Why is Norwich going potty for house plants?

Alys Wyatt with her collection of house plants.Byline: Sonya Duncan

Alys Wyatt with her collection of house plants. Byline: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

City folk are turning their homes into a tropical oasis after a resurgence in house plant sales.

And such is demand for indoor foliage - prompted by lockdown and social media - prices of the 1970s-inspired features have rocketed. 

Alys Wyatt with her collection of house plants.
Byline: Sonya Duncan

Alys Wyatt with her collection of house plants. Byline: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Alys Wyatt, 34, from the Mile Cross estate, has been collecting house plants since she was ten years old and now shares her home with 250 varieties. 

She said: "It has been awesome seeing so many people getting into house plants. They are incredible things. The popularity increased in the first lockdown.

"It gave people something to focus on to do in their homes and dedicate time to make something beautiful. It was incredibly beneficial to people who might have experienced mental health issues for the first time in their lives.

"Since lockdown prices have grown exponentially and it has been great to see businesses set up from nothing. They have reinvented certain parts of Norwich and helped the local economy."

As a child she collected cacti and the first thing she bought for her first home aged seventeen was "the ugliest spider plant you have ever seen" - which she brought back to life.

Most Read

She now has between 200 and 250 plants in her home, which she said was a small amount for a house plant enthusiast and likes to collect less common varieties.

Miss Wyatt added that Norwich was a good place for house plant sales because of its young university community.

Leslie Terrance Home Gift and Garden shop in Wymondham that has been opened by twenty three year old

Kerri Notman who runs Leslie Terrance plant shop and cafe in Magdalen Road in Norwich - Credit: Steve Adams

Kerri Notman, owner of Leslie Terrance in Magdalen Road, which started seven years ago in Wymondham, said: "We are busier now than we would normally be. Instagram is a massive seller for house plants.

"Having a house plant is therapeutic. Mental health is a big thing at the moment and plants make things calmer."

She added the price of succulents had increased from 50p five years ago to £3.99 now and that her most popular plants were cheese plants.  

Harriet Watson, supervisor of Elm in Dove Street, which opened in 2017, added: "It's lovely that people are still discovering house plants and the joy they bring."

How to look after your house plant

Alys Wyatt with her collection of house plants.Byline: Sonya Duncan

A house plant owned by Alys Wyatt - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Alys Wyatt gives her top tips on caring for indoor plants.

- Do your research

The internet will be your best friend.

Take it slow 

With so many plants available everywhere these days, it's easy to amass a big collection very quickly but it can become overwhelming.

Don't worry about failure

We all have to start somewhere and we all still make mistakes but learn from the experience.

Pest prevention is better than cure

Regular treatment should stop nasty bugs taking up residence in your plants. Also, encouraging a few spiders to live amongst your plants will be very helpful in keeping them pest free.

Don't be afraid to ask for help

The rise in popularity of keeping house plants has led to the creation of online communities where people can get together.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter