Today’s post is the first in a new series on HPH, where I will be chatting to some independent plant sellers to get to know them (and their businesses) a little better.
I think it is fair to say that as houseplant collections grow and interests get fuelled, many plant enthusiasts tend to look for more specialised sellers to find the plants that they desire. Large chained garden centres and supermarkets in particular, get quite a bad reputation for plant care, so buying directly from a seller who loves plants as much as you is a good move.
I’m happy to share the first instalment with you today… ‘GET TO KNOW: ROOT HOUSEPLANTS’. ROOT HOUSEPLANTS is a relatively new venture set up by Chris and Lisa, who seek to send plants to houseplant lovers all over the UK. They are based in Liverpool.
🌿 Could you tell us a little bit about how you both got into plants?
Lisa – Before we moved in together I had a collection of cacti and succulents and had always wanted my collection to grow but I just didn’t have the space living at home. So when we bought our house we talked about how we wanted to create a space full of a variety of different plants.
Chris – I’d say I’ve only been interested in houseplants over the past year, it was since we moved into our house that my fascination grew. I love the responsibility of caring for them and the satisfaction of watching them grow is amazing. We’re learning every day.
We wanted the plants to be part of our home; part of the style and décor and to use plants as statement pieces in each room.
Chris – The idea came from all the time we spent looking at plants on Instagram and how difficult it was sourcing plants that we wanted.
Lisa – We felt like there was a gap in the market for a business to provide houseplants across the U.K.
We’re both really passionate about plants so we thought we could combine our passion and our knowledge to create a brand that would fill that gap.
🌿 What is the oldest plant in your personal collection?
Chris – Chanaedorea seifrizii – the ‘Bamboo Palm.’ We were at a local nursery and spotted it, it was looking a bit worse for wear and had been discounted so I asked about it and apparently it’d been accidently ran over by a mobility scooter. I thought I’d give it a chance and I’ve nursed it back to health and it’s doing really well in our bathroom. We’ve had it almost a year.
🌿 What are your favourites?
Chris – At the moment I’m loving the Codiaeum’s, commonly known as the Croton. I just love the colours, each plant shows variation but the pinks and oranges are incredible. I’m also loving Philodendron xanadu, I love the shape of the leaves. We don’t actually own one yet but I’m trying to find the space so we can add it to our plant family!
Lisa – I love the Calathea’s, we have this beautiful Calathea warscewiczii next to our sofa and it’s unreal; the velvety leaves have a gorgeous purple underside, I just love it! I love Begonia’s too, the escargot has the cutest swirly leaves!
🌿 Top 5 plant wishlist?
Lisa – We are both obsessed with the Begonia maculata.
Chris – Strelitzia nicolai, the bird of paradise is beautiful.
Lisa – The dwarf Musa.
Chris – I found a Caladium called the ‘Poison Dart Frog’ on @dear_plants Instagram a few days ago, the leaves are amazing, they look like a pink and green camouflage on the underside of the leaf. Unfortunately, this is a trademarked hybrid by a breeder so I’ve probably got more chance of winning the lottery than owning this plant!
Lisa – I want a Calathea orbifolia, the leaves are something else.
🌿 How many plants do you have at home?
Lisa – 54 in our personal collection.
Chris – We’re currently looking after 140 plants that are stock for the website. It’s not easy but we’re trying our best to keep them happy and healthy before they go to their new homes.
🌿 What’s your best plant care tip?
Chris – Before buying a plant, make sure you do your research, see if it’s suited to your home. There’s no point buying a plant that requires, say, bright sunlight if you’ve only got a dark room to put it in. Try to provide for the plants needs as best you can and remember some plants can just die no matter how well you look after them.
Lisa – Definitely get to know your plants, Homestead Brooklyn wrote a rad post on ‘How to read a plant’, that’s worth a read for sure.
🌿 What plant/s do you find the most difficult to look after?
Chris – Begonia’s! We’ve had the worst luck with them, trying to get the humidity just right has been a nightmare, we’ve tried bell jars with some success but we’ve lost a lot of these guys.
🌿 And what’s your most easy going plant?
Lisa – It’s got to be Epipremnum aureum – Devil’s Ivy, we’ve got a couple of these around the house and they just thrive with minimal effort!
🌿 Have you got any interesting plant stories?
Chris – We went to Edinburgh over Christmas and we visited the Royal Botanic Garden and it was incredible, we spent ages in there. It reminded us that we have a Palm House just around the corner from us in Sefton Park so we’ve made numerous visits since we got back. The plants in there are breathtaking, the Ficus lyrata tree is the biggest we’ve ever seen, it goes right up to the top of the glass roof! We’ve actually got a stall at the Pop Up Palm House event in April so if you’re local, come down and see us. It’s April 14th and 15th at Sefton Park Palm House.
🌿 Anything else to add? What are your social links?
Lisa – We recently launched our website www.root-houseplants.com so take a look. We’ve only been going three months and we’re constantly learning.
Chris – We’ve been really lucky to become part of the Instagram plant community, everyone is so helpful and friendly. We’re actually meeting up in the Netherlands in June, there will be over 20 of us going from all over Europe. We plan to visit nurseries, garden centres and Botanical Gardens. We can’t wait!
I hope you enjoyed this post and be sure to visit ROOT HOUSEPLANTS over on Instagram HERE
If you have any requests for independent plant shops or sellers you would like me to feature on this ‘GET TO KNOW…’ series, please send me a DM on Instagram HERE
Alternatively if you sell plants or anything plant related would like to be featured on HPH get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading, and best of luck to Chris and Lisa in their planty adventure!
*This post is not sponsored!