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In the late 1990s, Louis Easton was a depressed teenager when his gardening father introduced him to plant care and sales. After that, helping his father revamp and refresh nursery exhibits as he made his detour to stores like Home Depot and the now-defunct Home Base wasn’t really his idea of entertainment.
“The plants were not hips; I thought they were cheesy, something for old people,” Easton said. “I just wanted to be a kid, play football and hang out with my friends. I didn’t understand that he was giving me a chance.
But somewhere — after small acting roles, a filmmaking degree, and jobs making TV shows and videos — that early plant performances took root and evolved into Easton’s current personality. Now they’re known as Plant Mon, a decidedly hip “plant concierge” that selects the right plants for their customers’ environments — and then delivers a curated mini-store to their homes so they can choose from. Know which plants they want to bring in.
This is one of their services. He also provides plant care advice and demonstrations via Instagram (@theplantmon) and sells a variety of houseplants online, which he distributes free of charge throughout Los Angeles County. His digital book, “Five Air Purifying Plants You Should Have in Your Home Today,” came out in paperback in June. And he’s happy to diagnose plant problems at farmers’ markets and businesses at no charge from his pop-up tents.
Easton named Plant Mon partly because he loved the lush green of Jamaica when his family went on vacation, but also because: “In the black community, if you say you’re a Jamaican So that means you wear too many hats. And that’s me.”
Around 2014, Easton became fascinated by farmers’ markets and decided to re-enter the plant world as a vendor selling houseplants and vegetable plants as a side gig called Easton Garden Designs.
Over the next few years he became more and more involved with plants, even visiting middle schools to talk about the importance of urban farming and exhibits about houseplants and terrariums in public libraries. So when he was fired from a job making educational films about water conservation and composting, and the lockdown triggered a sort of plant frenzy, Easton was ready to answer the call. All he had to do was find a way to bring plants to people who were either too busy to shop or didn’t feel comfortable living among the crowd.
“I just put myself in my customer’s place,” he said. “If you’ve been out in traffic all day, it’s so stressful; the last thing you want to think about is getting back in the car and shopping for plants. But not if you want to crack a grapefruit, if you Can just sit there and let the grapes come to you… who wouldn’t want that?”
The concept was simple: Easton asked his customers a few questions over the phone and then brought a load of curated plants to his place for them to browse and buy. The phone started ringing.
Two years later, despite rising gas prices, Easton is still delivering for free (with a minimum plant purchase of $25), but her big focus is now on “interior plantscaping”—she recommends to homes and businesses. Will go in Plants to position. He will also provide a collection of plants for friends who want to gather at one’s home and shop. You can connect to Easton even without an appointment. During the pandemic, he set up a tent outside his Highland Park home, selling houseplants and other produce, but has since increased his presence at farmers’ markets in Highland Park, Crenshaw and the new Los Angeles River Farmers Market in Los Angeles , since then it has been closed. State Historic Park in Chinatown.
Oh, and she’s got another side, making educational films for municipalities through her company Good Sides, in partnership with her brother-in-law, Joe Letke. And then there was that modeling gig with J Crew this spring that featured her outside her house with her plants.
Working in public, their energy and charisma are magnetic, with people regularly stopping at their tents to discuss their sparkling plants or shouting questions from their cars.
It’s a busy life, full of creative work, and he attributes all that hustle and bustle to the lessons he learned from Louis Easton III.
His father began his career in sales in Ohio, Easton said, driving routes to deliver bubblegum, mouthwash and potato chips before moving his family to California and studying horticulture at Mount San Antonio College and Cal Poly Pomona. . He wanted to break out of junk food, Easton said, and into a healthier lifestyle that still uses his expertise in sales, so he started working for wholesale nurseries, delivering plants to garden centers and started selling.
“He would have 10 to 16 Home Depots and that would be his route,” Easton said. “They give you space and you have to make it work. You have to clean up the plants and make sure the displays look good, remove any that are dying or reinstall them to fill in the gaps with sold-out goods. It’s almost like your own business.”
When Easton was old enough, his father hired him to fix displays at four or five shops along his route during the summer. It saved his father gas and time, Easton said, to be part of his path, but it also gave his son a purpose and a model that shaped his life.
