Garden trends to watch

Gardening is constantly evolving, shaped by developments within the industry and trends from other industries. While some garden trends stick around for several years, such as growing food and sustainable gardening practices, others constantly change, like color favorites or trending plants. Here are 14 garden trends to watch for in 2024 – some of which you may recognize and some that are just emerging.

Lime green

5. Everything bright lime green

The Garden Media Group has identified bright lime green as a standout garden color for 2024. This vibrant hue is making waves in both outdoor and indoor design, signaling a shift towards more lively, energetic tones. This color trend harks back to the bold and expressive garden styles of the 1980s, aligning with the ‘revival’ trend we’ll explore later.

Bright lime green adds a dynamic and fresh look to gardens, standing out against more traditional color palettes. It pairs exceptionally well with deep purples and blues for a striking, contemporary feel.

To incorporate this trend, consider using bright lime green in garden accessories like planters and outdoor furniture. You can also choose plants with vivid lime-green foliage or flowers. For a bold statement, painting a fence or garden wall in this energizing hue can fully embrace this exciting trend.

Home orchard with five fruit trees

3. Home orchards

Continuing from the growing food trend, one of the emerging trends of the year is home orchards. Those who have mastered vegetable gardening are looking to trickier and more long-term projects like fruit trees for a new challenge.

You may think having an orchard in your backyard requires tons of space, but that’s not the case. An orchard is typically defined as any area with five or more fruit-bearing trees, meaning you don’t need swathes of land to get started. There are even a few fruit tree species and cultivars you can grow in containers, so you can start a tiny orchard with no traditional backyard space at all.

In cooler climates, plants like apples, pears, plums, and grapes tend to do well. In temperate areas, apricots are lovely, as are peaches and other stone fruits. Tropical plants like avocados and bananas need very warm, frost-free climates.

Soltech plant light

4. Garden gadgets

It’s no secret that technology has taken over the 21st century, including in the gardening industry. Every year, more and more garden gadgets are developed to make our lives easier and help us grow healthier plants. From indoor grow lights to automatic lawnmowers, garden technology is no longer reserved for specialist growers.

In the picture above, I’m installing a pendant grow light for my houseplants. I also love my Click and Grow 25 smart garden and my automatic houseplant mister. For composting my houseplant trimmings, my Lomi composter is perfect.

Some of these products can be quite pricey, but they are well worth the investment when you consider the returns. Although some gardeners are hesitant to adopt new technologies, preferring the traditional ways of doing things, these gadgets are fun to experiment with and will better your gardening experience overall.

Cut flower garden - dahlias

1. Cut flower gardens

Cut flower gardens have been slowly gaining popularity for the past few years, firmly cementing their place as one of the top trends of the early 2020s. Differing from regular flower gardens, these are designed with the purpose of cutting to bring the beautiful blooms indoors to enjoy.

Flowers that last long in vases are priorities, with large blooms like dahlias emerging as favorites. Other popular flowers for cutting gardens include tulips, sweet peas, poppies, cosmos, sunflowers, zinnias, and other flowers that are well-suited to bouquets.

This year, this trend will lean more toward cut flower gardens with the purpose of drying, allowing gardeners to make the fruits of their labor last much longer. You don’t need much space to get started with this trend – you’ll be surprised how many flowers you can grow in a small bed or container.

Growing your own lettuce and salad greens

2. Growing food you can (and will) eat

Edible gardening has never really gone out of fashion, but it is more of a priority now than in recent years. Since 2020 (when many people started gardening for the first time), vegetable gardens seem to be the new starting point.

Easy-to-grow vegetables and herbs that grow well in containers, such as tomatoes or leafy greens, are often the first plants that newbies attempt to grow. And there are some newer trending plants in the veggie gardening world, including grafted tomatoes and even plants that grow tomatoes and potatoes on the same plant!

This trend links to wider desires to be more self-sufficient and spend more time connected with nature. Plus, what could be better than using the freshest possible produce picked straight from the garden in your kitchen?

Rewilding your backyard

10. Rewilding

Sustainability is a major overarching trend in gardening, with many gardeners and growers moving toward more environmentally friendly gardening practices. One way to do that is through rewilding.

Rewilding is a concept in conservation that focuses on restoring natural environments to their previous uncultivated state, improving biodiversity, and reducing the negative impacts on plants and wildlife that come with some traditional gardening or farming practices.

Rewilding is often recommended to replace lawns that contribute little to local flora and fauna, although it remains quite a controversial trend. Closely related is the study of permaculture, which can include rewilding of brownfields.

Low deck with egg chair and patio furniture

6. Structure and softness

Another emerging design trend relates to form and texture. Specifically, contrasting forms and textured are placed next to each other. This practice is certainly not new, used by landscape designers for decades to create a well-rounded and natural design that displays some kind of structure. However, the juxtaposition of structural garden elements with soft and cascading plants is fast becoming one of the dominant design trends.

This links to the cottage garden trend of previous years – with overflowing beds, border gardens, and wild forms – but brings some structure into the design using hard landscaping like paving and edging.

White knight houseplant foliage

7. Rare houseplants

Houseplants exploded in popularity in the 2010s. Pinterest boards filled with images of fiddle leaf figs and delicious monsters as more and more people realized that even if they didn’t have any outdoor garden space, they could still bring nature indoors through houseplants.

But it’s been a while since tropical houseplants began trending, and things have changed slightly. Indoor gardeners have mastered the growth of common favorites and are now looking for an extra challenge in the form of rare houseplants.

