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Plants over Pets? A Trend for the Modern World

According to a study recently done by The Economist about how today’s young people are spending their time and money, the number of households that contain indoor plants, particularly in lieu of having pets, has skyrocketed in the past decade. When you take a closer look at the kinds of lives people are living, this shift does make a lot of sense, and a ton of different factors play into it.

After all, people’s lifestyles are changing. In today’s society a higher number of people than ever are living in apartments and other types of terraced housing that have restrictions on owning certain kinds of pets. This restriction creates the need for an alternative form of home companionship besides pets, and plants fill that role perfectly. On top of this, there’s a rising attitude trend among young adults towards wanting to stay independent for longer before settling down. This drive for a more independent lifestyle often makes the comparatively low-impact world of raising plants a far more attractive option for younger people than taking a puppy or kitten under their wing.

The reason people love pets so much is because they’re our companions. They make us happy when they’re around and they help give us a sense of responsibility and purpose. For people who fall into either or both of the lifestyles, plants aren’t all that different from traditional pets, except that they offer much more individual flexibility.

The cultural shift towards becoming more eco-conscious and pushing to go green means that people have been trying hard to reduce their damage to the environment and to help rebuild it in any way they can. Fostering plant growth is a great way to get started fighting back in this way. This compounds nicely with rising awareness of the benefits to health and happinessthat having plants around affords. Whereas traditional pets breathe out carbon dioxide like we do, plants take that stuff in, along with a ton of harsh and unhealthy chemicals in the air, and turn it all into sweet, clean oxygen that works to heal our bodies and sharpen our minds. All of these factors mount to make the choice between a plant and a pet much more of a contest to some and a complete no-brainer for many. Indoor plantscan fill all of the same roles as pets in your daily life, filling some roles even better than pets do, and they leave much less of a footprint both on your time and on the environment. It’s no surprise that so many people have been flocking to them as an alternative to pets.

And to make plants a little more people friendly (and vice versa), PLANTZ has paired its plants with an irrigation system that greatly extends the watering interval.  It’s dubbed ‘PlantAssure’ and can be installed on any new plant ordered at plantz.com or ordered separately for retrofitting plants from other sources.  With PlantAssure, the plant literally does water itself.

Put the hyperlink in somewhere – https://www.plantz.com/product/plantassure/

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having both pets AND plants in your life, either. Just because you’ve got the room in your life for a pet doesn’t mean that having a plant is a bad idea. Some of our favorite stories come about when customers report that their family dog or cat has become enamored with their new plant! Take this customer, Andrea, for example. Her pups absolutely loved the Fiddle Leaf Figshe ordered from us, and she just had to report it in to us!

If you’d like to see what all the fuss is about and order a plant of your own, click through to our store here!

 

 

PLANTZ Delivers Nationwide

Tampa, Florida. PLANTZ, a Tampa-based plant sales and leasing company, has successfully delivered quality indoor foliage plants to customers in each of the lower 48 states, Alaska, and Washington, DC. With a recent shipment to a customer in Wyoming, PLANTZ hit this important milestone in its quest to become the nation’s leading online distributor of indoor foliage.

In the Tampa Bay and Lakeland, Florida markets, the company provides plant leasing, landscaping, and horticultural services to more than 400 area businesses. In 2017, it opened its nationwide storefront at plantz.com to meet a growing demand for high-quality indoor plants.

“The business model was predicated on our ability to deliver a big green plant to a customer’s doorstep in Manhattan for less than the customer could buy it locally,” says Steve Stanford, president and chief green guru at PLANTZ. “Back in 2017, we figured it out and, to date, we’ve shipped 299 big plants in big boxes to customers in New York alone. So, that’s nearly 300 palm trees and unique tropical plants kicking out oxygen in homes and offices for our friends up north in New York.”

Trends are in the company’s favor. With most Americans spending more time inside than outside, bringing life to the interior environment is in vogue. Green plants pump oxygen in to the air, while filtering out airborne pollutants and volatile organic compounds. They can change the mood in a room, making people feel safer and more content. In offices, plants have been proven to reduce stress, improve productivity, and even reduce absenteeism. Aside from all that, they look nice and make people happy.

One of the keys to the success of PLANTZ has been its partnership with FedEx. “It’s obvious that our success depends on solid packaging techniques and our ability to land a plant on someone’s doorstep thousands of miles away,” said John Crandall, the manager at PLANTZ who is responsible for getting the plant safely to a customer. “We have experimented with several packaging methods and worked through some good ideas and some not-so-good ones,” continued John, “but once we put it on a FedEx truck, it’s up to them to get it to the customer in great shape.” And they have delivered. Since PLANTZ began its nationwide sales efforts, FedEX has delivered over 3,000 orders of plants and their supplies throughout the United States including a Giganta Plant to Juneau, Alaska – the company’s longest shipment yet.

There are headwinds for the company moving forward, especially since Amazon has expanded its plant selection.

“The Amazon marketplace is amazing,” admits Stanford. “Most of our customers do require some post-sale coaching, and that’s where we excel. Not only do we source the best Florida- and Hawaiian-grown plants and help customers figure out which one will be best for them, but we also give customers the tools, advice, and frankly, the confidence to keep it alive and kicking. We didn’t feel like we could provide that level of customer support through Amazon, so we developed a buying experience on our site that feels like Amazon. Heck, we even use Amazon to take payments – we’re just not going to sell on their platform.”

Stanford’s contention might be proved out in the ratings and reviews it gets from its customers. Currently, it has 5-Star ratings for all its plants except two, which have 4.5-Star ratings.

“Customer reviews and comments are golden,” says Steve. “Our team is on it, and it shows in the post-sale comments customers leave on our site.” There have been setbacks. “Have we had a frozen Kentia Palm delivered in Minneapolis? Yes. Have we had a Fiddle Leaf Fig toppled in Texas? Yes. But a very high percentage of our plants are making it safely to their destinations. And if they don’t, we make it right with a replacement plant. I’m not sure if we’re lucky or good, but we’re just happy those funky deliveries are few and far between.”

The company hopes to double its online sales in 2019 by adding new plants, products, and supplies to its offering. So far, it’s off to a good start with both January and February sales outpacing last year.

“We’ll continue to source the best plants from Florida and Hawaii in support of our mission – to make people happy with plants,” Stanford added.

 

 

The Ultimate History of the Ficus Lyrata

Haven’t you heard the latest plant news?

The Ficus lyrata is having a moment in the spotlight. You might know the Ficus lyrata better by its other name – the fiddle leaf fig plant.

The plant is the must-have plant of every plant lover’s home. If you don’t already have one, you must be reading the wrong fashion mags and interior design blogs.

The fiddle leaf has featured in the New York Times and the House Beautiful magazine.

Everyone’s talking about the fiddle leaf fig plant. And yet, people know surprisingly little about this trendy fig tree. That’s why we thought we’d take this opportunity to shed some light on the plant.

For our ultimate history fo the Ficus lyrata, keep reading below!

1. The Root of the Matter

The story of the fiddle leaf fig plant starts along the West African coast. It’s been growing for the millions of years in the wild of several West African countries. A native species of Sierra Leone and Cameroon, the plant flourishes in the lowland tropical rainforest.

It’s part of the Moraceae family of plants. The Moraceae family also includes the mulberry and fig tree species, along with over 1000 other plant species. Therefore, the ficus lyrata has a lot of cousins (850 to be exact!).

2. Wild Thing?

Nowadays, we associate the fiddle leaf fig with a trendy houseplant for urban apartments. But behind the fashionista appearance lies a dark past in the wild.

The Ficus lyrata is what is known as a banyan fig tree (Ficus subgenus Urostigima). Instead of growing by itself, it grows from the top of the crown of another tree. Talk about invading personal space.

The seeds of the fiddle leaf fig tree land as right at the top of another tree competing for sunlight in the rainforest. By picking a spot so high up, the fiddle leaf fig tree gains access to high levels of sunlight.

After this, as the seed of the plant germinates, the roots of the fiddle leaf fig begin to wrap around the trunk of the other tree. This kind of plant is known as an epiphyte.

Then, over time the host tree is strangled by the roots of the fiddle leaf fig tree. Who said nature wasn’t violent?

But its growth of the fiddle leaf fig plant can also be peaceful. It doesn’t have to grow like this, but it’s also possible to grow free-standing. But in the competitive environment of the rainforest, it’s a plant-eat-plant world.

3. Why it’s the Fiddle?

Have you ever wondered why the Ficus lyrata is called the fiddle leaf fig plant? It’s obvious really. The plant gets its name from the violin-like shaped leaves that remind you of a fiddle.

The leaves can grow to be huge too. They measure up to 12 inches wide. And an impressive 30 inches in length.

Anyone who has a fiddle leaf fig plant in your living room will know the thickness of the leaves. Those large and leathery leaves have a distinctive dark green appearance.

As for the tree as a whole, there are numerous examples of the tree growing as tall as 60 feet high. To put that in perspective, 60 feet is approximately the entire length of a bowling lane standing upwards.

And right at the top, you’ll find the bright green fruit of the fig tree.

4. From Zero to Hero

But how do the fiddle leaf fig rise to become one of the most popular houseplants around?

According to one theory, the popularity of the fiddle leaf fig coincided with the launch of the social media platform, Pinterest in 2010.

Pinterest has become the go-to place for beautiful home design. And the fiddle leaf fig tree represents a beautiful photographing opportunity.

Nowadays, Pinterest has over 200 million regular monthly users. That’s thousands and thousands of people posting, sharing and looking at pictures of the ficus lyrata.

5. Jumping on the Bandwagon

Retailers spot a market for the fiddle leaf fig plant. Most notably, the Swedish furniture store, IKEA started stocking the plant in 2013.

While the IKEA version was only small. For a bargain at $13.99, you could have your very own fiddle leaf fig tree.

Since then, the price of fiddle leaf figs has shot up. You can now pay up to $100 for a larger tree.

It’s not easy to transport the larger versions of the plant. Which is why an increasing number of retailers are delivering the fiddle leaf figs to doorsteps.

6. No Longer Playing Second Fiddle

Every era has a houseplant that’s making waves. As we already established, the fiddle leaf fig tree wasn’t popular until the 21st century.

The African violet was certainly the houseplant of homes in the 1950s and 60s. By the 1970s, spider plants were spreading across the country. And, who doesn’t remember your mother’s ficus in the 1980s and 90s?

The award-winning TV show Mad Men, which told the story of the 1960s through the marketing, has gained a reputation for incredible accuracy in every respect.

None more so, when it comes with its depiction of houseplants. You’ll see monsteras, pothos and parlor palms, but you won’t spot a Ficus lyrata.

You can’t turn on your TV without seeing fiddle leaf fig plants on your screen.

Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration. But the plant has definitely received plenty of attention of late. It even featured on a number of Super Bowl commercials.

7. A Moment in the Sun

The history of Ficus lyrata goes back millions of years. But it’s moment in the sun has only just arrived.

It’s not hard to see why it’s been called the “The ‘It’ Plant of the Design World” but none other than the New York Times.

The fiddle leaf fig plant perfectly transforms a boring and dull room into a vibrant and stylish place. And yet, it nicely reflects the minimalist aesthetic by not overpowering its surroundings.

As one designer puts it, “you can plop it in a dead corner and suddenly everything comes to life”.

But for many people, the plant also evokes a science fiction or alien world with its glossy green leaves. According to the interior designer, Brad Sherman, the fiddle leaf fig plant has a “pre-historic, Dr. Seuss feel” to it.

Brad Sherman, an interior designer in New York, thinks they have a “prehistoric, Dr. Seuss feel.”

8. Growing Pains

The reason for the rise of this trendy tree is because it looks great. The popularity of the fiddle leaf fig tree is down to designers rather than gardeners. Therefore, the challenges of growing the fig plant are largely overlooked.

And yet, the fiddle leaf fig plant is notoriously really difficult to grow and maintain. Many plant lovers have discovered that the fiddle leaf fig plant dies in only a matter of weeks.

While many people have claimed that the plant is especially delicate and fragile. Sometimes, just moving it from one side of the room to the other can cause it damage.

As one fiddle leaf fig plant owner puts it, “they’re very emotional plants”.

This explains why the Gardenista blogger, Michelle Slatalla has referred to the fiddle leaf fig plant as “the houseplant equivalent of a newborn”.

That partly explains why there are probably more pictures on Instagram and Pinterest of the plant than there are actual fiddle leaf figs in people’s homes. People are scared of the challenge.

And yet, this might be exactly what attracts some people to the plant. As Slatalla adds, “people tend to anthropomorphize this plant in ways they don’t with others”.

As with any other trend and craze, millennials are usually the demographic group driving it. It’s the same with the ficus lyrata.

We’re also told that millennials are not having kids. Maybe the younger generations are fulfilling the need to care for someone else by buying a fiddle leaf fig plant.

9. How to Keep it Alive?

The fiddle leaf fig plant is a challenge for even the most experienced and committed gardeners.

The most effective way of making a success of your fiddle leaf fig tree is by replicating the conditions in which it’s familiar. Yes, the lowland rainforest of West Africa.

Only, most people’s apartments and houses represent starkly different conditions to this. The fiddle leaf fig may flourish in the dark, warm and wet, but modern-day human beings certainly don’t.

But you don’t have to give up. Many people have sought out tips and tricks to keep it strong and healthy.

A landscape designer in New Jersey, Hadley Peterson has a fiddle leaf fig tree that’s growing strong after more than 10 years.

She claims it’s all about the atmosphere and air. She says, “I keep my house at 68 degrees”. But the fiddle leaf fig plant also needs lots of sunlight to stay healthy.

Even though the fiddle leaf fig might be difficult to maintain for much more than a year. If it lasts up to a year, it’s a relatively affordable way of keeping your home bright and green.

10. Avoid Killing Your Fiddle Leaf Friend

There’s no easy solution to making sure your fiddle leaf friend lives a long and healthy life in your living room. But there are certain mistakes you need to make sure you avoid.

1. Watering the Fiddle Leaf

It’s difficult to balance to achieve. Both overwatering and underwatering the fiddle leaf fig tree can cause damage.

You have to replicate the rainforest conditions, in which the fiddle leaf fig gets plenty of water.

But the best way to do this is to concentrate on ensuring the soil is always moist without soaking the soil in water. You can even place the fiddle leaf fig in draining pot.

If you notice the top layer of the soil is becoming dry, it’s time to water. Keep watering until the water flows out of the bottom. When it gets dry again, repeat.

2. The Right Amount of Sunlight

What makes the fiddle leaf fig plant an ideal houseplant is that the natural light provided by the majority of homes is perfect. It’s often just the right amount.

You need to make sure the tree gets plenty of indirect light. And also, some direct sunlight also benefits the growth of the tree.

The most suitable place to position your fiddle leaf fig tree is at an east-facing window in your apartment. This allows it to avoid the strong afternoon sun from the south and west.

3. Eat it Right

Even though many members of the ficus family flourish in high levels of fertilizer, that’s not the case with the fiddle leaf fig plant.

You only need to fertilize the fiddle leaf a few times per year. Most importantly, in spring and summer months. You can also kill the fiddle leaf by overfeeding it.

4. Far Too Cold

What’s the temperature in the jungle of West Africa? Yes, it’s pretty warm. That’s the conditions you want to replicate in your apartment.

While your bank balance won’t thank you for the increase in energy bills, your fiddle leaf fig tree definitely will. However, even room temperature is usually warm enough for the tree. But make sure it’s out of the way of cold drafts during the colder months.

The Ficus Lyrata History

Now you know everything there is to know about the Ficus lyrata. You need to catch up with everyone else by buying your own fiddle leaf friend.

Are you interested in buying a fiddle leaf fig tree for your home? Check out our online store for more houseplants that would look great in your home. Or in get in touch with us today to find out more.

Indoor Plants From the Internet: A Great Choice!

After searching in-person stores for the perfect plants for her home, Elizabeth Bugbee turned to the internet to help her in her quest for the right indoor plants. She found our website, and was glad she did! Elizabeth had this to say about her experience with PLANTZ:

“After months of searching local nurseries for a perfect, tall houseplant and not finding anything that looked halfway decent, I took a shot in the dark and took to the internet to search. I knew NOTHING about plantz.com and honestly was a little skeptical at first. Plants through the mail? How could that even be possible! But the resources and information available were so thorough that my gut told me they were legit and knew their product. I ended up purchasing two plants! When they arrived I was shocked at how well packaged they were. The boxes had been banged up a bit but the plants were completely unharmed. Unpacking them was a breeze (I even did it alone with no problem) and the instructions provided to start things off were excellent. Overall, this was a great experience and I’d definitely buy from them again. “

Check out these wonderful photos of Elizabeth’s new Lisa Cane and Monstera in her home! Thank you so much for your nice words and for taking a chance on plants from the internet, Elizabeth!

If you would like to have your very own indoor plants shipped directly to your door, visit our online shop here!

Elizabeth-Bugbee-monstera-Lisa-Cane

Special Deliveries

This is definitely a PLANTZ first!

Ana R. recently ordered a new Ficus Lyrata for her home, but it was not the only delivery she was waiting on! Her new plant and baby girl Zoe arrived on the very same day!

Ana had this to say about her new plant and experience with PLANTZ:

“Thank you for the beautiful ficus! Please continue the excellent work – providing beautiful products and wonderful customer service!”

Check out this absolutely precious photo of the two special deliveries together! We are so glad to hear that you love your new plant, Ana! Thank you for sharing your kind words and congrats on your beautiful baby girl!

