Correction: In the print version of this article, it was incorrectly stated the next Wild Fern Co. popup will be hosted at Fill’s Growlers on Saturday, Feb. 14. The popup will be hosted Saturday, Feb. 13.
If you can’t go somewhere exotic, then maybe it’s time to bring the exotic to you.
At least, that’s why some experts believe the houseplant trend is booming, and could be why Enumclaw’s Wild Fern Co. has really taken off.
Johanna (pronounced Yohanna) Kraemer started the business in 2019, selling houseplants at the Enumclaw Farmer’s Market. Due to the seasonal nature of the market, however, Kraemer quickly found herself organizing pop-up shops around the city so she could continue her side business in the off-season while also being a full-time barista at a local coffee shop.
Now she travels all over the Plateau and even beyond, popping up at places like Enumclaw’s Fill’s Growlers, Headworks Brewery, and The Health Bar to Bonney Lake’s Glow Martini Bar and Sumner’s Electric Coffee House.
“I just love talking to plant people. It’s super fun,” she said in a recent interview. “It’s inspiring to help other people in your life become more into plants, too.”
According to Kraemer, there are many benefits to having houseplants in your home. For many people, she said, houseplants give them a unique way to decorate.
“There’s so many different varieties, different textures. You can get stuff that blooms, you can get stuff that’s just leafy, you’ve got ferns, tropical plants, cacti,” she said. “I just think it’s really cool to see… what houseplants [people] like, and see how they express their houseplant journey.”
But there are other benefits that go beyond aesthetics, too: Healthline points to a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology that shows “active interaction with indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress compared with mental work,” and Bloomscape claims indoor plants can help people combat their seasonal depression by feeling closer to nature.
You may have also heard the theory that houseplants can help purify the air in your home — however, this theory began with a 1980s study by NASA and has since been debunked.
“Technically, for plants to purify the air, you’d have to have a lot a lot of plants. A few plants are not going to purify your air,” Kraemer said. “But it has been shown to totally boost mental health — being able to nurture something, for a lot of people, is really helpful mentally.”
Although a good portion of her client base are houseplant experts, Kraemer said she meets many people who are beginners, and some that are even scared of houseplants.
“People get intimidated with houseplants, but they’re not as hard as people think,” she said. “Honestly, a lot of houseplants thrive on neglect. People try to overcare for them — ‘Oh, I want to water it all the time and give it all this love.’ But honestly, most houseplants thrive on neglect.”
So start with a snake plant, she continued, and stay away from maidenhair ferns.
Currently, Kraemer is expected to set up shop at Fill’s Growlers (1634 Porter St.) on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 13.
“It will be somewhat Valentine’s Day-themed and I’ll be selling all sizes of houseplants and a couple outdoor flowering plants as well,” she said.
You can also check Kraemer’s online offerings by visiting website at www.thewildfernco.com, or head to her Instagram (@thewildfernco) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/thewildfernco) to find out where The Wild Fern Co. is scheduled to pop up next.