At the 2021 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, houseplants were given their own dedicated category for the first time – the latest sign of the ongoing trend for indoor gardening.
The series of ‘houseplant studios’ included the Pharmacy of House Plants, by online company Patch Plants, which focused on the health benefits of being surrounded by greenery. “Plants dispense biophilia; visually and subconsciously imparting mental health support and improving mood,” Richard Cheshire, a Plant Doctor at Patch Plants. “On a practical level, they help purify the air, reduce background noise through sound absorption, regulate temperature and increase humidity.”
Cheshire’s advice for new houseplant owners includes keeping the room temperature between 18 to 22 degrees Celsius during the day and using the knuckle test to see if a plant needs water. “Put your finger in the soil up to your second knuckle and if it feels dry, give the plant a drink. Most tropical houseplants like to dry out the top two inches of soil before being watered, whereas drought loving plants such as succulents like to dry out their soil completely,” he says. Also, most varieties will experience leaf scorch if placed in direct sunlight. “Plants such as Dwarf Cavendish and Bird of Paradise will thrive in direct sunlight, but Elephant ear plants say, work best in rooms with indirect light.”
Here, we round-up five of the best plant and pot shops in the UK
Prick © Jon Devo
Founded by Gynelle Leon in Dalston five years ago, Prick was London’s first dedicated cacti and succulent shop. Alongside plants such as Sansevieria Moonshine (a variety of the snake plant, it loves bright sunshine) and Aloe Vera, you’ll find a range of own-brand terracotta pots. Designed in collaboration with a pottery mill, they fit the size of standard plant pots meaning that you can drop a plastic container in and, crucially, keep the drainage hole.
Apercu, Glasgow and Edinburgh
At this plant and botanical goods shop in Scotland, varieties such as miniature palms, Watermelon Peperomia (the green and white striped leaves look like watermelons) and the rare red-leaf Caladium Bombshell are the stars of the show; eye-catching vessels include lined fabric pots in shades of orange, turquoise and sunshine yellow.
Rose Clover, Southsea
It’s hard to miss the pink and white shopfront of Rose Clover on Elm Grove in Southsea. This indoor plant and pot shop has lush greenery hanging from the ceiling (think Trailing Jade, Christmas Cactus and String of Hearts) and wooden shelves stacked full of vessels. Highlights include ceramic hanging pots and colour-block woven sisal baskets.
Root Houseplants, Liverpool
Set up in 2017 by Lisa Needham, Root Houseplants sells over 200 plant varieties both in its Liverpool shop and online. Pots range from ceramic to concrete, and the blog is worth a read for posts on everything from why leaves might be turning yellow to a care guide for the Marantaceae family.
Pilea Plant Shop
Pilea Plant Shop, Frome
Two-year-old plant shop Pilea was opened by Lula Oatley, who prides herself on helping customers understand how to look after their houseplants at home (she even offers personal consultations on which varieties work best in a space). Stock includes trailing plants, succulents, and air plants.
Article written by Emma Love (@emma_love0001)