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Green thumb culture seen blooming again

Potted houseplants, flowers turning more Chinese homes into veritable gardens as households yearn for aesthetic spaces

By ZHU WENQIAN | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-29 10:55

A grower picks eustoma flowers at a greenhouse in the Hani-Yi autonomous prefecture of Honghe, Yunnan province, in March. [XUE YINGYING/FOR CHINA DAILY]

In 2022, retail sales of flowers through e-commerce platforms in China accounted for 54.6 percent of total retail sales value, and e-commerce sales are expected to have exceeded 130 billion yuan in 2023, the association said.

The popularity of cultivating tropical plants in China has attracted more people to entrepreneurial endeavors in the sector. Wu Jiafan, in his 30s, used to work in the artificial intelligence sector in Shanghai, and he would like to shift to a new career path.

As luck would have it, he found that the market for online sales of tropical plants is less competitive compared to many other sectors, so he opened online store Jojo Plant on Taobao in 2019.

He said posting alluring plant and flower photos online is important to attract consumers, and the company has developed a group of packing technologies to make sure that when buyers receive their plants, they are in pristine condition.

"This is a beautiful and green sector that is full of positive energy. A few years ago, tropical plants were more expensive and scarce, so it is believed to be a sector filled with business growth opportunities," Wu said.

"Tropical plants fit with young consumers' aesthetic demand for something novel and tasteful, and every pot is different. Many plants are synonymous with trends, and some celebrities like to purchase tropical plants, which helps fuel a trend of consumption among younger folks online," Wu added.

By 2035, China aims to achieve annual sales revenue of over 700 billion yuan in flowers, according to a guideline of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

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