One often overlooked element in pulling together a space is the greenery. Yet, the rooms that are rich with plants usually have a more inviting ambiance. Plants bring another layer of interest, color and texture to a room that is hard to replicate with any other “accessory.” Flip through any home decor magazine or a website and you’ll notice that most (if not all) rooms have some live plants to elevate the aesthetic.
Recently, Good Roots, a new shop in Glen Ellyn opened and we couldn’t be more thrilled. They are passionate about houseplants and we had the good fortune to pick their brains to learn more about their favorite plants, tips to care for them and how their new store can help you improve your plant game. Before we dive into all the wisdom they shared, to add to the beauty benefits of houseplants here is what we learned about the health benefits, too.
According to WebMD, the “Health Benefits of Houseplants” include the ability to:
Provide allergy relief
Boost your mood, provide a calming effect and improve mental and emotional health
Add moisture to the air to make relative humidity more comfortable
Help purity the air by soaking up VOCs (English Ivy, asparagus fern, dragon tree)
Provide a calming aroma with Lavender
Provide a home remedy for sun burn with Aloe
Enhance restful sleep with extra oxygen that may help you sleep more soundly
Sharpen Focus - to even help perform better on tests
Recover more quickly from a hospital stay
Aid digestion when steeping mint or basil leaves in hot water
For more specifics on each benefit, see WebMD’s article HERE:
Calling in our new green thumb friends, Lindsay and Ashley of Good Roots, here are some great insights into how you can bring some plants into your home - and keep them alive!
1. Tell us about your store! When someone shops Good Roots, what should they expect?
Good Roots is an in-home retail space whose goal in opening was to be a place that held "only good things". The best, unique and quality houseplants, vintage goods that really give your space a story to tell, and textiles that add interest and warmth. Good Roots is a place you can feel welcomed, encouraged, and supported whether you are just getting started with plants, or have a distinguished green thumb. It's our favorite place to be.
2. We love your "Name it to Claim it" plant approach - can you explain how this started?
We believe pretty strongly that when you give your plant a name, it's a way of taking true ownership of it. To us, the care, watering routine, and where your plant is going to live is so personal, so why not give it some personality! If that new plant sitting in the corner isn't just "that plant in the corner" but, "Frankie the Fiddle" we really believe you will feel more encouraged to keep it alive and thriving!
3. What are the biggest benefits you've seen from having so many plants in your lives?
Outside of the health benefits of plants, if someone needs to add "life" to a space, add actual LIFE. Plants are amazing. Learning their needs, the difference in their structures, coloring, seeing them push out new leaves, to us, is extremely therapeutic. Houseplants don't need to be a stressor in an already busy life, but instead an escape. Having our kids help with watering, turning the music on on a Sunday morning and checking in on all of them, observing new growth, gives great satisfaction to our life and the beauty to the home is the cherry on top!
4. What are your top recommended plants? And, where do they thrive?
Low Light Lovers: We find our most common question is "what will I not kill?!" so we are often recommending our low light, low maintenance houseplants. A sansevieria variety (snake plant) is a plant everyone needs for its air cleaning benefits, easy maintenance and beauty. A "ZZ" is the most indestructible of them all, and has the most gorgeous shaped glossy green leaves. We also never tire of the classic pothos or philodendron for their ease and beauty.
Sun Seekers: Plants will always need some time to acclimate once you get them home to their new location. A few bright light lovers are the Fiddle Leaf Fig, String of Pearls, Jade, and of course Cactus! Most of these can withstand a bit of direct light per day but check in to make sure they aren't getting scorched. Bright, indirect light makes most plants VERY happy.
To really go big, which option do you recommend?
Depending on the light situation where you're looking to put your new statement piece, we never tire of a classic Fiddle Leaf Fig, Bird of Paradise, or a substantial Sansevieria or ZZ plant!
5. Can you share tips on how best to care for your houseplants? How often do they need to be watered?
We recommend doing a check in on all your plants once a week. A check in for us means examining the leaves to make sure nothing is getting burned or drooping from lack of light, and putting our finger a few inches deep in the soil to check if it's ready for water or not. There are plenty of plants that need water every 7-10 days, but MANY you'll find are still damp and thriving even at that one week mark. In that case, WALK AWAY and check again in a day or two. We feel like over watering is probably the most common cause of death in houseplants. Your more low light tolerant, and drought tolerant plants are on a more once a month watering schedule. They will acclimate a bit to your life, and can be more forgiving than you think!
Do they need to be placed away from vents?
Often plants that have to live near a vent may have a lack of humidity so depending on which plant it is, you might need to combat that with a humidifier at times. Again, check in on your plants. When you go to water it, give them a little once over and they will always let you know if a location (or a vent) is cramping their style!
6. If someone really doesn’t have a green thumb, what plants are the easiest to keep alive? And, can they come to you with questions?
Sansevieria (Snake Plant), "ZZ" plants, Ficus Elastica or Rubber Tree, and any of your Pothos or Philodendron varieties will be your easy care, low maintenance plant babies. We will prep you for success, and keep all their care instructions on our website SHOPGOODROOTS.COM. We love seeing your newly named, thriving plants once they leave our space and make their way into yours!
7. Do you recommend any specific plants for different types of gifts?
All the plants! All the occasions! We love a Jade Plant for the new homeowner as it's said to bring good fortune and positive energy to a space. A snake plant for every new Mom as they will remove toxins from the baby's nursery and can handle blackout curtain living! A Money tree or "Good Luck Tree" for someone who landed that new job or is starting up a new side hustle. The list goes on and on!