Local plant nursery geared towards helping plant lovers with ‘black thumb’

FLORA will hold a grand opening of its Franklin branch Saturday

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Filling spaces with an assortment of plants is not only trending in the design world. More people are using houseplants as a way to bring life into their homes, apartments and workplaces, but keeping plants alive can prove to be a challenge for those without a green thumb. FLORA hopes to change that. 

The local plant shop began in 2016 as just a teardrop trailer parked in various pop-up locations. A year later, owner Kerbi Howat opened her first brick-and-mortar location in Nashville. She has now expanded to Franklin for the second leg of her business journey. 

Howat opened her second location in an old gas station and garage, which she fixed up to house hundreds of plants, pots and supplies in a clean, light-filled environment. Part of her mission is to make plant care easy and unintimidating. 

“We provide care cards with each purchase because we really want people to succeed,” she said. “We also have an open door, so if you ever need help, you can call us, Instagram us photos, email — we really want people to be able to have plants in their lives, even if they feel like they have a black thumb.” 

Not only does the business provide care cards to every customer, but they also host workshops like Houseplants 101, which goes through the basics of plant care, including warning signs and remedies for dying plants. 

Howat said the No. 1 mistake people make, in her experience, is overwatering their plants. 

“They are worried that they’re going to kill them, so then they end up loving them to death, so to speak,” she said. 

FLORA is also willing to help well before the buying process, providing consultations in which they visit a location and provide suggestions for plants best suited for the space. With plants ranging not only in size but in light needs, the team strives to make maintenance easy. 

Howat explained, while many of the plants are imported from Florida, she also works with local businesses, particularly for the pottery and other craft items she displays. For example, some of her shelves are stocked with Brown Fox Collective candles, a company based in East Nashville.  

She works primarily with women-owned businesses to support other female entrepreneurs, focusing on those that use sustainable practices. 

Howart is holding a grand opening for her new Franklin location at 1411 West Main Street on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Coffee and cookies will be available for guests, and the first 20 customers will receive free air plants (they don’t even need soil). Additionally, Howart will have a raffle for a free plant consultation. 

For more information, visit floraplantshop.com.

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