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 August 6-7, 2024 | Rosemont, Illinois

Social Standouts to Help Your Social Media Presence

Gardening, houseplant, and floral design influencers on Instagram and TikTok provide social media models for garden centers to follow to make their social media presences successful.

Advertising and reviews are important means of generating and sustaining a business, but social media, if done well, can be an even more powerful tool for building a brand identity and appealing to your ideal customer. A number of influencers interested in flowers, houseplants, and gardening, as well as people in the business, have done just that, amassing large followings with social media profiles that are both beautiful and educational.

Being primarily visual in nature, Instagram and TikTok are perfect for showing off the beauty of plants and flowers, and the short video format is an engaging way to share gardening tips with those either curious about gardening or serious gardeners looking to improve their skills. These platforms are also where the coveted Millennial and Gen Z demographics are. 70% of Millennials use Instagram daily, and while only 28% of Millennials use TikTok, it is the preferred social media platform of Gen Z, with 64% of Gen Z using TikTok daily. If you’re looking to build an audience on social media, studying the successful profiles listed here is a good place to start.

On Instagram


Darryl Cheng, author of The New Plant Parent, posts beautiful pictures of houseplants against bright, minimalist backgrounds. But these posts aren’t just nice to look at; they’re full of useful information on everything from plant anatomy to taking better pictures of plants. The Instagram account also serves as a good example of a content funnel: his engaging, informative posts establish his credibility and funnels followers to his website, where they can purchase his book and a course on houseplant care.


House Plant Club calls itself “The community for houseplant enthusiasts.” They create that sense of community by reposting pictures and videos shared with the hashtag #houseplantclub. The majority of these images share the dominant Millennial aesthetic: white walls, minimalist (often rustic or retro) décor, and a lush overabundance of greenery. They’re also selling a book, and its title, How to Raise a Plant and Make It Love You Back, captures the Millennial and Gen Z urge to take care of something and help it grow.


Moving from house to garden, we find Timothy Hammond sharing the joy of backyard gardening. His video content exhibits his engaging personality and gardening knowledge in a series of short videos. Demonstrating that gardening is for everyone with a mix of videos, photos, and infographics, the Big City Gardener has drawn nearly 80,000 followers since 2017.


Charles Dowding is a British geographer and gardener who runs one of the biggest gardening accounts on Instagram, with over 300,000 followers. He is an advocate for “no dig” gardening, in which seeds and a layer of organic compost are placed on top of the soil. While the photography isn’t as striking as what you’ll find on some other accounts, each post is accompanied by a paragraph of useful information, and every comments section is full of his replies to comments and questions, demonstrating the kind of engagement needed to build a community on social media.


Amazing photography is at the heart of the success of Floret Flower Farm’s Instagram account, closing in on nearly a million followers. Each lovely photo shares a similar aesthetic: natural, abundant, cozy, and a little wild. It’s a look beloved by Gen Z: just Google “cottagecore” for some more examples. @floretflower often tags their posts #ayearinflowers, a popular hashtag for florists, floral designers, and flower farms alike.


Kiana Underwood, a world-renowned floral designer, has amassed a large following on Instagram with her ethereal arrangements that will have you wondering if you’re looking at a photograph or a 17th century Dutch still life painting.

On TikTok


Cameron Curry’s houseplant-focused TikTok is a solid example of what it takes to succeed on TikTok: a popular song, a little bit of text, and a fun, fast video. Curry has the formula down, his personality and humor on display in each post, such as the one in which he goes foraging for mushrooms but quickly concludes that “Florida mushrooms are terrifying, so I’m going to the grocery store.” In another video, which spans all of 14 seconds, he offers tips to help succulents thrive while showing off some of his thriving succulents. It’s quick, easily digestible content that makes up for the lack of depth inherent in the platform with enthusiasm and inspiration.


Epic Gardening is also a podcast and an Instagram account, but his TikTok account is full of short videos that manage to pack in lots of useful gardening information. It’s another great example of what succeeds on the platform. The videos are short, focused, and thoughtfully composed.


All of these social media influencers showcase different personalities and different approaches to their chosen fields, but they all have one thing in common: they all come from a place of joy and a desire to share a passion. Social media can be an important marketing tool, but only if it's used for more than advertising. While none of these people are garden centers, they have all turned their passion into business, and they all provide garden centers with examples to follow. The opportunity is there for a garden center, not just a hobbyist, to be the next social media influencer. Plants, flowers, and gardens are beautiful, and there’s nothing stopping you from turning that beauty and your passion for it into a social media success that will benefit your business.