Izabela (@theplantjunkie) is a plant designer and installer based out of Vancouver with a focus on hand-picked quality and care. She does everything from residential to commercial planterior design with a flair for the 'statement' plants - gigantic fiddle leaf figs and Philodendron xanadu, to name a few. Read on for an insight into Izabela's process, her plant care tips for cold climates, and more!
Many thanks to our interviewer, Elise!
First and foremost, thank you for the space and opportunity to share my journey with plants here. I started my business out of necessity as a consumer. Once I realized how difficult finding good, healthy plants is I knew a better and easier way could be created. As a consumer I had to call around, drive from garden centre to garden centre in hopes of finding what I needed and wanted. The process was time consuming and the result was a big disappointment because the product wasn’t up to my standards. So I figured out suppliers and I started hand-picking the best plants for my clients. You know the food industry “farm to table” concept?! My plants are a “growers to clients” concept: all handpicked to ensure best quality and perfect aesthetics.
My clients are such a wonderful mix which makes my job super exciting. I have clients who are kids, I have loads of moms with massive houses who hire me to install plants all over their homes. I work lots with companies like Lululemon, law firms, and the occasional celebrity like Michael Bublé. My clients are all in Vancouver and the lower mainland and I also travel to Interior cities every summer bringing plants.
Raising tropical plants in Canada is definitely a challenge. Our weather is the opposite of what they love and thrive on. During the summer we blast the AC, and during the winter we blast the heater, which are both killers of air humidity. So there is lots of extra work for us in Canada in order to keep our plants alive and healthy.
For the winter I highly recommend grow lights for those high light lovers. It’s a cheap investment that can make a huge difference. Humidifiers are also good, but if you don’t have one, place a bucket of water close to the plants and also mist with a spray bottle. It’s very important to know during winter your plant will receive less light, so you need to change the watering accordingly or the risk of overwatering will become a problem. Less light uses less water. So instead of watering every week, you might need to water every 10 days or every 2 weeks. These would be the most important points to look for when going through winter with your plants.
My clients are all about the big plants. They are for sure my “jam”. When I go for a consultation at a client’s home, we walk around and we decide what plants go where according to light and the conditions each spot offers. My clients love the big, tall and statement plants. Most of the homes I green design have massive and very high ceilings so the taller the better.
My kids are plant lovers, and my daughter always tells me “Mama, is so good I look like you because when I grow up I can work with you and if you are sick I can go see the clients and they won’t even notice that it’s not you.” To me that’s the cutest and the biggest accomplishment. Even a child can feel the passion and love I put into my work and wants to do the same. My little boy also loves plants, and my hubby too. We are all plant junkies. Haha.
I was looking for material to make a live wall and came across your products. I was instantly attracted to the recycling aspect of it, the design and how straightforward and simple it is. So I did my first wall and lots more after that. I love how easy to deal with you guys are and how accessible the team is. Any questions, concerns were always quickly solved and I always feel like I have someone ready to help me. Customer service is everything and you guys are doing an amazing job.
Thanks to Izabela for sharing her story and her methods with us! See her work on social media: