Leslie Buettner’s passion for plants began nearly 20 years ago while living in Portland, Oregon. “It's kind of a lovely place to fall in love with plants,” Leslie says. “I was so excited by all of the green around me and the fact that you could garden year-round. You can grow just about anything there.”
The love affair that began with plants and greenery and “digging in the dirt” grew, as did Leslie’s knowledge of gardening. Along with a strong background in retail merchandising and customer engagement, she was compelled to open a boutique plant nursery and personal gardening business.
But after 14 years in Portland, the Roaring Fork Valley called to her. Born and raised in Chicago, Leslie grew up vacationing and visiting family in the Roaring Fork Valley. “The valley became my home away from home,” Leslie says, and in 2017 she decided to make it her permanent home. “My siblings and nieces and parents are all in Colorado. My partner and I just wanted to be closer to all of them.”
As Leslie and her partner settled into Carbondale, she says the idea to open another plant business was immediate. “We talked about it from pretty much day one because we saw how successful this type of a shop could be.”
The dream came to fruition in August 2022 as Botany Houseplant Shop, located on Highway 133 in the La Fontana Shopping Center. “I think the timing was perfect for us. We had been talking about it for so long, and thankfully nobody else had jumped on the concept in the valley,” Leslie recalls. “So we finally pulled the trigger and did it.”
Botany Houseplant Shop features healthy, high-quality indoor plants, as well as pottery and other decorative vessels, such as hand-woven baskets from Africa. And while plants and planting pots may be the two big draws for customers, Leslie also sells the one important element people may not think much about: potting soil.
“We're big believers in quality planting medium,” Leslie says. “We carry a bagged organic soil, but we also mix our own blends of soil that we know are going to be most suitable to the plants we're selling. For example, a standard potting mix is going to be great for a lot of your tropical foliage plants, but we add different drainage elements to our standard potting mix for cacti and succulents. We also have developed our own mix for carnivorous plants, African violets and orchids, just to name a few.”
And speaking of soil, here’s another thing plant buyers may not realize: When you purchase a big, beautiful plant, chances are it’s ready to be replanted. “I often tell people that by the time a plant is at a retail store ready for the customer to purchase, it's also ready to be replanted into a larger pot,” Leslie explains. “And so we always offer to pot up people's newly purchased plants right there on the spot.”
Leslie says the top four things people do that keep their houseplants from thriving are:
1. Using the wrong type of soil for the plant
2. Keeping it in its original pot
3. Under- or over-watering
4. Giving it too much or not enough light
Since it’s sad to buy a beautiful plant just to watch it wilt and die, Leslie is happy to answer any questions you have about your ailing plant. She also offers classes and workshops on what she calls “botanical crafting,” such as building terrariums or succulent bowl gardens. And if you have a group of plant-loving friends, Leslie can help you organize a custom botanical crafting class, complete with munchies and wine.
“That's what we're offering here,” Leslie says. “We're not just a store to sell things and make money. At the end of the day, we want to help people get the most out of having these green living, breathing, wonderful things in their home.”
Botany Houseplant Shop
586 Colorado Highway 133, Carbondale