Home & Gardens Interviews Lifestyle

Interview with Dominic and Duncan, The Plant Runner

Let’s talk about plants! We catch up with Melbourne based horticulturist duo Dominic and Duncan from The Plant Runner to chat about all things green.

The Plant Runner

Tell us about Plant Runner and how it all started

Duncan – The Plant Runner was basically born over a morning tea while doing some gardening work in 2017. I’d just come back from a trip to the States, and was raving about an incredible mobile plant shop I saw in New York (Tula House). Within minutes Dom had found (what looked like) a suitable truck to buy and do the same thing in Melbourne, and by the following weekend we were the proud owners of a 1962 Harvestor International horse float.

We spent 6 months converting the truck into a fully functional, walk in, mobile plant shop and by Jan 2018 we were good to go! The business has evolved a lot since then, as we have begun to focus on offering a range of indoor plant care products, designed for indoor plant people.

What are your tips for bringing more greenery into our lives, even if we don’t have a garden space at home?

Duncan – You don’t need to go overboard. It’s an easy to do in a world of ‘Plantfluencers’ – everyone wants that instant ‘indoor jungle’. Start small and get an idea of what you’re like as a plant parent, chat to your local plant shop about your potential plant purchase and think about what your space is like (how much light is there, how warm/cold does it get). Most of all – enjoy it. It’s a huge cliche but every mistake (aka, every dead plant) is just another lesson.

What is one thing that may surprise us about plants?

Dominic – Plants can hear, feel & see! Most people don’t realize that plants share most of the senses that humans have but they process the information in unique mind blowing ways! We still have a lot to learn from plants and it’s an exciting thing!

What are your tips for getting children and teens interested in plants?

Dominic – Just by simply getting them involved in both indoor and outdoor gardening, give them some tasks and responsibilities, once they start to see the results of their work eg. a new leaf unfurling, bees being attracted to flowers they’ve grown from seed or picking fruit & vegetables from plants they’ve grown they’ll be hooked

If you could only have six plants in your home what would they be and why?

  1. Fiddle Leaf Fig they’re popular for a reason, not many plants can create a canopy inside your house, I have a stunning fiddle 3 metres tall. It has hit the ceiling and grows across towards the window in our dining room creating a gorgeous canopy to walk under!
  2. Heart Leaf Philodendron these guys will trail for metres & metres around a room. As a kid my parents had one that trailed a full circle of our living room!
  3. Rhipsalis also known as Jungle Cactus, these beauties come in so many amazing varieties from bold statements to light elegantly flowing foliage they’re perfect for shelves as they’re a great trailing plant
  4. Monstera deliciosa classic, always impressive and crazy rewarding. These guys give you proper jungle vibes and never disappoint plus they’re not so niche that you can’t make them work in any space, keep them as a statement plant on their own or add them to the Plant Fam to really green up a room.
  5. Syngomium Fantasy (Syngonium podophyllum Albo Variegata) Syngoniums are are way too underated. Crazy versatile as trailing plants or climbers, can be pruned back and kept busy or let run wild.
  6. The Fantasy is an absolute stunner with its splashes of white amongst shades of green. The last one would be a Philodendron melanochrysum. Those leaves!
Dominic and Duncan – The Plant Runner

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?

Duncan – Surround yourself with people who motivate you and who have qualities/skill sets you don’t have. Be open to change and new ideas – what we envisioned for The Plant Runner three years ago is something completely different to where we are now.

Dominic – Create a business around something you’re passionate about, that way when things get tough (and they always do!) you’ll find that extra energy to push through. Also try to be diverse in what you do and think outside the square, you need to be on your toes and be able to mould into different situations (e.g COVID 19!). Finally treat all your customers and clients like they are VIP’s, they’re the only reason your business exists!

What’s next for Plant Runner?

Duncan – Without giving too much away, we have a heap of exciting new products in the works, plus we’re hoping to focus more on international markets like the States. Eventually, we’d love to have our own bricks and mortar store but that might be a while off.

Want more? Click here to find out why Gardening is the Ultimate Stress Buster and here for Gardening Tips from Tammy Huynh.

%d bloggers like this: