SEOUL, Sept. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Koreans' consumption of flowers and ornamental plants rose 6.1 percent on-year last year on rising demand amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions in outdoor activities, data showed Saturday.
An average South Korean spent 12,386 won (US$8.90) on buying flowers and other plants in 2021, compared with 11,676 won a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
It marked the first time since 2005 that the per-person demand reported an on-year growth. Flower consumption had risen 6.2 percent a year on average from 1995 to 2005, when the figure reached the peak of 20,870 won but had fallen an average of 3.5 percent per year through 2020.
The growth was attributable to more people staying at home longer due to the new coronavirus and their rising interests in "planterior." The newly coined term refers to the use of plants in interior design.
"Recent surveys showed that a growing number of people bought plants for home decorating, and the changing lifestyle amid the pandemic appears to have been behind the trend," a ministry official said.
"The government will seek measures to promote the industry to better meet customers' demands," he added.
South Korea reported its first COVID-19 case in January 2020 and had enforced strict social distancing rules before lifting most of them in April this year.
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