The Importance of Indoor Plants for Apartment Dwellers

As the population increases and more people flock to cities, humans are getting further and further from nature – and it isn’t good for our health. While the children of yesteryears grew up playing in the dirt and soil in the backyard, which lead to a healthy level of diverse bacteria exposure, today’s kids are roaming in a much more sterile concrete jungle. Living in a city or high-rise apartment away from trees, plants, and soil can lead to some disadvantages, but indoor plants can help combat these issues.

Exposure to nature helps diversify the bacteria in our bodies, which help to fight off infection and inflammation. The bacteria that humans have are actually similar to those in plants, as we both carry trillions of goodand bad bacteria. Plants also help make humans healthier by removing toxic chemicals from the air and improving air quality be removing carbon dioxide. Simply viewing plants can even help reduce stress levels. In Japan, the practice of shinrin-yoku, or nature therapy, is actually used to boost mental health and lower blood pressure; it is done by simply taking a walk in a forest or natural area.

Adding plants to your urban household can help diversify good bacteria while cleansing the air of harmful toxins. Here are a few of our favorite plants for apartment dwellers:

  • Areca Palm – The Areca Palm is a great choice for apartments with a lot of natural light. According to NASA’s indoor plant and air quality study, they are actually considered the best air purifying plant. Areca Palms are great at removing formaldehyde and are as effective as an electric humidifier. At PLANTZ.com, you can order your very own Areca Palm in two sizes: 5-feet tall in a 10-inch grow pot or 6-feet and over in a 14-inch grow pot.
  • Kentia Palm – The elegant cousin of the Areca Palm, the Kentia Palm does not require as much light while still effectively purifying indoor air. These palms can go nearly a month without watering when using sub-irrigation, making them a better choice for a forgetful plant parent. The Kentia Palm is highly effective in removing volatile organic compounds from air. Our Hawaiian-grown palms are available in two sizes: 5- to 6-feet and 6- to 7-feet tall.
  • Bamboo Palm – Also known as the “Cham Palm,” the Bamboo Palm will tolerate a bit of shade in your apartment, but prefers moderate to high amounts of light to thrive. These versatile palms have a wonderful reputation for filtering out indoor air pollutants, especially benzene and trichloroethylene. Perfect for smaller apartments, the Bamboo Palm is available from PLANTZ in two sizes: 3-feet and 5-feet.

Do you live in an apartment? Would you like to live a healthier life? Order your very own air purifying indoor plants from PLANTZ.com today!

Indoor Plants: The Fashion-Forward Fiddle Leaf Fig

Have you ever been flipping through one of those beautiful decorating magazines and had a broad-leafed plant catch your eye? Did a plant in the background of a movie attract your attention? If you answered yes to these questions, there’s a very good chance that the magical “plant of the moment” that you keep seeing is the fiddle leaf fig.

The fiddle leaf fig, or Ficus lyrata, has been subtly featured on the covers and in spreads of magazines as well as many other places in the world of pop culture in the past few years. Many love it for its unique structure, as it is tall and columnar and gives customers quite a lot of plant for their money. The big, dramatic leaves of the fiddle leaf fig actually give it its name, as they resemble the shape of a violin. These plants are fairly tough and adapt relatively easy to new conditions. Once they become acclimated, they can grow to be over six feet tall.

There are some fiddle leaf fig owners who say that they cannot keep one alive for very long, but this is typically due to keeping them in the wrong conditions. Here are a few tips for helping your fiddle leaf fig thrive:

  • Light – Fiddle leaf figs need bright and consistent lighting conditions in order to thrive. They should be placed in front of a sunny window and turned every few months once they begin to lean towards the sunlight South-, east-, and west-facing windows are best. North-facing windows rarely cut it enough for this plant.
  • Soil – Peaty, well-drained soil is the fiddle leaf fig’s favorite.
  • Water – Only water the Ficus lyrata when its soil is dry after checking it with a soil probe. Over or under-watering could cause issues such as the browning and dropping of leaves, root rot, or plant death.
  • Pests – Fiddle leaf figs are susceptible to fairly common pests, such as mealy bugs, scale, mites, whiteflies, and aphids, but on a healthy, growing fiddle leaf fig they are rare. In the event a bug finds its way to your fig, simply wipe it down with a soapy wet rag.

For more information on the beautiful fiddle leaf fig and other indoor plants, contact the green team at PLANTZ today!

These five plants don’t just look good — they improve your health, too

By Megan McDonough (from The Washington Post)

It should come as no surprise that plants play a vital role in maintaining our atmosphere by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through the well-known process of photosynthesis. (Thanks, high school earth science class.)

But certain plant varieties go a step further by reducing airborne toxins, including carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and benzene, from the air we breathe in our homes and offices.

