New house plant business blooming thanks to Instagram giveaway fame

Ali Hunt (pictured) among the plants he is shipping across the UK from Eaton. Picture: Ali Hunt

Ali Hunt (pictured) among the plants he is shipping across the UK from Eaton. Picture: Ali Hunt - Credit: Ali Hunt

A young man’s love of house plants has grown into a flourishing business during lockdown, with blooms being sent out across England and beyond.

Ali Hunt launched Plant Hunt in lockdown having discovered the benefits of green-fingers during the pandemic.

He said: “I’d read about the benefits of house plants for anxiety and mindfulness and I found it really helped me. My dad is an entrepreneur and I always wanted to give it a go myself so just decided to give it a go at selling plants myself.

“I threw myself into learning everything I could about plants from how to source them to taking care of them. For the first few weeks it was a bit slow but then I did an £100 Instagram giveaway which blew up, and suddenly I had orders coming in from Scotland, the Shetland Islands, Newcastle – all over the country. That one post has more than 11,0000 likes and 4,000 comments and it hasn’t really slowed down since.”

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Mr Hunt is buying his plants from a wholesaler in the Netherlands and storing them in his parent’s conservatory in Eaton until they are sent out.

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“I wanted to make sure I work with a really good supplier. I’ve been to Amsterdam a couple of times and on one occasion had a really long chat with a man who ran a plant shop out there. Looking back I think some of the things he told me was what began all of this,” he said.

Mr Hunt said his most popular plant is the Monstera minima, which looks like a cross between a cheese plant and a fern.

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He said: “Cheese plants are also really popular but that’s to be expected. It’s been so interesting to have a business which is so driven by instagram. I put up a picture of a plant and it pretty much sells out. I also get flurries of orders from where the algorithms have picked up my page – I had a load in Scotland then in Midlands, but none of them knew each other.”

He added that he would like to start growing his own plant stock from seeds and propagating his own plants.

“It’s something I’m working on – I’d especially like to breed some rarer plants but that might take a while,” he said.

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