When do you know it is over? Should I continue waiting or cut my ties and get what I really wanted? I blame myself; I know I could have tried harder. It was a tough call, especially since I could still remember the day we met years ago. These thoughts had been running through my head about a plant I received as a gift. I was tired of looking at the same shabby plant.
I like having indoor plants, but I’m too busy for upkeep, except for the watering. In the past, I would buy potting soil at Home Depot with big plans to transplant, but the bag would sit for weeks. One day, on a walk in Downtown San Pedro, I discovered Prop House Plants, a plant store that caters to all levels of plant owners, especially beginners like me.
Jose and Brittany Montero, brother and sister, opened Prop House Plants in October 2022. As first-time business owners, they were doing plant pop-ups in the South Bay before moving to a permanent space in San Pedro. Their small eclectic shop takes advantage of high ceilings to display one-of-a-kind plant products, like upcycled items used as pots. They can give a plant a makeover through repotting and whatever else is needed to spruce it up.
“Owning plants is not as hard as it seems. We want to show people that it can be a hobby that is not intimidating,” states Jose. “Besides the store, we visit clients in their homes and determine what will work. We want to set our customers up for success.”
Faced with downtime during the pandemic, Brittany got into plants and found it healing. Her brother, who is ten years younger, was also interested in plants. Their new love of plants strengthened the bond between them. Brittany has a fondness for pothos plants. It was the first plant she owned, and she created ten other plants through propagation. The easy-to-care-for plant gave her confidence when she first started working with them. Neither sibling, who spent some of their youth growing up in San Pedro, had a green thumb when they first started exploring their interest in florae. Since then, they have learned a lot and now share their simple plant care techniques with their customers. They’re hoping to add workshops in the future.
The retail storefront is only part of their business. They also service plants in homes and businesses, taking care of them based on the client’s needs. They will do house calls, assess lighting, and make plant recommendations based on the interior environment and the client’s taste. Their specialty is indoor potted plants, including patios, and they also sell nontoxic pet- and child-friendly plants. Prop House also cares for customers’ plants while they are traveling.
“Since I was a teenager, I have always liked the artistic feel of San Pedro. It’s inspiring,” states Brittany. “It feels so far from Los Angeles. It is a new experience to be back as a business owner. We really appreciate how the community has shown up for us.”
On a visit to Prop House, I showed Brittany a photo of my sad-looking plant. I wanted to move on but wasn’t sure. She made suggestions and added I could also bring it to the store so they could address its issues. I felt like I was visiting the doctor for plants. However, I spotted another one I liked in a beautiful pot while there. I decided to let go of my older plant — my heart wasn’t into it anymore. It was nice while it lasted, but it was time for something new. spt
Prop House Plants is located at 619 S. Centre Street. For more info, call (310) 684-1181 or visit prophouseplants.com.