Social media first took notice of the boom in houseplant demand a few years ago when sites like Pinterest and Instagram exploded with user pics of their favorite ferns, philodendrons and fiddle-leaf figs. Turns out, Millennials have been the drivers of this plant party, and in the past three years U.S. sales have surged almost 50% to $1.7 billion, according to the National Gardening Association. With worries about climate change, shrinking rain forests and decimated green zones across the globe, many are connecting with what they worry could be a thing of the past in their future. And, with many Millennials delaying parenthood, Bloomberg News declares that "plants have become the new pets", fulfilling a desire to connect to nature and the blossoming “wellness” movement. 

While Millennials get credit for the modern houseplant craze, it was the Baby Boomers who planted the post-WWII seeds in the 1970s. That decade, which began with the world’s first Earth Day in 1970, brought with it a groundswell of interest in all things green. Hippies snapped up spider plants and crafted macramé hangers for them, experts appeared on television talk shows to promote the practice of talking to plants to keep them healthy and vibrant, and local plant shops were as ubiquitous as Starbucks are today. Adding to the houseplant craze was that certain housing styles of the day such as open-plan spaces, lots of glass, wood paneling, geometric accents, and earth tones (all part of recent design trends) made ideal counterparts to the inviting, warm & organic feel of the vast variety of fauna available. This was also an era where people were really getting into nature, so it made sense that people wanted to bring plants into their homes.

To that end, we housesellers are delighted to see that the Getty is having an event Saturday called Ever Present: Mother Earth’s Plantasia that will celebrate California plant culture with a special program inspired by 1970s Los Angeles and how Angelenos then (as now) really took advantage of the vast array of plant life we get to enjoy here. The free event will be held at the Getty's Central Garden that overlooks LA and will double as a counterculture party to celebrate the experimental compositions of Mother Earth’s Plantasia, a 1976 album of early synth songs thought to help plants grow. The day will be filled with music, workshops, and presentations that explore the influence of plants on art and society in Los Angeles over the last five decades.