10 plant trends to watch out for in 2020
Image courtesy of UF/IFAS

10 plant trends to watch out for in 2020

Look out for native plants, dwarf varieties edible landscapes and more in the coming year.

In a recent blog post from the University of Florida/IFAS extension, the university compiled a list of the hot plant varieties and trends on the horizon for 2020. 

Check out their predictions and read the blog post, below:

Expect to see more eco-conscious and unconventional plants in homes and gardens for 2020, according to horticultural experts with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Below are some of the hottest trends to look for in the new year.

1. Native plants

Plants are considered native to your area if they naturally occur there. “One trend I have noticed lately is residents asking about and seeking out native plants that work in our area for their landscape needs,” said Kate Rotindo, urban horticulture agent for UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County.

2. Plants for wildlife

In recent years, plants that attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators have gotten attention for their positive environmental impact, said Wendy Wilber, state coordinator for the UF/IFAS Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program.

3. Dwarf varieties

Those without a lot of space for gardening are choosing dwarf varieties. “This trend is continuing as people look for their favorite plants in smaller sizes,” said Beth Bolles, horticulture agent for UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County. “They don’t want to be pruning all the time but still want a nice permanent landscape shrub feature,” she said.

4. Re-wilding gardens

“In re-wilding, a gardener takes steps to have less control in the landscape. This can include encouraging beneficial insects, reducing herbicide and pesticide use, pruning less and planting more native plants,” said Theresa Badurek, horticulture agent for UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County. “This practice is becoming more popular as people look for ways to be more environmentally friendly.”

5. Edible landscapes

Fruit-bearing plants, ornamental vegetables and edible flowers can add style and taste to a landscape, said Wilber. “People are interested in using edible landscapes to be more sustainable, since you get the double benefit of having a landscape that looks nice and provides nutritious food,” she said.

6. Succulents

Though succulents and cacti have long been popular low-maintenance plants, consumers are looking for fewer familiar varieties. “People are discovering the immense variety that is the world of succulents,” Bolles said. “Their interesting shapes and growth habits seem to offer a form of living art.”

7. Dark foliage

Plants with red, purple or “black” leaves are a striking addition to any landscape, making them more attractive to gardeners looking for something new in 2020, according to Marguerite Beckford, commercial horticulture agent for UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County. Plants such as the ‘Black Raven’ ZZ plant, the ‘Black Diamond’ crepe myrtle and red Agloanema are examples of this trend.

8. Novel greens

Vegetable gardeners will be looking to diversify their plots with leafy greens commonly grown outside the United States, such as mizuna, bok choy and komatsuna, according to Bolles.

9. Softer, leafier floral arrangements

Though a dozen roses will likely never go out of style, floral arrangements featuring both flowers and foliage are gaining popularity, said Karen Stauderman, commercial horticulture agent for UF/IFAS Extension Volusia County. “Florida greens with leatherleaf fern is making a comeback in floral arrangements, garlands and other plant decor,” she said. “We are going away from the bundle bouquet of solitary flower blooms to the soft, organic feel of greenery.”

10. Landscaping for natural disasters

The increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters in recent years has made many people rethink what they plant on their properties, said Mark Tancig, horticulture agent for UF/IFAS Extension Leon County. “Folks are hesitant to have trees near their homes after witnessing the damage done by hurricanes over the last few years,” he said.

Read the full blog post here.