“With all the synthetic building components and furnishings found within a modern building, there usually exist myriad chemicals in the indoor air,” B.C. “Bill” Wolverton, an environmental engineer and retired senior research scientist at NASA , said in an email. While at NASA, he was the principal investigator of the Clean Air Study, which discovered that certain houseplants had the ability to remove airborne chemicals and help purify the air in space stations.

Many household items, such as carpets, draperies and stoves, contain pollutants, and lots of commonly used goods, including glue, detergent, grocery bags, toilet paper and even facial wipes, emit toxic compounds.

“These chemicals are often found in low levels but combine to produce a chemical soup,” Wolverton said.

That doesn’t sound very appetizing.

Prolonged exposure to these pollutants, such as formaldehyde, can lead to health problems such as sore throats, scratchy eyes and nosebleeds, and long-term, serious ailments, including decreased lung function and an increased risk of asthma and cancer, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry.

Luckily for us, several common houseplants double as natural air purifiers, efficiently and effectively absorbing and filtering out toxic agents from our indoor air. With winter on the horizon (and the Environmental Protection Agency’s estimation that Americans spend on average a whopping 93 percent of their lives indoors), it’s a great time to consider investing in one of these detoxifying plants.

We asked Wolverton, author of “How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants That Purify Your Home or Office” and “Plants: Why You Can’t Live Without Them,” to provide his top recommendations for houseplants that are readily available, easy to maintain and efficient at cleaning the air in your home.

  • Lady palm – An adaptable, green plant known for its fan-shaped foliage, the lady palm can thrive in dry or humid environments, requires little sunlight and is resistant to pests. If you have pets, this might be your best bet, as it’s the only one on Wolverton’s list that is nontoxic to animals. (The others should be kept out of reach.) It filters out formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and ammonia.
  • Rubber plant – The rugged rubber plant does well in dim lighting, prefers humid conditions, and is resistant to pests and diseases. The easy-to-grow plant, known for its large, glossy green leaves, also absorbs toxins such as formaldehyde, ­xylene and toluene from the air.
  • Golden pathos – Commonly displayed as a hanging plant, this fast-growing vine, distinguishable by its heart-shaped, gold-tinted leaves, can survive in low lighting and thrives in colder temperatures (great for chilly offices). It also fights nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.
  • Peace lily – With its lance-shaped leaves and striking white blossoms, these shade-loving evergreen plants will brighten any home or office while also ridding the air of acetone, ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene.
  • Snake plant – This perennial is a great pick for first-time plant owners, as it requires little sunlight or maintenance to keep it alive. Known for its textured, upright, swordlike leaves, the potted plant also filters formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.

As a rule, Wolverton recommends one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space, provided there isn’t a serious indoor air quality problem. He also recommends a mixture of houseplant varieties, as plants have different affinities for various toxins. At his home, he displays 12 plant varieties, with 25 to 30 plants indoors at any given time.

Original article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/these-five-plants-dont-just-look-good–they-improve-your-health-too/2016/11/07/2e0685ae-a140-11e6-8832-23a007c77bb4_story.html

Welcome to Plantz.com

steveWelcome to PLANTZ.com!  It’s been an interesting road to get here, but we’re up…marketing, selling, and shipping some of the world’s finest foliage plants.  We hope it’s going to make some people really happy.

robbys-plantBack in April 2011, the brother of a Tampa friend moved to Manhattan to live the bachelor life in NYC.  We’ll call him Robby, mainly because that’s his real name.  Robby was the only Manhattanite I knew, and I wanted to see if I could get a plant to him – a nice one, to brighten his studio apartment.  A bigger and better one than he could get anywhere in the city.  So, I commandeered one of my favorite palms – a Hawaiian-grown Kentia palm – sleeved it, boxed it, and sent it to Robby.

It was our first shot, and darned if it didn’t work.

We gave care instructions to Robby, told him about the wonderful sub-irrigation system and, checked on it from time to time, but Robby’s enthusiasm for the little oxygen producer waned.  I lost track of Robby, and I know he killed the plant within a year.

Another try.

Business in Tampa continued going well – we serve over 400 customers, some of the most high-profile companies in the market.  Our service technicians manage thousands of plants in all kinds of environments, even some growing on walls.  Additionally, around Thanksgiving every year most of our team puts on elf hats and delivers and installs Christmas and holiday decorations.  Over 4,000 Poinsettias pass through our shop, and we do both live and silk holiday greenery.  There’s something really special about the smell of a Fraser Fir at Christmastime.

