According to Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book), a social e-commerce platform with 100 million monthly active users in China, houseplants are trending in China. While people used to buy houseplants for their functionality – i.e. the ability to absorb formaldehyde – they are now starting to appreciate the decorative value of broadleaf plants. The trend, led by Chinese Gen Zers, has been accelerated by the pandemic.
Xiaohongshu revealed that Chinese Gen Zers have become so obsessed with houseplants that the latter have replaced pets. On the platform, searches for “houseplants” have increased a whopping 168 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, and the number of views on topics related to houseplants has reached 300 million to date.
A community of dedicated plant parents has been growing on Xiaohongshu, where they share plant care routines, tips, and tricks and even plant decorative ideas. Online plant stores have even sprouted up on Xiaohongshu, making these greeneries more accessible and appealing to the younger generation.
Some plant parents have become influencers, while others are trading their plants as art pieces. In a video released by Xiaohongshu, a collector of tropical plants said that four leaves could cost up to US$31,000! As for why he’s so obsessed with plants, he said: “When so many people like the plants I’ve grown, it’s also recognition for me as a person.”