Plant Parenthood

Keep your plant and your wellness thriving with advice from Lush Plant Co.’s Andrea Kidd

THE RESURGENCE OF THE popular houseplant makes sense. Plants offer a way to bring the beauty of a walk inside at a glance. But their benefits go beyond appearance and air quality. Studies have shown that being around plants increases creativity, improves mood, speeds up your recovery when you’re ill and can even sharpen your attention. We asked Andrea Kidd, co-founder of Lush Plant Co. to tell us the whys and hows of incorporating them into our spaces.

You mention on your website that plants have both physical and mental health benefits. Can you tell me about a few?
Humans have an inherent need to be connected to nature. It is estimated that humans spend an average of 90% of their time indoors, and houseplants are a great way to fulfill a connection with nature in our modern-day world. Not only do plants purify the air we breathe, but they are also proven to lower stress and anxiety. Caring for plants can be an extremely calming activity and watching a plant grow and thrive under your care can be an exciting, confidence-boosting experience.

What healthful plants do you keep in your home?
I keep plants in almost every room of my house. Unfortunately, I don’t get the best light inside my house, but I have been able to identify which varieties would thrive in the light that I do get. I have one window bright enough for succulents and cacti, and the rest
= of my house is filled with varieties that do not need as much (if any) direct light, including hoyas, pothos, philodendrons, monsteras,
ficus, sansavieria, dracaena, aglaonema, pilea, peperomia, zz plants, palms, carnivorous plants – the list goes on.

Do you have a favorite plant food? I recently heard about combining coffee grounds with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and carbonated water.
We love using Good Dirt plant food in the shop. We have noticed a positive result by using it on all varieties we carry in the shop. Coffee grounds are a popular way to fertilize plants and are high in nitrogen, though I admit, I have not heard of using cinnamon and carbonated water with coffee grounds. The Good Dirt plant food we sell in the shop has a 10-4-3 nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium ratio, and one small bottle of concentrate makes 60 gallons of plant food, so it will last you a long time.

What’s your best piece of plant advice?
Place a plant where it will thrive. Do your research or ask for advice from an expert. You may really want a plant on a certain
shelf or table or corner… rely on a houseplant expert to recommend which plant(s) will thrive in that particular spot. So many times we hear about people buying that fiddle leaf fig they have always wanted and placing it in too low of light. It may look gorgeous in that spot on the day you bring it home, but it will slowly die due to lack of light. Placement in relation to light is extremely important.

What sets Lush Plant Co. apart from other plant shops?
We often hear from our customers how positive our environment is, and how welcome they always feel in our shop. Our team is made up of houseplant enthusiasts who all come from careers that have nothing to do with plants. Our entire team has found their way into houseplants as a happy respite from the mundane monotony of life…as a happy distraction from a world that feels uncertain at times. Our customers feel welcome with us because we are our customers. We even share the struggle of constraint when it comes to plant shopping – many of our team have a hard time working a shift without leaving with a new plant baby.

You offer houseplant consultations, tell us about that.
We offer both virtual and in-person houseplant consultations, though our virtual consultations meet the needs of most of our customers. The advice we offer in our consultations ranges from tips to improve the health of an existing plant collection to recommendations for people who are looking to start a collection. We will evaluate the lighting and unique configurations of a space to advise on which plants will thrive there.

What is one plant that every person should own? Why?
This is a tough one because I find myself saying “everyone should have at least one of these” about many varieties we carry in the shop. But if I had to choose one, I would say the monstera deliciosa. This quintessential tropical plant checks most of the boxes for most customers, satisfying the craving for a tropical plant with large leaves that is fairly low maintenance. It literally never gets old watching a monstera deliciosa unfurl a new leaf.

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