Climate Crisis and the Environment

An Interview with Nottingham’s Sap Plants

Esme spoke to Chan of the Nottingham-based Sap Plants about her business and her favourite green friends.

Sap Plants is a brilliant place to get plants of all shapes and sizes, and customized, hand-made pots to make your plants look even more aesthetic. A Nottingham-based independent business, Sap Plants is a great local enterprise, and Impact Lifestyle had the chance to interview Chan, the founder, to find out more.

Tell me a little about who you are and what you do.

My name is Chan and I run Sap Plants. I make terrariums and paint plant pots in a variety of styles, but mainly book related—I do Hogwarts House Colours and Paperback Pots.

What is your favourite thing to make and sell?

My favourite thing to make is a terrarium because there’s such a variety in the kind you can make and which plants to use. I make them in a range of sizes, some are closed and some are open. My favourite at the moment is a closed terrarium as they create their own sort of ecosystem which is really interesting to watch!

Why did you decide to go into the plant business? Have you always had an interest in plants?

I’ve had plants and cacti in my house for about 3 years, but it’s only over the past year that I’ve been making plant-based products to sell. I’d been making them for my house or as gifts for friends or family, who then encouraged me to start Sap Plants. It’s been going really well, and other Nottingham independents have been so supportive!

What is the reason behind the name Sap Plants?

I wanted something short, that would catch people’s attention and maybe make them question why—which seems to be working! I’ve seen plant brand names that include words such as root, prick, or leaf, but I haven’t seen ‘sap’ used, [and] it’s an essential component of all plants so I thought it would make a great name.

Why did you decide to have your business in Nottingham?

Nottingham has such an amazing independent [business] community, it made sense to have my business in my home city. Since starting I’ve had such amazing support, especially from fellow plant lover Hannah at Green Haus, and from Rhea who runs the Handmade Notts Shop. I’m also hosting the 2nd Nottingham Plant Swap at Rough Trade in June, they’ve been great letting me have the event there.

Do you feel young people/students are becoming more interested in plants and being green-fingered?

I do! It’s lovely meeting so many people at events I’ve sold at, I get asked so many plant-related questions, not just from students but from children too. I find that indoor gardening can be a great way to relax and practice mindfulness. There are so many creative ways of gardening indoors, from propagation to making terrariums or macramé.

Which plants would you recommend for busy students? Do you have any tips for keeping your green friends alive?

I would recommend cacti if you’re likely to forget to water your plants, they are much more drought resistant than a lot of houseplants. A Ficus or a Monstera are also quite low maintenance. The main tip is to buy plants that are suited to your home: do you have the light levels that are needed for that specific plant? Do a little bit of research before you buy. I’ve lost a few plants this way, not paying attention to what they need and focusing on where they’d look best in my house which isn’t always the best for the plant’s needs.

Finally, what is your favourite plant and why?

This changes so often! Cacti will always be my favourite but when it comes to house plants I think I’d have to choose the Calathea or Maranta family. The leaf patterns on these plants are amazing. Unfortunately they can be quite high maintenance but they’re definitely worth it.

You can find Sap Plants on Instagram @sap_plants.

Esme Johnson

Featured Image and Main Images courtesy of @sap_plants via Instagram.

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