Rare cultivars with interesting leaves, colorful patterns, or variegated patches are the most sought-after. Many are interesting sport mutations of previously cultivated varieties. They may be pricey, but these prized plants are seen as a worthy investment.

Prep milk jug for winter sowing
Preparing a milk jug for winter sowing some cold-hardy seeds

13. Recycling

There are many ways to recycle and upcycle in the garden. Like a few other trends, this idea is not new but is becoming more widespread with the increased focus on the environment.

Basic steps like washing and reusing plastic pots or composting your kitchen waste are easy tasks that have a big impact on your environmental footprint. To take it a step further, many gardeners are reducing their consumption by upcycling household products to use outdoors and sharing cuttings of plants within their local community. With a bit of creativity, it’s easy to find ways to limit waste in your garden.

Coleus green and purple

8. Bright color

Interior trends often mirror gardening trends, especially when it comes to color. This year is no different. Earlier years have been dominated by neutral colors and muted tones, particularly beige and grey. As is the case with many trends, the opposite is now in fashion – brighter is better.

This is true not only of single colors but also of the look of your garden as a whole. It seems the more bright colors you can place together, the better. This follows the maximalism trend of last year, throwing out the uniformity of neutral gardens and injecting some character and personality.

House plant in hanging macrame holder

9. Nostalgia

A trend dominant in every industry at the moment – not just gardening – is nostalgia. Whether it’s the retro look of the 1960s and 70s or the futuristic tech-inspired look of the 1980s or even Y2K, everyone is gaining inspiration from the past and adding a modern 2023 twist.

In gardening, this influence is largely seen in plant choices. Traditional or ‘old-school’ plants previously seen as out of fashion are now trendy again, particularly in the world of houseplants. Staples of previous decades, like African violets or anthuriums, are incredibly popular and decorated with nostalgic accessories like macrame to finish off the retro look.

Organic vs synthetic

11. Fewer chemicals

Another sustainable trend that has been popular for several years is the use of fewer chemicals in gardening.

Many gardening products used to remove pests, get rid of weeds or tackle diseases can be harmful to the rest of your plants and the surrounding environment. These chemicals leech into the local water supply and have a negative impact far beyond the borders of your garden. Even synthetic fertilizers, designed to improve plant growth, have been shown to have a negative impact on the environment when used improperly.

Gardeners are prioritizing natural products and gardening methods over synthetic ones, creating a blooming backyard that encourages biodiversity rather than harms it. Here are some high-quality organic fertilizers to try out in your space.

Cactus garden in desert

12. Saving water

Drought-tolerant gardens are becoming more and more important as the effects of climate change are felt around the world. Unreliable water supplies or water restrictions are pushing gardens to make better choices with their plants and the way their gardens are watered.

Plants accustomed to dry soil for long periods, particularly succulents and tough shrubs, are replacing thirsty annuals and perennials that require tons of maintenance to flower and look their best. Here are 30+ drought-tolerant flowering plants for dry gardens.

More gardeners are also investing in water-saving systems like rainwater tanks and reusing greywater from their homes to water the garden, which is especially helpful in periods of limited rainfall.

Pollinator garden

14. Pollinator gardens

Finally, we have another established trend that doesn’t appear to be dying down any time soon – pollinator gardens.

As pollinator populations become threatened in urban areas around the world, researchers are constantly encouraging people to look for ways to help them out. Those with gardens have great power to help by planting pollinator-friendly gardens. Not only do these gardens look good, exploding with flowers and color, but they bring wonderful activity to your backyard from bees, butterflies, and other garden favorites.

Gardeners with larger backyards are even setting up their own beehives to improve populations and get honey at the same time. If you don’t want to reach that level of commitment, you can also provide homes for local pollinators by creating your own bug hotel. The options are endless.

Pollinator garden - hummingbird

FAQs about garden trends

What plants are trending this year?

Plants with big, bold foliage and/or flowers are trending. For houseplants, this starts with the fabulous Monstera deliciosa. Elephant ears are wonderful indoors and out when the weather is warm. Canna lilies are easy to grow and available in a number of different warm colors. And hibiscus, both hardy and tropical, are a fave again for 2024!

What types of planters are trending this year?

Planters made of natural materials are trending, especially those with understated patterns. This includes everything from the high-end Bergs Italian terra cotta pots to glazed ceramic pots at the big box stores. Plant stands are also trending and can be purchased with an accompanying pot or with a bucket-like receptacle that an inner lining plastic pot can be popped into.

Madison Moulton
Madison Moulton

Madison Moulton is an esteemed gardening writer and editor with a profound affection for plants that took root in her childhood. As a life-long plant enthusiast, Madison’s early captivation with indoor gardening blossomed into a full-fledged profession. Her dedication and expertise in the field have seen her words grace the pages of several national gardening magazines, as well as some of the most popular online platforms.

With bylines in notable gardening publications such as Epic Gardening, Rural Sprout, Homes & Gardens, and All About Gardening, Madison’s voice stands out as a beacon for sustainable and eco-friendly gardening practices. Moreover, her vast experience with tropical plants has not only made her a valuable contributor to our team but has also earned her features in esteemed platforms like Real Homes and Architectural Digest.

While Madison’s extensive writing portfolio speaks volumes about her gardening expertise, her mission remains consistent: to inspire novice and seasoned gardeners alike to approach gardening with both the flora and the earth’s well-being at heart. Outside the digital realm, Madison is hands-on, immersing herself in the rich soils of her home country, South Africa, where she passionately plants and tends to her own garden.

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