Plants bring a lot of benefits to people. Even more with the pandemic. It is even considered an essential commodity in this period of re-containment. It is also with the word “madness” that some merchants describe the current craze for plants.
“Did you go crazy too?” ”
Have you developed a passion for plants since the start of the pandemic? You are not alone. However, a great interest in plants is relative when you talk to Julie Beaulieu.
In July 2019, the Montreal photographer had three plants. Today, she has nearly 300 of them. And she takes great care of them.
It all started after a redevelopment of his apartment. She and her lover wanted more plants. “My mom has always had a green thumb, but I haven’t. Even that stressed me out, ”recounts Julie Beaulieu.
She therefore called on the services of Sarah Nagué, from the online store Miss Boon. The latter advised him some plants.
When Julie Beaulieu initiates something, she does not do it halfway. She found it “boring” to take care of only a few specimens, so she began to accumulate them.
Wedding photographer Julie Beaulieu enjoys being around people. She is also immunosuppressed, so the pandemic has forced her to minimize human contact.
Plants do not speak, but are a presence. When Julie Beaulieu takes care of it (two hours a day), it is “meditation”. But it is also very “rewarding”. There is always something to be learned with plants, she emphasizes. “It’s calming,” she continues. When you escape one, it’s glory. When your princess calathea plant makes a leaf, you are proud. ”
Julie Beaulieu has developed a maternal relationship with her plants. She is particularly proud of her Alocasia Frydek and Calathea Triostar. “When your plant is doing well, it’s like saying ‘I love you’. It’s like a child… who never cries, ”she adds, laughing.
” It’s crazy ”
” It’s crazy ! Especially with the pandemic, ”says William Plamondon-Huard, co-founder of the online plant store Plantzy.
During a conversation before Christmas, he was in a “rush of corporate gifts”.
A plant makes an ideal pandemic and telecommuting gift. Studies show that having plants in your environment increases productivity, efficiency and attachment to the place.
Plants bring great benefits. Even gratification, says the son of a florist. “Plants, it’s reassuring. We have some control over the plant. We see her growing up. ”
Dominic Raîche and William Plamondon-Huard co-founded Plantzy six years ago. It was one of the first online plant shops very active on social networks.
The intended target audience? Urban people aged 18 to 34, who want “plants and who don’t know how” and who are looking for a shopping experience different from that of a traditional florist or a big box store.
“Time has proved us right,” says William Plamondon-Huard. Today, online plant shops have mushroomed. ”
These include Alma Plantes, Dimanche cool and Rolling pop-up. Not to mention the well-established boutiques that also sell online, including Le Jardin de Mathilde and Binette et Filles.
A greenhouse in his apartment
Sarah Nagué founded the Miss Boon online store in 2018, while she was on maternity leave. She started selling cuttings on Marketplace to test the market, then sell plants from her apartment in Villeray. “Usually summer is my low season. But last summer my sales tripled. ”
She says it too: “It’s madness! “It has even become difficult to order plants,” she notes.
Sarah Nagué also offers maintenance and plant design services for businesses, as well as home consultations.
For the supply of popular and trendy plants, it deals with Canadian wholesalers. As for those it imports, it has foreign suppliers, particularly Asian ones. A federal permit is also required for these. “When I import plants, I have to plant them and acclimatize them. When I receive them, the roots are bare. Plants cannot be in the ground. ”
The Instagram effect
Instagram has fueled the craze for houseplants, says Sarah Nagué. “There are definitely plant influencers. ”
“Our clients arrive ready. They want a specific plant, ”confirms Isabelle Côté, of the Il est une fleur boutique in Trois-Rivières.
Trendy plants include Monstera (with its holed leaves), Birkin Philodendron, Birds of Paradise and ZZ plants (very easy to care for).
He Was A Flower is generally very popular at Etsy shows, which did not take place last year. Still, the phone does not ring. “With the pandemic, people have time. And a plant feels good and it’s healthy, says Isabelle Côté. People want to feel good. There is a kind of return to the earth. Me, when I have plants to repot, I feel Zen. ”
Singer-songwriter Safia Nolin is one of the people who have surrounded themselves with plants since the start of the pandemic. “I fell into a photosynthesis spiral during the confinement,” she wrote to us. I spent entire nights Googling kinds of plants, chatting on forums, joining Facebook groups, and buying plants. I love them with love. I was really not good with plants and now I think I can tell my babies are gorgeous! ”
An essential product
Despite the re-containment, plants are considered an essential commodity, so many shops are open, often by appointment, however. However, stocks are low.
Every day, people ask where to buy plants on the Facebook group La passion des Plantes Interiores du Québec – which has doubled its membership in less than a year to reach 26,000.
William Plamondon-Huard is delighted to see that many people no longer regard plants as mere decorative objects. “People want to see their plants grow. They want to make cuttings. Especially with the pandemic. They no longer say to themselves: ‘well, at worst, I’ll buy another one’. ”
The entrepreneur believes that companies like his will have to revise their business plan. When people want to buy a basic plant like a pothos, the lowest price rules. “Plants are sold everywhere now. You can buy pothos at IKEA, RONA, even at the corner store and on Marketplace, Etsy and eBay.
Plantzy is also setting up a system of lozenges, a bit like the Société des alcools. People will be able to choose their plants based on light, toxicity to animals, or ease of care. “The industry is consolidating. You have to go into the experience, ”says William Plamondon-Huard.
Read the rest of the dossier
> Plants: care and networking
> Plants rather than shows