Amy Gangi opened Leaf Me Alone Plant Club after participating in Lowcountry Local First's Growing New Farmers program in 2017. She knew she wanted out of her job in marketing, but not much beyond that. Since then, she's been selling small, unique plants at markets all over town, even setting up a shop inside the Station (4610 Spruill Ave.) in Park Circle — right next door to her petal pals Roadside Blooms. She also hosts "plant parties" that serve as workshops for aspiring plant parents who might need a little help tending to their new additions. (Catch her next one at Charles Towne Fermentory on Sun. Aug. 18.)
"Plants do so much more than just look pretty in your Instagram pics," Gangi says. "They improve the air quality in your home and bring the healing powers of nature inside with us, where we need them most."
We caught up with her to answer a few questions for folks who are ready to add a little green to the sunny corners of their homes.
City Paper: For someone who is just starting out, what are some good inside plants?
Amy Gangi: For low light, I love pothos vines, they're super easy to care for and grow quick. If you have more light and want to try succulents, the gateway plant, I love a jade plant. They don't require much attention and they're easy to take cuttings from to give as gifts.
CP: What about potted outside?
AG: I love hydrangeas in shady spots, they're perennials so they'll come back every year too. Even potted.
CP: What's something that people who want to start keeping more plants should know before they start to avoid finding it out when something goes bad?
AG: Find out what kind of light your home gets. East facing windows get morning light, which is not as bright as afternoon light you'll get from west facing windows. Use the compass app on your phone and point it toward your windows to determine which direction they face, so you can choose the right plants based on how much light your space gets. Everyone loves succulents, but they need a ton of sun, if your windows aren't getting a lot of sun, succulents won't do well in your home.
CP: If you do have a few of the usual suspects, what's a fun challenge to try to up your plant game a little?
AG: Ferns can be a little high maintenance but I think birds nest ferns are the perfect amount of challenge and fun. They're safe for pets and more forgiving of neglect than other dramatic, needy ferns like the maidenhair fern. If you can keep a maidenhair fern alive you should win an award.