Imagine how different your living room would look if it were someone else’s job to keep the houseplants alive.
A new rent-a-houseplant service, Berkeley, California-based The Plant Library, is willing to shoulder that responsibility. “Rent. Enjoy. Return.” is the motto of the company, an offshoot of floral designer Danielle Rowe’s Brown Paper Design.
Rental plants are available for one-time events or to take up semi-permanent residence in your home. “We deliver plants throughout California and then we go in once a month to check on everything,” says Rhiannon Smith, The Plant Library’s production coordinator. “We do expect people to water them, but we go in to see if they are getting enough light or if we need to move the plant. We want to make sure that they thrive.”
Photography by Molly Decoudreaux courtesy of The Plant Library.
Above: Depending on how many plants you want, the rental cost can range from $45 (for a tabletop arrangement of from three to five small potted plants) to $1,000 (for a series of trees and flora that will fill a 10-foot span). The price also includes pot rental and your choice of top dressing: preserved moss, white limestone pebbles, or lava rocks.
The monthly maintenance fee is an additional $150.
Above: For rent (from L) are cacti Mammillaria mystax and Mammillaria hahniana. Behind them: aloe vera.
Above: Rental plants fall into three categories: desert, native, and evergreen. “Unlike fresh flowers, which you end up throwing away after a few days, potted plants are sustainable and will save money in the long run,” says Smith.
Above: For rent are Echeveria Blue Sky Succulent, Pencil Cactus, Crested Cereus and (on the white stand) Senecio ‘Fish Hooks’.
Above: The Plant Library will deliver plants by truck to locations throughout California.
Above: Succulents for rent include Aloe Arborescens (on the floor) and on the bench (at L) Senecio ‘Fish Hooks’ and (at R) Aeschynanthus.
Above: On the bench (at L) is Darallia Fejeensis (rabbit’s foot fern) and next to it is Aphelandra Squarrosa. The potted tree in front of the bench is Polyscias Aralia Fabian.
Above: Aphelandra Squarrosa has zebra stripes.
Above: Three colors of pots are available: white, terra cotta, gray.
“We are trying to make the selection process more of a template to make it easy for customers to place a quick order,” says Smith. “You can place an order and all you have to say is you need a tabletop arrangement of native plants in terra cotta pots.”
Finally, get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various houseplants with our Houseplants: A Field Guide.