The trends of wellness, well-being and self-care provide promotional and sales opportunities for flowers and plants.

Trend Watch 2019: WELLNESS!
“Wellness” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the quality or state of being in good health, especially as an actively sought goal.”

We live in a fascinating time. We are growing accustomed to ordering healthy pre-prepped wellness meals. We constantly search for that new 10-minute wellness workout to add to our chaotic morning schedules. We spend our lunch breaks figuring out that new meditation app – all in the name of taking better care of our minds, bodies and spirits.

In mid-April, a new “CNN Original Series,” Chasing Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, premiered, exploring healthy living around the world, including members of a tribe said to have the healthiest hearts of any people in the world. Their diet consists of 70 percent carbs, none of which are from processed foods, of course; they primarily stand; and they walk an average 17,000 steps a day. Spices that may be key to a long life, how to eat to live to 100, intermittent fasting, meditation and how to stop stressing out are other topics covered in these 13 episodes.

The wellness benefits of flowers and plants

Stressing out? “There is a growing body of research that illustrates how environmental design positively impacts health. Now it is both intuitive and scientifically known that adding elements of nature, like flowers, to interiors promotes well-being,” says Erin Largo-Wight, Ph.D., associate professor and program director of the University of North Florida (UNF)’s Department of Public Health and lead researcher of the 2018 “The Impact of Flowers on Perceived Stress Among Women” study, which was conducted by Wakefield Research and funded by SAF Fund for Nationwide Relations.

The Society of American Florists (SAF) and universities including Harvard, Rutgers, Texas A&M and UNF have been providing information to the floral industry for years about the positive health aspects of flowers ( With the world’s consciousness trending toward wellness, it is time for florists to take advantage of this industry knowledge and share it with their customers.

SAF members can link to the results of this most recent study at

Required doses of nature

In his book, Biophilia, biologist Edward O. Wilson suggests that humans feel better and are healthier when surrounded by natural life. This has led retail environments throughout entire cities to adopt practices of “biophilic design” during planning and construction phases to remain relevant to consumers, homeowners and renters, and tourists.

Singapore, known as the “Garden City” because of its planned lush green areas, which have been in development for more than 50 years, now wants to be known as “The City in a Garden,” promoting its concept of plants and flowers throughout 50 percent of the city’s urban environment.

RH’s (née Restoration Hardware) new six-story flagship store in New York City’s Meatpacking District has a plant-filled rooftop restaurant that opens to an outdoor “park and wine terrace,” which the company describes as “a beautifully landscaped park inspired by the classical gardens of Europe.”

The recently opened Greenery Unlimited, in Brooklyn, N.Y., is a plant paradise that touts itself as the world’s first “biophilic design store.”

These examples are directly connected to the significant awareness of the relevant relationship of plants and flowers to human beings and their environments.

Caring for oneself with flowers and plants

According to Pinterest, searches for the term “self-care” have increased recently by 140 percent. Practicing self-care can mean anything from an occasional stress-relieving bath to climbing mountains, but based on Pinterest’s research, people seem to be focusing on trying to be their best selves, inside and out.

True self-care does not mean escaping from our lives; rather, it means creating lives we don’t feel the need to escape from in the first place. When we encourage consumers to add fresh flowers to their wellness routines, it reminds them that every day should be special. If flowers make a person happy, then, by all means, he or she should buy them. It’s an investment that should be a regular part of everyone’s lives. Letting consumers know that they can indulge in wellness through the power of flowers creates lasting habits that nourish their bodies and souls as well as their environments.

Experiences that promote well-being

As with the well-documented Instagram images of flowers and plants and the still-evolving “living-green” trend, wellness and flowers and plants go hand in hand. Wellness is no longer just the opposite of sickness; it is the newest trend in luxury.

“Today’s customers want to be healthy and happy, no matter who they are,” said Jack Ma, co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba. “Owning the most expensive or the latest goods has taken a back seat to looking good and feeling good, and consumers are showing an increasing preference for participating in activities and indulging in experiences that promote their well-being – and sharing those experiences with their friends.”

At its flagship store in New York City, Saks Fifth Avenue has opened Saks Wellery, a first-of-its-kind retail space dedicated to “fitness for the body, style for the spirit and wellness for the soul.” It’s an indoor marketplace combining traditional brick-and-mortar shops with unique in-store fitness and spa experiences.

Tell the story of flowers and plants

Instagram and Pinterest are both proof of how people are cataloging their lifestyles in this growing trend. We all need to recognize this trend and consider the need to rebrand and remarket the story of flowers in our trend-conscious society.

  • Proclaim, promote and publicize the wellness behind giving flowers.
  • Trumpet to consumers what is locally grown, and for all other flowers and plants, share where they came from, how they got here, who grew them, their significance to their community and world, and how they were grown.
  • Be transparent.
  • Praise the recognized certifications.
  • Create “wellness” lifestyle bouquets and designs, and explain to your customers their meaning and purpose.
  • Learn to use social media to transform your brand into one that will remain relevant into the future.

Bill Schaffer, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, and Kristine Kratt, AIFD, PFCI, are the creative directors behind Schaffer Designs, a floral event company. Bill and Kris are diverse contributors in the floral industry, specializing in not only trend translations, education, product development, and showroom and trade-show design but also commissioned floral installations. They’re also award-winning authors.
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