Video and graphics from National Indoor Plant Week website.
I wonder how may urbanites became long-term houseplant growers from this giveaway program.
Do you see "Easy to grow" on the list to the left?
Most people have an inate liking for the natural world and plants (see last item on list). However, no one likes to kill houseplants which is easy to do with recommended finger poking and "drench and drain watering". The result is that most mainstream Americans have stopped growing indoor plants.
The visual evidence is in the daily photos in my research. Maybe there is a vase of real or artificial cut flowers in a photo, but no living plants!
Most "green thumb" houseplant gurus have killed more plants than they can remember while learning the arcane drain hole based "drench and drain" methods taught by horticultural educators. Teachers include USDA "master gardeners", extension educators and garden writer accolytes.
Why do houseplant growers avoid teaching consumers about sub-irrigated planters (aka SIPs, known erroneously also as "self-watering planters")? They avoid sub-irrigation like the plague because houseplant grower business plans are based on consumption rather than sustainability. It is that simple. Plant death is desired rather than long life.
What is even more interesting is that most houseplants are grown using some form of sub-irrigation including ebb and flow, capilary mats and flood floors. Based on past history, greenhouse growers will likely never tell consumers about sub-irrigation, even though sustainability and water conservation are hot topics.
Further, most established commercial interior plantscaping companies (a business I was in long ago) also use sub-irrigation. They will not tell either due to fear. Their fear is that clients will switch to sub-irrigation based self-maintenance. False expectations appearing real.
Back in the '70's and 80's all of our interior plantscaping customers knew about our use of sub-irrigation. It was written in our contract documents. The business prospered because they respected our use of modern technology.
When I think of this industry I remember an old expression from my IBM days..."No guts, no glory!" Tell the truth and consumers will follow.