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The COVID Effect and Search Behavior for Plants Online

The COVID-19 pandemic affected how consumers buy ornamental plants. Consumer demand for ornamental plants increased during the pandemic as they were spending more time at home and sought safe outdoor activities (e.g., gardening). Their use of online information sources increased as well. Google Trends (2021) demonstrates U.S. consumers’ garden and landscape search behavior over the past 5 years. The waves indicate the seasonality of gardening and landscaping purchases where peak interest occurs during spring and early summer and interest wains during fall and winter. In 2020, there is a “COVID bump” where U.S. consumer online inquiries drastically increased over the previous three years. In 2021, there was an echo of this bump indicating increased interest (when compared to 2019 and earlier) but not to the extent observed in 2020. Two key implications of these trends are 1) Relevant, up-to-date information should be available online for consumers prior to the growing season; and, 2) Consumers are actively seeking gardening and landscaping information online, meaning online tools present an opportunity to effectively reach audiences with pertinent information.

Source: Developed from Google Trends on 8/27/2021

Rihn, Alicia L. . “The COVID Effect and Search Behavior for Plants Online“. Southern Ag Today 2(9.5). February 25, 2022. Permalink

Assistant Professor
University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture