Sales of indoor plants shoot up ahead of stay-home orders
As Singaporeans thronged to buy furniture, electronics and groceries ahead of the ‘circuit breaker’ measures that kicked in on Tuesday to fight the Covid-19 outbreak, others rushed to stock up on plants - judging by the long line of cars spotted along the stretch of nurseries along Thomson Road over the weekend.
Mr Ivan Koh, project director of plant retail business Hawaii Landscape, told The New Paper that it saw an 80 to 90 per cent increase in sales of indoor plants during that period.
He said that some customers bought herbs and spices so that they could grow them at home during self-isolation and thus reduce their patronisation of wet markets and supermarkets.
Mr Koh said: “Plants photosynthesise and give out oxygen during the day, so maybe some people are buying them to freshen up their homes.”
While online orders can still be placed, Hawaii Landscape cannot make the physical deliveries until after May 4, as all nurseries have had to close this month.
Ms Kelly Ng, operations manager of Ban Nee Chen, said the company saw a 20 to 40 per cent increase in sales across its various retail outlets.
Evergreen perennials, such as the fiddle-leaf fig which has air-purifying functions, were popular among its customers.
Dollarweed and Jade plants were also best-sellers for their association with good luck and prosperity. Chillis, tomatos, eggplants and curry leaves were also sought after.
Mr Sandy Soh, owner of garden centre Terrascapes LLP, said that caring for plants “appeals to the nurturing part of humanity”.
“It seems like people having to spend more time at home allows them to shower their plants with more care and attention,” he said.
He also noted that people who had never cared for plants before might have been snapping them up after being influenced by social media.
Dr Wilson Wong, an NParks-certified practising horticulturist, said that having plants at home during self-isolation can improve a person’s mood.
“Greenery and home gardening enable us to satisfy our innate need to connect with nature and enhance our overall well-being. That could explain the growing interest,” he said.