“I’m so glad I had a father who could see something I couldn’t,” Easton said. “As a young African American man, we usually had things in front of us like sports and entertainment, but scientists, botanists, master gardeners … they were never exposed in popular culture. To propel me into this, I Thanking my father.”
Eventually, Easton hopes to use his performance/entertainment side for his TV show – “I only think giant” – about something to do with plants in Southern California. She has the chops to host, her soothing, deep-voiced tutorials on Instagram and YouTube, and pics from her stint as the Creative Spirits model for J.Crew’s spring 2022 collection (featuring her own plants) 2022 Plant Collection).
But for now he’s too busy, advising professionals and newbies alike to plant. If you’re just starting out, here are the top five houseplants Easton recommends in her book as Bulletproof – easy to grow (aka hard-to-kill) plants that will beautify your home and lift your spirits. Can help purify the air while lifting.
1. Snake Plant (Dracaena Trifasciata,
“This plant is also known as mother-in-law’s tongue and sansevieria. It is so wonderful, it is almost immortal; If you take a leaf, cut it in half and stick it in a jar with water, it will spread,” Easton said. Snake plants release their oxygen at night, so consider them for such a room. where one is sleeping. They can survive up to four weeks without water, but it is best to water them twice a month, sometimes with mist, as these forest plants prefer moisture and filtered light. Keep them out of direct sunlight and use a moisture meter to water only when the soil is dry, over-watering can lead to root rot, he said, and it’s the fastest way to kill an otherwise very hearty plant.
2. Marginata (Dracaena Marginata,
The spiky marginata — also known as the dragon tree — is another plant that needs water every two weeks once the soil dries out, Easton said. This is a great plant for filling an empty, well-lit corner of a room because it can grow up to 6 feet tall, but this plant hates extreme temperatures, so keep it away from direct sunlight and heating. And keep away from cooling vents. He recommends mopping the plant from time to time to keep the fallen leaves clean, or giving the plant a thorough bath in the bathtub once every few months to clear the dust.
3. Dracaena (Dracaena Lisa Kane,
The corn plant, as it is commonly known, is a beautiful plant prized for its ability to thrive in low-light conditions. “You usually see it in hospitals hugging in a corner,” Easton said. The plant prefers low, indirect light but can survive under fluorescent light as well. Be sure to dust the leaves so the plants can breathe, Easton said, and water only when the soil is dry; Usually every other week, he said, but when in doubt, it’s better not to over-water.
4. Pit (Epipremnum aureum,
This vine plant can hang from a high cupboard, bookshelf or macrame planter; Just be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight, Easton said. Pothos loves a regular spray of water on its leaves, he said, but don’t water until the soil is dry to avoid root rot. The plant spreads very easily—just cut off a branch and root it in water, he said. It’s also good for absorbing musty odors, which is why you often see them in the toilet.
5. Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia,
Easton likes the large, boat-shaped leaves of bird of paradise plants, but the houseplant variety is unlikely to bloom; They need lots of sun to thrive. Easton recommends spraying the majestic leaves a couple times a month and wiping them down with a cotton cloth and leaf shine product “so you can enjoy heaven in the comfort of your own home.”
Here are some more notes on houseplant care from Easton, who discusses all of these plants in more detail in his book:
- Use filtered or distilled water on your houseplants or at least tap water that has been exposed to sunlight for 30 minutes to remove any chemicals.
- During the prime growing months of spring and summer, fertilize your houseplants two to three times a month with a liquid fertilizer (he prefers Schultz All Purpose Plant Food) or using a time-release fertilizer stake.
- Use soil designed for cactus and succulents to ensure good drainage.
- If you have animals that nibble on plants, avoid the dracaena family (snake plant, marginata and corn plant), which can be toxic to pets.
- The air purifying properties of houseplants are debated, but Easton believes the benefits are simply common sense. “We know that all plants take up carbon and, in turn, give off oxygen, so they are purifying the air, some more and some less,” he said. “But you need at least 15 plants in a room to get that air purification benefit. You can’t get it from just one plant. So if you always live in one room, such as a bedroom or living room, I would put 15 of your plants there, and 30 to 40 plants would be even better. ,
If you want any of these plants delivered, you know who to call.