An Interview with Sap Plants

Sap Plants owner, Chan, against a backdrop of plants and a "Sap Plants" sign.

If you've been to our café, you would have seen our wall of plants from Sap. All the plants are available to purchase and are regularly restocked. We speak to Chan from Sap about her business and some of her favourite plants.

How did Sap Plants come about?

I started propagating plants and making terrariums for family and friends a few years ago. I hadn't really thought about it as a business to begin with, it was a hobby I was interested in sharing with others. I had such a positive reaction to my terrariums, friends and family encouraged me to sell them at local craft fairs and they were really popular!

I've found propagation to be really beneficial for my mental well being, which is why I love sharing my tips with people through social media. This is something I focused a lot on before selling plants, and still do now through my Instagram page @sap_plants

Now I do Plant Pop Ups, the Nottingham Plant Swap and have my plants the Nottingham Contemporary!

Do you grow a lot of these plants at home?

I propagate a lot of plants that I end up using in my terrariums. However, cacti can be very slow growers and some of the plants I sell are quite large. I source all of my plants from sellers in Holland, where each nursery can be traced to find out who grew the plants.

Sap's propagation stations will be available from Nottingham Contemporary.

Is it difficult finding the right conditions to grow such a range of plants?

The great thing about the Cafe at Nottingham Contemporary is the light levels! It's perfect for the Plant wall. I make sure I stock the right things depending on the season. You'll notice that I might not stock the same things in winter. This is because I want each plant to be happy in it's new home - if you buy a Calathea in winter, unless you're an experienced plant owner, the likelihood is it won't make it through the colder months. I want Sap Plants to be accessible to all, seasoned plant parents and newbies.

So I put a lot of thought and planning in to what stock to order at certain times of the year.

Do you have any favourite plants at the moment?

Euphorbia succulents are my all time favourites, they come in so many different shapes and sizes!

In terms of house plants I'd say prayer plants are my favourite, they're really easy to care for and have the most amazing leaf patterns.

A Euphorbia Trigona

You have run a terrarium workshop at Nottingham Contemporary before. Can you talk a bit about your terrariums?

I make terrariums in closed and open vessels. My favourite kind of terrarium is a closed terrarium, this is when the bottle has a cork in it or is sealed in some way. A closed terrarium creates its own moisture cycle, meaning that it very rarely needs to be watered while the lid is on. I find the process of making a closed Terrarium and watching its cycle fascinating.

What kind of plants do you stock at Nottingham Contemporary?

The stock is ever changing, depending on what the nurseries in Holland have available and depending on the season.

I ways try to have a mixture of house plants, Succulents and cacti. Customer favourites tend to be Philodendron, Monstera and Marantas, which I tend to have a year round.

A Fishbone Cactus and Golden Pothos
A Spiral Cactus

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