Journeyscleveland-lisa-in-tampa

In the summer of 2014, a couple things happened: I took a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii and I got a call from Cleveland.  The trip to the Big Island was an eye-opener and I got a better understanding for the value of Hawaiian grown foliage (besides being a nice get-away for my wife Lynn and me).  My favorite palm is grown there – the one Robby killed – and I wrote about it in The Journey of the Kentia Palm.  Back in Tampa, we got a call from a woman in Ohio who wanted to send a gift plant – but not a little one.  She wanted a nice, tall plant for her grandson who had just opened a new retail store.  And so it started – the Lisa’s triumphant trip to Cleveland was our first commercial endeavor into what we call around here – “plants by mail”, or “PBM” for short.  I wrote back then, too, of The Journey of the Lisa Cane – must have listened to Don’t Stop Believing a few times that summer.

tampa-inventory-landscapeThe move.

A couple other things came together.  We had recently relocated in Tampa from a less than half-acre rented facility just north of Tampa’s swanky Hyde Park area to a 2.5 acre piece of property we were able to buy, complete with greenhouses and deep wells, out by the Fairgrounds.  It’s a little further from the action in Tampa, but the space, greenhouses, and water afforded us the ability to carry a little more inventory – maybe even keep a few extra plants around in case we got another “Cleveland” call.  That, together with my always-encouraging team under lead cheerleader Sue Waltzer, who kept pushing and pushing me to pursue the “PBM” thing.

Web guys and dot coms.

We’ve been working for many years now with Barry Powers (my “Web Guy”) and his marketing team at PowerOn Marketing.  They’ve helped us solidify our plantz.us address as a go-to spot for anyone who wants office plants, plant rentals, or a plant wall in west central Florida.  He held our hands through some really bad (self-imposed) SEO moves, and fixed it for us too.  Over the years, I’ll bet we talked a thousand times about building out our site so we could sell plants online.  “I’m not ready”, “I don’t have enough time”, “my tux didn’t come back from the cleaners” – I was full of excuses.  But with additional inventory capacity, abundant sources for high-quality plants, and some confidence shipping them, we started building the site earlier this year.

Back when we decided to brand the company as PLANTZ, we bought plantz.us, and settled in on using it.  I loved saying, “dot U-S, like in United States”, but it still wasn’t a .com.  For years I’ve stalked plantz.com – watching its owners move it, hide it, use it to redirect to other “plant” sites, and ultimately try to auction it.  It was held in some Bahamian corporation and there was no way to make an offer, no way to talk to someone on the phone and sell them on why they should give it to me for a couple hundred bucks.  Ha!  GoDaddy couldn’t even help.  It surfaced in late spring and was offered for sale on an auction site, and I just couldn’t stomach the thought of someone else getting “my” .com; so, after a few beers over Memorial Day weekend, I pressed the “buy” button and after several days of transfers – domain and money – we are now the proud owners of plantz.com and we hope it will gain national recognition as the go-to online spot for the best foliage plants in the world.steve-in-hawaii

We’re open.

So, with a few IP entries, plantz.com is now open!  And we hope to make you happy with a fabulous plant.  And we’re not stopping here because we have three main goals for the site:

  1. Help you select a plant that will best work for you.
  2. Deliver it to your doorstep.
  3. Give you confidence you can keep it alive.

We’ve started with ten plants – well, it’s down to nine because one didn’t make the cut.  The plants are all high-quality shade-grown plants hand-picked by me from growers I trust.  They are the best foliage plants available anywhere.  We plan to add plants to the site – maybe a new one that we’ll feature each month and some planters too.  And we’ll keep adding content and “how to” care tips along the way – using images and video to give you the best shot at maintaining your favorite plant.

Let me know what you think, and how we can make plantz.com even better.

As green as I need to be,

steve-sig

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Stanford
President

Welcome to PLANTZ.com!

steveWelcome to PLANTZ.com!  It’s been an interesting road to get here, but we’re up…marketing, selling, and shipping some of the world’s finest foliage plants.  We hope it’s going to make some people really happy.

robbys-plantBack in April 2011, the brother of a Tampa friend moved to Manhattan to live the bachelor life in NYC.  We’ll call him Robby, mainly because that’s his real name.  Robby was the only Manhattanite I knew, and I wanted to see if I could get a plant to him – a nice one, to brighten his studio apartment.  A bigger and better one than he could get anywhere in the city.  So, I commandeered one of my favorite palms – a Hawaiian-grown Kentia palm – sleeved it, boxed it, and sent it to Robby.

