Room for growth: Cheryl Phillips finds new love and starts plant business
When Cheryl Phillips went into retirement in 2016, she already planted the seed of hope and productivity with the idea of opening a flower business. Following a discussion with her friend, she settled on a name and it was there that the Petal’s Edge was born. But she shifted her nature focus to plants.
“We specialise in succulent plants, those plants that store water in their stem root or leaves which makes them the easiest group of plants to take care of as they don’t need water often. We also sell a few other types of household plants, such as aglaonemas and philodendrons. Succulents are my favourite because of their wide variety of shapes, colour and textures. And they are easier to take care of as well,” Phillips told Saturday Living.
The horticulture lover started out on this journey having more interest in the green discipline than she did experience. Her zest for knowledge paired with a pragmatic approach to nature provided the perfect match for learning and understanding.
“My earliest memory with plants goes back to 2008 when I followed a friend to a plant show. There, I purchased my first plant, an adenium, favourably known as the desert rose,” she revealed.
That desert rose ignited a spark for growth. Before she knew it, she was anticipating morning light, just to go outside and tend to her plants. The amount of plants in her possession only grew with her passion.
“I love how you can take a small seed, plant it and watch it grow into something beautiful and magnificent. It’s all about finding and knowing the requirements of the plant and giving it exactly what it wants,” she said, adding, “Over time, with research and persistence, I’ve learned a lot. I’m still learning and I keep getting better with them.”
When she began putting up plants for purchase in 2019, it opened a whole new green world for her. “I must admit, it wasn’t an easy task at first. After making my first few attempts, I couldn’t find any out of the few hundred that I owned to sell. It was difficult,” she confessed.
But just like everything else in life, taking this step required patience and persistence. Taking breaks when things went wrong, she always returned to her love. Great service was paramount and this stickler for perfection became rooted in these imperfections.
“The most common rookie mistake is overwatering, but the best thing to do when purchasing a plant is to make sure you get the name and information on how to take care of it. A little research can be done, as well to learn a little more about the plant which will equip you with enough knowledge to take care of it properly,” she enlightened.
For those seeking the best indoor plants, Phillips recommends the sansevierias and zamiiculcas zamifolia (ZZ). These plants, she said, help purify the air, and are almost impossible to kill unless overwatered. Other succulents are great for the outdoors since they call for less care.
Phillips doesn’t consider herself a professional per se, she maintains her passion, leaving room for growth. “I love the calming effect plants give. The best thing about being a plant parent is that it helps keep stress away. A plant hobby can get pretty addictive, but I think it’s a healthy addiction that can bring great peace,” she shared.
Since selling plants, she has branched out to offering different types of gift services like balloon decor, and hopes to provide a gifting experience inclusive of luxury, comfort, excitement and peace.
Since plant care is important, Phillips cannot stress enough that if you are new to plants then ensure you get the name and engage in the necessary research to take proper care of them.