PEOPLE are bringing the outdoors inside in a trend that is benefitting hundreds of businesses, a new survey has shown.
Data from the latest Nursery Industry Statistics report showed that 1.9 billion plants were purchased in Australia last year, with the total value of the nursery industry growing by approximately five per cent to $2.4 billion from 2015-16 to 2017-18.
"This is a very positive result for the industry and reflects widespread sentiment that interest in, and demand for, greenlife continues to grow here in Australia," Nursery and Garden Industry Australia chief executive officer Peter Vaughan said.
Local nurseries are also benefitting from the trend, among them Redland Bay's Marlborough Nursery.
Manager Kristian Spink said he agreed strongly with the survey's findings, attributing the industry's expansion in part to a growing trend towards indoor plants.
"There's a trend towards the health benefits of having plants, especially indoors, so you're seeing that pop up on social media," he said.
Among other social media platforms platforms, Instagram has a developed an indoor plant community, with hashtags #plantstagram and #plantsofinstagram amassing nearly four million posts collectively.
Mr Spink said he saw nursery growth in the Redlands continuing into the future thanks to increasing local development.
"Plots are small so people are looking to bring a lot of the outdoors inside," Mr Spink said.
"With the amount of houses that are going up in areas, (nurseries are) finding that that's really having a positive effect."
An increased interest in plants from buyers had allowed nurseries to invest more money into staff and new technologies, Mr Spink said.
He said Marlborough Nursery had undergone significant upgrades in the past few years, making processes more efficient and increasing output.
"A lot of that was investment knowing how strongly the industry was performing, which has also allowed us to put on more staff," he said.
"Confidence is quite high."
Mr Vaughan said about sixty per cent of growers surveyed invested in infrastructure, new technology or staff training during the year.
"Importantly, more than 80 per cent of growers surveyed said they were optimistic about the future of their industry and anticipated that product demand would increase over the next five years," he said.
Mr Vaughan said the survey showed small businesses were also benefitting from the growth, with many moving into a higher turnover bracket in the past year.
"While a large percentage of national turnover is generated by larger businesses, it's great to see smaller family owned and operated businesses diversifying their operations and expanding," Mr Vaughan said.
"The results confirm the important role that the nursery industry plays in greening and cooling our communities, as well as its contribution to the nation's broader food, fibre and foliage industries."
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