7 Things Beyond Basic Produce Millennials Are Planting Now

Believe it or not, millennials do more than Snap, eat doughnuts and shop at Urban Outfitters. They're part of a new generation of gardeners.

Although the Snapchat kweens and Vine kings garner lots of media attention, there's a quiet millennial subset that's growing in numbers: sustainable gardeners. Urban farming and at-home gardening increased steadily amongst millennials over five years and continues to attract twentysomethings who want to do more with their hands than choose an Instagram filter.

Beyond urban farming, though, indoor plants, cocktail gardens and small-space-friendly greenery appeal to the post-grad set for their multi-purpose natures. Indoor plants improve air quality and enliven a stark, one-window apartment. Cocktail gardens supply fresh garnishes for drinks and flavorful add-ins for homecooked meals. Small space gardening solutions offer privacy and unique decorative accents (indoors or out).

Yes, the growing trend amongst young people actually requires a green thumb (not a texting thumb). Here's what the next wave of gardeners are planting.





With the craft beer movement showing no signs of slowing down, hops have become the plant du jour. They climb like vines and, thus, work well in small spaces since they're easily contained. Hops are most commonly used for brewing beer at home, but we won't tell if you plant them just cause they look cool.

Plant a Beer Garden

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Beer Garden

A very apropos trellis made from empty beer bottles!

A Clever Centerpiece

This beer inspired centerpiece is perfect for your next summer cook-out.

A Galvanized Tub

Add proper drainage holes to the bottom of your container as needed and fill it halfway with potting soil.

Hops To It

Plant the hops and evenly space the beer bottles around the hops. Anchor them into the soil halfway down.

Add More Plants

Finish you garden by planting the remaining plants. I've planted hops, rosemary, lavender, sweet woodruff and chocolate mint.

Craft the Trellis

Add a twig to each beer bottle.

Knot the Twigs

Tie the tops of the twigs together with gardening twine.

Encourage Climbing

Gently wrap and guide your hops around the trellis.

Trim the Tops

Trim the tops of the trellis twigs to similar lengths.

Add Moss

For the final touch, cover any exposed soil with moss. This helps to keep the garden from drying out too quickly. Be sure to regularly water your garden.

Harvest the Ingredients

If you enjoy home brewing, look into incorporating your beer garden plantings into your next batch of brew.


Herb garden where you need it

Herb garden where you need it

By placing this simple hanging herb garden in a sunny kitchen window, you can ensure that you will have fresh herbs year round for your cooking needs. 

Photo by: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo by Sam Henderson

If cocktails are more your jam than beer, start a small herb garden. Rosemary, mint, basil and lavender make excellent additions to mixed drinks. These so-called "cocktail gardens" are popular for their versatility. Herbs can be used in the traditional manner for cooking and creating flavored salts. But those with an affinity for mixology may want to try infusing liqours or making simple syrups.

Start Here: Growing Herbs


Succulents Double as Centerpieces & Wedding Favors

Succulents Double as Centerpieces & Wedding Favors

"We used succulents in our centerpieces, corsages and boutonnieres. We were also able to give away and re-plant the succulents after the wedding," says Courtney P.K., 36, San Francisco, Calif.

Is it possible for a plant to be trending (example: the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree)? I say, yes. Succulents have taken over as the "trendiest" plant amongst millennials. Why? They're hardy, low-maintaince and have that modern, angular look the kids love these days.


Keep Caterpillars Off of Black Tuscan Kale

Keep Caterpillars Off of Black Tuscan Kale

Black Tuscan kale is a large decorative form of kale with blistered dark leaves. Protect from caterpillars with netting when it is young.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Millennials are an extremely health-conscious group. But, on top of that, they're budget-conscious, and we all know organic food is often pricey. Growing food at home allows for sustainable, controlled gardening that guarantees a quality product. And with the farm-to-table movement still going strong, growing your own superfoods is especially appealing (and economical). Everything from kale to goji berries to microgreens can be found in a millennial garden. Next to the hops, of course.

Start Here: Guide to Growing Kale

Start Here: Growing Goji Berries

Air Plants

Tillandsia Air Plants on a Wall

Tillandsia Air Plants on a Wall

For a low-maintenance indoor garden, cluster several tillandsia together and step away. This large-scale air plant grows without soil, extracting its needed nutrients from air and water. These giant tillandsia are from Terrain.

Photo by: Terrain


Because they're so easy to grow and display, you'll find air plants in abundance in millennial apartments and porches. Their spikey, architectural foliage makes air plants look especially cool hung from the ceiling in glass orbs. While they don't need full sun, air plants require water at least once a week with misting in between watering.

Start Here: Air Plant Care

Decorating with Air Plants

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Medium Air Plant Duo

Made by Bird and Feather in California, these hand-dipped air plant pots are 100% natural plant pods. $26; uncovet.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Uncovet

Steampunk Mini Springs

Engine springs never looked so good! These industrial spirals make an eye-catching place to put your air plant. $22 each; uncovet.com

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Uncovet

Air Plant Dish Garden

Air plants pop in this recycled glass bowl that comes with a metal stand, sand and four air plants. $59.95; gardeners.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Gardener's Supply Company

Red Bell Bar Air Plant Garden

Made in Brooklyn by Roots in Rust, this antique bell makes a perfect perch for an air plant. $55; uncovet.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Uncovet

Giant Natural Pod

Air plants don't need soil or water, but they definitely need this natural seed pod to call home. $32; uncovet.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Uncovet

Zen Glass Orb

Clear glass globes and white river pebbles set the stage for your air plant to shine. $38 each; uncovet.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Uncovet

Air Plant Wall Art

Great plants make beautiful art. Viva Terra's living wall art includes an air plant, Staghorn fern and tiny orchid. $59 each; vivaterra.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Viva Terra



A member of the mint family, catnip is a favorite with about 50% of the cat population.

Photo by: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo by Mick Telkamp


For many cat owners, planting catnip is the safest and easiest way to add greenery to their space. Not only is catnip safe for felines to nibble on, it looks attractive on a coffee table and can also be used as insect repellent or made into a tea, similar to chamomile.

Hanging Garden with Drip Irrigation System

Hanging Garden with Drip Irrigation System

Repurposed cartouche boxes, found at military supply stores and online, make perfect planters for a hanging garden. A concealed drip irrigation system waters all 10 planters for one minute each day, says designer Ryan Benoit. Draining water cascades down to the planter below.

Photo by: Ryan Benoit Design

Ryan Benoit Design

Vertical Gardens

Small space-dwellers are also embracing the plant craze with vertical gardens. These plant walls work indoors or outdoors, serving as arresting focal points. Plus, vertical gardens can house many different kinds of plants at once, a major perk for plant hoarders living in confined quarters.

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