Retailer Spotlight | inside the home jungles of the Little Leaf team
I am so excited to share this today- a look inside the homes of the team behind one of DC’s premier plant destinations, Little Leaf, the little sister shop of Salt and Sundry.
Like every very cool person in DC, my dream Sunday is spent in the tiny jungle of Little Leaf buying up plants and cards and candles (p.s. find some of ours there!) as gifts for myself. (Self care Sunday FTW!) Their small shop packs a punch and the team behind it gives us all plant home goals. Read below where the team shared some houseplant insights with us, which I will 100% be adopting, and gave us a peek into their own home plant oases. Enjoy the scroll, plant enthusiasts! 🌿
All photos by Jennifer Wallace.
Who are you and what’s your thing?
Mollie: I'm the Shop Director at Little Leaf, but my love for plants stretches far past my role here. I'm an avid plant collector with about 80 plants in my tiny DC apartment. I was born and raised in the bustling city of Seoul, South Korea where greenery was few and far between. I think that makes me appreciate house plants that much more!
Jennifer: My name is Jennifer. My thing is plants!
Kevin: I’m Kevin and, unsurprisingly, a huge plant nerd. Aside from that, I love being outdoors on my bike as much as possible or taking it easy with my pug, plants, and a solid read.
Tell us about Little Leaf, and why it’s such a special little spot in this city.
Mollie: Little Leaf is a pocket of lush jungle in the middle of a concrete-laden city. It's a joy to see customers instantly relax when they visit us- it's hard to be stressed in this space!
Jennifer: It’s a cute little green oasis in the city. It’s a special place because it can instantly make you happy once you come in. It’s plant magic.
Kevin: Little Leaf is a picturesque oasis of chill vibes in an otherwise hectic city. Whether you want a new plant, handmade pot, relaxing candle, or simply some peace and fresh air, our shop offers a much-needed break from busy schedules.
What’s your relationship with plants like? And how do you not take home alll the plantsss all the time, or do you guys?
Mollie: Nurturing my houseplants has been a fun learning experience for me, and I imagine it will always be. It makes my heart so full to watch them grow under my care and even when they die, I try to always figure out what went wrong and try again.
In the beginning, I used to take home every dying plant in the shop, including single succulent leaves I tried to propagate. Now that my windowsills are at full occupancy, I try to be more mindful about which plants I bring home!
Jennifer: I’m obsessed with them! I have about 200 plants and I’m usually getting a new one every other week. So I’m definitely taking all the plant home all the time.
Kevin: It’s hard to resist all the new plants that come into the shop, I won’t lie. My post-Little Leaf life has turned my hobby into a full-blown obsession but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Since joining the team, I’ve placed more emphasis on only taking home those plants that spark serious joy instead of getting something simply because I don’t have it.
What are your favorite plants to keep at home?
Mollie: My current favorite is my Peperomia Prostrata, also known as the String of Turtles. Mine has grown so much since I got it last year and it has been very tolerant of my tendency to underwater.
Jennifer: My favorites are the easiest ones that can tolerate low light like pothos/philodendron (I have around 9 of them), ZZ plants and peace lilies. It’s nice to have plants I can put anywhere and don't have to worry about.
Kevin: Overall, I would have to say cacti. They can be adorable, funky, or completely alien, making them irresistibly collectible. The 52 I own make up the bulk of my collection.
What are your top tips for people who don’t have a very green thumb but want to learn how to keep their plants alive and happy at home?
Mollie: My best tip would be to figure out what kind of environment you can provide within your space and base your plant purchases off that. All we're trying to do is mimic their natural habitat within our home; for example, I have northeast facing windows, making it much more hospitable for tropical plants as opposed to desert plants.
Jennifer: Remember that plants are living things that originate from jungles/deserts. Indoors is not a natural place for plants to be. Once you understand that it’s easier to understand what your plants need.
Kevin: Consider what does best in your home and with your lifestyle. Someone with southern exposure will want different plants than someone with north-facing windows. Is the plant going in a dark corner or being placed directly in front of a sunny window? Are you a nurturer who wants to water your plant weekly or does a plant that only needs monthly watering sound more appealing? From there, you can determine which plants will do best in your space and with your routine.
What is your favorite smelling plant?
Mollie: The lemon trees in the Mediterranean section of the US Botanic Garden!
Jennifer: Eucalyptus smells amazing!!
Kevin: Does coffee count? Truly, nothing beats freshly ground roasted coffee beans, but I’m equally as obsessed with coniferous trees like pine, cedar, and fir.
Thank you all so much for sharing! To visit all the plants and good vibes, visit Little Leaf!
P.S. I just discovered a plethora of plant care information on their site, sorted by plant. Check it out.
1401 S St NW
Washington, DC 20009