Forget cars or watches – plants are now the last word in luxury as collectors think nothing of splurging anything from a few hundred dollars to five-figure sums on rare and sought-after varieties. CNA Luxury explores this phenomenon.
Before the "circuit breaker" hit last April, the thought of rearing foliage plants did not even occur to Grayce and Jason Ooi. They had been too busy, and constant travels prevented them from growing anything more elaborate than easy-care plants like succulents.
The lockdown changed all that. “We became [plant-crazy] because of the Circuit Breaker,” said Mrs Ooi, a regional HR executive. “We started to read more, research more, and joined [plant hobby] groups. In Phase 2, we started going around plant nurseries. We still can’t travel. The only thing that makes us happy is growing things at home. We’re working from home, and plants are very therapeutic – they’re a way for us to release our stress.”
It’s a narrative that’s familiar by now: Gardening as a popular pandemic pastime. What’s unique within this trend, though, is the amount that people are willing to splurge on rare and sought-after plants.
“We noticed a sharp uptrend in gardening since the start of 2020 (beginning of Circuit Breaker); it has sparked a renewed interest in home gardening and plants as more people were staying indoors. This also piqued the interest in special and rare plants that were not commonly available in the market,” explained Peter Cheok, sales & marketing director of Far East Flora.