Urban Jungle Beccles: the reasons for the craze for indoor plants
1:00 p.m. January 22, 2022
Pandemic plant parents are sweeping cacti and calatheas off the shelves in their masses, with the new trend being to create an “inner jungle”.
From small plants such as the Venus flytrap to the largest snake plant, the choice available to green-fingered folks is now limitless.
And the shopping bonanza is no different at Urban Jungle Suffolk – just outside Beccles – which opened in August 2017 and specializes in selling an eclectic range of indoor plants.
The nursery provides a unique shopping experience for customers and introduced a Mediterranean-style planting section in 2019.
Liz Browne, partner at Urban Jungle, talked about some of the recent bestsellers.
She said: “By far our most popular is the monstera cheese factory.
“They like to grow in dark spaces and don’t need a lot of watering, so they’re popular with people who are just starting out growing houseplants.
“These plants never seem to go out of style and are popular with people of all ages.
“Spider plants are another popular plant.
“These are really entry-level plants and are incredibly easy to care for.
“Other bestsellers include goeppertia, monkey mask, alocasia amazonica, asparagus fern and maranta fascinator.”
Browne says a number of factors are driving adoption by people who buy houseplants.
She said: “Buying houseplants is a huge trend right now and it’s definitely growing in popularity.
“This is particularly growing among young people, who often live in apartments and have no outdoor space to grow garden plants.
“These people are investing in nature and creating their own inner jungles.
“The lockdown has also played a huge role in adoption as more and more people are now working from home on a permanent basis.
“Our sales during the pandemic have exploded.”
Ms Browne said the business had to adapt when the lockdown hit.
She explained: “When we went into the first lockdown in March 2020, we had all these houseplants sitting down.
“As a company, we therefore quickly turned to an online delivery service which has been a huge success with our customers.
“We also came up with the idea of mystery boxes, offering plants and mystery gifts and it was well received by people.”
Tips for starting a plant collection
Liz Browne gave some helpful tips for budding plant parents: start small.
“Don’t buy expensive plants that need a lot of care,” she said.
“Mini plants or spider plants are best for first time plant purchases because they are relatively inexpensive and don’t require much care.
“They are easy to care for and grow in dark spaces.
“It also gives people time to learn the plant’s watering schedule and ensures they understand the maintenance process.
“A big mistake first-time plant growers make is overwatering their plants.
She added: “From there, it’s always best to buy from someone with experience.
“All of our employees have their own indoor plants and although our care instructions are accurate, it’s always best to ask the staff how to look after them.”