A record demand for plants which began during the first national Covid-19 lockdown has continued despite many people being back at work, a supermarket has reported.
Between March 2020 and today, Tesco said demand for bedding plants and shrubs in particular surged by nearly 50%, with more than 75 million individual plants sold.
The Horticultural Trades Association, representing the UK garden industry, estimates that three million new gardeners emerged during lockdown, and that 2.3 million of them have continued their new hobby into this year.
Bedding plant supplier Bridge Farm Group, based in Spalding, Lincolnshire, has invested further in its business as a result of the demand.
Louise Motala, managing director of Bridge Farm Group, said: “When lockdown started, the interest in gardening was immediate and our planting programme went into overdrive in order to meet the massive, unexpected demand.
“The extra demand has given us the confidence to invest in our facilities, ensuring that our plants are grown in the most sustainable and efficient way possible.”
The firm, which is the main bedding plant supplier of Tesco, is helping the supermarket in its pledge to be peat-free on all its British-grown bedding plant range from April 2023.
In the last two years the top five most popular bedding plants have been geranium, petunia, fuchsia, impatiens and dahlia, Tesco said.
Tesco horticulture category buying manager Alex Edwards said: “Lockdown gave many people the opportunity to not only spend more time in their gardens but also hone their gardening skills.
“The feeling of wellbeing gained from nurturing and being amongst plants is one of the main reasons why lockdown consumers have kept their gardening bug even after returning to work.”