Millennials really love plants

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If there's one thing millennials are keeping alive, it's plants.

"With many millennials delaying parenthood, plants have become the new pets, fulfilling a desire to connect to nature and the blossoming 'wellness' movement," wrote Matthew Boyle for Bloomberg. "For a group that embraces experiences and travel, moreover, plants give Gen-Yers something to care for that won't die - or soil the rug - when they're not around."

It's a trend that's popping up in the most millennial of ways - it's driven, Boyle notes, by social media (just check out the hashtag, #plantsofinstagram) and sold by start-ups. Consider The Sill, which is catering to plants' latest consumers by selling online and with slogans such as "Can't Kill It. Just Try.," according to Boyle.

Houseplant sales in the US have nearly doubled over the past three years to $1.7 billion, Boyle reported, citing data from the National Gardening Association.

Plants are certainly a lucrative industry. Millennials are paying as much as $200 for some varieties, like Variegated Monsteras, and Monstera deliciosa seeds cost twice what they used to, according to Boyle. But millennials aren't just dropping big on plants - they're cashing in on them, too, opening up their own small brick-and-mortar plant stores, he said.

Millennials' boosting of the plant industry stands in stark contrast to the many industries they've been wiping out, including food products - napkins, beer, cereal, and yogurt; services - banks and gyms; retail stores - casual dining chains, home-improvement stores, and department stores; and sports - football and golf, as reported by Business Insider's Kate Taylor.

And that's not to mention homeownership and the starter home, which millennials are also wiping out, largely because of a more expensive real-estate market

Plants are thriving among millennials because they also tie into another industry: wellness. Millennials have been dubbed the "wellness generation" by Sanford Health, thanks to their increased spending on all things health and wellness, ranging from gym memberships and weeklong retreats to spa treatments and organic foods.

But as Boyle pointed out, the booming plant business is also a product of millennials pushing off milestones until later in life.

A survey by The New York Times revealed that raising kids is more expensive than it's ever been before - finances are the main reason why people aren't having kids or are having fewer kids than they considered ideal, reported Business Insider's Shana Lebowitz. Plants, however costly, are still cheaper than kids.

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