By Brenda Silva
When looking at consumer trends in houseplants and flowering plants, what may appear as a new trend to some is actually a trend that has been around for some time, according to others. In speaking to the boom in houseplant sales, Linda Adams, COO of the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association (FNGLA), based in Orlando, Fla., points out, “Although it seems the houseplant boom is a recent trend, it has been in the works for several years.”
When it comes to getting younger people involved with plants as a career, Adams notes that social media—typically the domain of millennials and those younger—has had a huge impact on plant interest, making people want to be part of the cool ‘plant-people crowd,’ not only as consumers but also as workers in the horticulture industry—in which Adams asserts there are broad opportunities available.
“FNGLA has a newly established apprenticeship program in which we match apprentices with employers,” Adams informs. “FNGLA has always offered scholarships for people who wish to study horticulture, not only at the university level but also at trade schools.” ( fngla.org/professional-development/apprenticeship)
In addition, Adams cites FNGLA’s horticulture professional certification programs, which are available at the high-school level as part of Florida’s Department of Education’s emphasis on career training in conjunction with business industries. (fngla.org/ professional-development/certifications)
“We also work on a state and national level with the National FFA Organization (Future Farmers of America) to keep horticulture front and center with students who have an interest in agriculture,” Adams continues. (Check out ffa.org/participate/cdes/floriculture.) “We are now working with Future Builders of America, a program of the Home Builders Institute, to promote the landscape contracting side of construction as a career for students interested in building and contracting. FNGLA is always happy to see mutual industry entities working together to promote horticulture as a career, such as Seed Your Future (seedyourfuture.org/careers). They offer terrific promotional materials that organizations like the FNGLA can help disseminate to our unique audiences.”