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News: The GCA Promotes Campaign to Address Youth Plant Blindness


May 18, 2018

Plants are critical to the future of the planet, but absent from the minds of most American youth. That’s why the GCA is part of a campaign to excite young people about the power of plants. At the GCA annual meeting in San Francisco, President Dede Petri aired a new video on the subject, BLOOM!, for more than 600 delegates from around the country.

BLOOM! is the first major initiative of Seed Your Future, a coalition of some 150 horticulture companies, gardening organizations, schools, colleges, universities, public gardens, youth organizations, nonprofit organizations, and individual advocates.

Research shows that the average American can recognize 1,000 brand names and logos, but fewer than ten local plants. “Plant blindness” – a lack of awareness of plants – is particularly significant among U.S. youth, a majority of whom have never heard of the term “horticulture.” Nearly 58,000 jobs in horticulture are expected to become available annually for the next five years, but only sixty-one percent are expected to be filled. At the same time, higher education and horticulture training programs are experiencing declining enrollment.

“Horticulture affects everything, from the air we breathe, to the food we eat, and to the beautiful landscapes and floral arrangements we enjoy. But few youth make this critical connection,” said Petri. “We must reverse this. That’s why we’re pleased to be part of this campaign to introduce youth to the awe-inspiring potential of the natural world.”  

Each year, the GCA offers twenty-eight merit-based scholarships for students interested in pursuing research related to the GCA’s purpose.  To find out more, click here.

BLOOM! is providing teachers, young people, and families with information about the power of plants and the career opportunities behind them. The campaign website hosts a wide array of educational resources to interest kids.


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