When you invest, your capital is at risk.



As land gets scarcer and pricier, planting indoors is gaining popularity not just with gardening enthusiasts, but also farmers. But can the industry thrive among rising costs?

Succulents, cactuses, monsteras and dozens of other plants have become staples of modern decoration. And though most of us get them just for looks, there’s evidence that indoor plants can boost your mental health and perhaps even improve the air quality around them (though the evidence on that one seems to be mixed).

With households and workplaces alike embracing the botanical trend in recent years, the global indoor plant industry reached US$18.8b in 2022 and is expected to be worth US$27.5b by 2030.

If you weren’t gifted with green fingers, you’re far from being alone: 37% of Americans reportedly kill one or two houseplants every year. The industry is addressing this with indoor gardening systems. Starting from a few dozen bucks up to several hundred dollars, these kits aim to make planting as fool-proof as can be. Some of them, like $SMG’s Miracle-Gro Twelve Indoor, come equipped with built-in lighting for plants to grow even in the darkest environments. Still budding, the smart indoor gardening kit market is now valued at roughly US$2b – just over a tenth of the houseplant market. 

For a while, it seemed like the big bucks to be made with indoor plants lay in indoor farming, as estimates valued the industry at about US$40b in 2022. Vertical farming had been getting attention among venture capitalists, securing four out of five of the biggest funding raises done in AgTech in 2022. But in the past few months, some of the best-known companies in the sector – both in Europe and in the U.S. – filed for bankruptcy, raising questions around consistent profitability in vertical gardening. 

One exception could be South Korea, where produce is normally so expensive that indoor farming could still represent an improvement despite its high costs. Chief among those costs is the energy bill, due to heavy reliance on artificial lighting. Even one of vertical farming’s biggest strengths can also be a serious threat: known for using fewer pesticides than other farming methods, indoor farms are at greater risk should any pest ever affect the harvest. 

As smaller players leave the sector defeated, big corporations are stepping in with stronger funding and economies of scale. Retailing giants Kroger ($KR) and Walmart ($WMT) recently announced they’re expanding their footprints in vertical farming. The technologies available to these megacorps will probably never be accessible to the average gardening enthusiast – so don’t beat yourself up if your houseplant doesn’t flourish quite as you hoped.

Image source: Unsplash


Want more?

You know what to do

Insights, trends and company deep dives delivered straight to your inbox.

Stake logo
Over 7,000 5-star reviews
App Store logoGoogle Play logo

Subscribe to our free newsletters

By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Stake is the trading name of Hellostake Limited, a company registered in England and Wales (Company no. 11676409). Hellostake Limited is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority under the Firm Reference Number 830771. Registered address: 85 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 7LT, United Kingdom.

When you invest, your capital is at risk.

The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may receive back less than your original investment. Any advice is of a general nature only. As investments carry risk, before making any investment decision, please consider if it’s right for you and seek appropriate independent taxation and legal advice. The information on our website or our mobile application is not intended to be an inducement, offer or solicitation to anyone in any jurisdiction in which Stake is not regulated or able to market its services.

At Stake, we’re focused on giving you a better investing experience but we don’t take into account your personal objectives, circumstances or financial needs. Please view ourTerms & Conditions,Privacy PolicyandDisclaimers before deciding to use or invest on Stake. By using the Stake website or service in any way, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions. All financial products involve risk and you should ensure you understand the risks involved as certain financial products may not be suitable to everyone. Past performance of any product described on this website is not a reliable indication of future performance

Copyright © 2024 Stake. All rights reserved.