It was our first shot, and darned if it didn’t work.

We gave care instructions to Robby, told him about the wonderful sub-irrigation system and, checked on it from time to time, but Robby’s enthusiasm for the little oxygen producer waned.  I lost track of Robby, and I know he killed the plant within a year.

Another try.

Business in Tampa continued going well – we serve over 400 customers, some of the most high-profile companies in the market.  Our service technicians manage thousands of plants in all kinds of environments, even some growing on walls.  Additionally, around Thanksgiving every year most of our team puts on elf hats and delivers and installs Christmas and holiday decorations.  Over 4,000 Poinsettias pass through our shop, and we do both live and silk holiday greenery.  There’s something really special about the smell of a Fraser Fir at Christmastime.

Journeyscleveland-lisa-in-tampa

In the summer of 2014, a couple things happened: I took a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii and I got a call from Cleveland.  The trip to the Big Island was an eye-opener and I got a better understanding for the value of Hawaiian grown foliage (besides being a nice get-away for my wife Lynn and me).  My favorite palm is grown there – the one Robby killed – and I wrote about it in The Journey of the Kentia Palm.  Back in Tampa, we got a call from a woman in Ohio who wanted to send a gift plant – but not a little one.  She wanted a nice, tall plant for her grandson who had just opened a new retail store.  And so it started – the Lisa’s triumphant trip to Cleveland was our first commercial endeavor into what we call around here – “plants by mail”, or “PBM” for short.  I wrote back then, too, of The Journey of the Lisa Cane – must have listened to Don’t Stop Believing a few times that summer.

tampa-inventory-landscapeThe move.

A couple other things came together.  We had recently relocated in Tampa from a less than half-acre rented facility just north of Tampa’s swanky Hyde Park area to a 2.5 acre piece of property we were able to buy, complete with greenhouses and deep wells, out by the Fairgrounds.  It’s a little further from the action in Tampa, but the space, greenhouses, and water afforded us the ability to carry a little more inventory – maybe even keep a few extra plants around in case we got another “Cleveland” call.  That, together with my always-encouraging team under lead cheerleader Sue Waltzer, who kept pushing and pushing me to pursue the “PBM” thing.

Web guys and dot coms.

We’ve been working for many years now with Barry Powers (my “Web Guy”) and his marketing team at PowerOn Marketing.  They’ve helped us solidify our plantz.us address as a go-to spot for anyone who wants office plants, plant rentals, or a plant wall in west central Florida.  He held our hands through some really bad (self-imposed) SEO moves, and fixed it for us too.  Over the years, I’ll bet we talked a thousand times about building out our site so we could sell plants online.  “I’m not ready”, “I don’t have enough time”, “my tux didn’t come back from the cleaners” – I was full of excuses.  But with additional inventory capacity, abundant sources for high-quality plants, and some confidence shipping them, we started building the site earlier this year.

Back when we decided to brand the company as PLANTZ, we bought plantz.us, and settled in on using it.  I loved saying, “dot U-S, like in United States”, but it still wasn’t a .com.  For years I’ve stalked plantz.com – watching its owners move it, hide it, use it to redirect to other “plant” sites, and ultimately try to auction it.  It was held in some Bahamian corporation and there was no way to make an offer, no way to talk to someone on the phone and sell them on why they should give it to me for a couple hundred bucks.  Ha!  GoDaddy couldn’t even help.  It surfaced in late spring and was offered for sale on an auction site, and I just couldn’t stomach the thought of someone else getting “my” .com; so, after a few beers over Memorial Day weekend, I pressed the “buy” button and after several days of transfers – domain and money – we are now the proud owners of plantz.com and we hope it will gain national recognition as the go-to online spot for the best foliage plants in the world.steve-in-hawaii

We’re open.

So, with a few IP entries, plantz.com is now open!  And we hope to make you happy with a fabulous plant.  And we’re not stopping here because we have three main goals for the site:

  1. Help you select a plant that will best work for you.
  2. Deliver it to your doorstep.
  3. Give you the confidence that you can keep it alive.

We’ve started with ten plants – well, it’s down to nine because one didn’t make the cut.  The plants are all high-quality shade-grown plants hand-picked by me from growers I trust.  They are the best foliage plants available anywhere.  We plan to add plants to the site – maybe a new one that we’ll feature each month and some planters too.  And we’ll keep adding content and “how to” care tips along the way – using images and video to give you the best shot at maintaining your favorite plant.

Let me know what you think, and how we can make plantz.com even better.

As green as I need to be,

steve-sig

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Stanford
President