and Sweet Kiss strawberries.
Indoor gardening has been on the rise for years, and it's not showing signs of stopping anytime soon. The idea of "plant parenting" is now commonplace and houseplants have become a popular staple of home decor. To respond to this increasing demand, more and more companies have prioritized houseplant offerings. For example, PHS notes that the popular plant brand Proven Winners has introduced lifestyle house plant collections that are dedicated to helping people find the foolproof plant picks for their indoor spaces.
According to PHS, popular houseplants for 2024 include Dracaena trifasciata, Monstera, pothos, Anthurium, Epipremnum, Alocasia, and Philodendron.
For some home gardeners, getting to enjoy the (literal and metaphorical) fruits of their labor is enough reward. Others, however, have set goals for public recognition, specifically in regards to their ecological efforts. According to PHS, several organizations now recognize home gardens with ecological certifications. Some of these programs include:
According to PHS, pollinator gardens provide habitat and food for native pollinating bees, wasps, moths, and butterflies, including the iconic monarch butterfly. And more and more gardeners are making efforts to make their gardens more pollinator-friendly. Aside from growing plants that attract pollinators, gardeners are also using tactics like creating "bee hotels" and leaving or stacking stems from perennials to provide good overwintering habitats for pollinators.
If you're looking to make your garden more pollinator-friendly, PHS recommends adding plants like Pycnanthemum, mountain mint; Eutrochium (syn. Eupatorium) Joe-pye weed; Liatris, gayfeathers; Echinacea, coneflowers; and Asclepias, milkweeds.
Mitigating Climate Change
While not exactly a "trend," climate change is an unfortunate reality that gardeners are having to confront more and more. To mitigate the impacts of climate change, gardeners are planting more heat and drought tolerant native species, strategically selecting species for drought tolerance, adopting waterwise gardening practices, and utilizing gravel gardens, rain gardens, or swale gardens.
While boxwood is considered an easy-to-care-for and durable evergreen, boxwood blight is an ongoing fungal issue for many gardeners that is quick-spreading and hard to control. This means gardeners are starting to think about alternative options to prevent potential boxwood blight, PHS notes. Some substitutions include alternate evergreens, such as inkberry holly, and boxwoods that are bred to be resistant to blight, like the varieties offered by Better Boxwood.
Planting More Grasses and Sedges
Grasses and sedges continue to be popular garden plants, PHS notes, serving both ornamental and ecological roles in the garden. Thanks to the popular work of famed garden designers, such as Piet Oudolf, Claudia West, Kelly Norris, Roy Diblick, Jeff Epping, and many others, these plants are more commonly considered as an effective part of garden design, instead of being considered just filler. Ornamental grasses have also continued to grow in popularity as a critical component in native plant and pollinator gardens.
Hydrangeas can never go out of style, but PHS predicts they'll only continue to dominate the home landscaping and floral industry. Growers are responding to this continued popularity by introducing new varieties, like Bailey Nursery’s First Editions Eclipse Hydrangea, which features purple-black foliage and contrasting pink flowers, and Star Roses and Plants' Sweet Starlight Hydrangea, which is a new compact selection that is perfect for the small garden or container.
Tropical plants can quickly liven up any garden, so it's no wonder they're a popular choice. According to PHS, garden centers continue to introduce new and exciting tropical plant varieties, including new elephant ears from Plants Nouveau and new bold foliaged begonias. If you want to create a tropical-like atmosphere throughout summer and into fall, consider adding some of these trendy plants to your garden.
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