Plain Tiger Spotlight: Sowvital

An ode to the humble house plant

By Renee Fortune

I’ve heard that if you want to know whether you’re ready to get into a serious, romantic relationship, you should start with a houseplant. If you can keep it alive for a year, it’s a sign that you’re ready to love another human. I can’t say I’ve encountered anyone who has had the patience to wait it out for a year. But I do know a few very happy, green-fingered individuals who can attest to the fact that devotion and kindness are two ingredients that provide the most fertile ground for a thriving relationship. 

As nature intended

The pandemic was a catalyst for change in many different areas. Around the world, lockdown regulations saw people who were accustomed to living life on the go, being confined to the spaces they called home. It forced us to reconsider the concept of home as cocoons of comfort, refuges, our own personal sanctuaries and the places where we feel the most safe. This shift marked the beginning of what Sowvital brand founder, Jack Lewis refers to as “the renaissance of the house plant.”

COVID saw many sworn urbanites try their hand at bringing a sense of the wild outdoors into their bedrooms, living rooms and pantries by buying and cultivating indoor shrubs and other house plants. Delicious Monsters, Strelitzias, Aloes and Peace Lilies found their way into the urban sprawl.

Around this time, experts on feng shui and psychologists joined the fray of individuals who had preached for years about the mental and emotional benefits of caring for plants and getting your fingers stuck in some good ol’ soil. Today, plants are a big part of how many people foster their personal wellbeing, create spaces they want to spend time in and practice the art of caring for the aspects of life that exist beyond ourselves. 
It all started with a fledgling pair of green fingers

Jack Lewis was no stranger to the belief that gardening and plant cultivation makes for happier, healthier people. As soon as his small hands could hold a watering can, mastering the art of good gardening is what he set out to do. 

“As a kid I was obsessed with growing endless varieties of different plants,” he says. “I used to spend hours in the local garden centre pouring over the different varieties of seeds, the gardening tools, fertilisers and accessories. I used to turn old jam jars and tins into little homes for the endless seedlings I’d be germinating on the kitchen windowsill. 

Fast forward to living in London, and I’ve now found myself surrounded by bookcases and windowsills dotted with house plants – little green pets which if cared for and properly nourished, can easily last 20+ years (something a lot of people don’t realise).”

All the green goodness your plants need

Sowvital is a “plant sciences brand,” specialising in a range of products that are designed to cleanse, nourish and feed house plants. Lewis and his team have designed the Sowvital range to cater for the ritual of taking care of plants, because he believes that people should approach plant care like they would approach skincare – a step by step process that takes time and attention to detail. 

In the range you’ll find the brand’s flagship product, a Three Step Kit consisting of an Aqua Leaf Cleanser, a House Plant Elixir and a House Plan Spritz. Using the Aqua Leaf Cleanser, you can gently remove dust and impurities on the leaves of plants while locking in moisture and promoting plant health. The Elixir (we love that name) is scientifically formulated to infuse your house plants with nutrients that will boost the plant’s metabolic system and promote healthier foliage and resilience. For the perfect finish, you can use the Spritz to promote chlorophyll formation through a unique blend of powerful botanical ingredients and nutrients.

What you will find in every Sowvital product are natural ingredients and tons of nutrients that plants need to grow and thrive. What you won’t find in any product that bears the Sowvital symbol are harsh, chemical ingredients and other nasties that harm the earth. Sowvital is vegan, enviro-conscious and free of any animal products or derivatives. And, all its packaging is made from paper that is World Land Trust carbon balanced and – soon to be – B Corp certified. It’s all the good stuff and none of the bad. All that’s needed is some horticultural magic, a bit of TLC and some positive vibes to transform your house plants from lacklustre to luscious.

Plant care, but make it posh

Sowvital’s got the creative energy we’ve always wanted in a premium plant care brand. Its packaging is beautifully designed for both function and form, with a trademark colour gradient and leaf-inspired logo that we like to think of as Mother Nature’s stamp of approval. These are not the kind of plant care products you’ll want to stash away under the sink or that famed cupboard under the stairs reserved for all things utilitarian and unsightly. You’ll want to display these front and centre and most importantly, use them, often. 
As Lewis comments: “In a market where industries like skincare are producing products that are an unmistakable joy to use, making them so easy to slot into one’s regular routines and rituals, it seemed silly not to approach plant care with this same perspective. I wanted to produce a range of products that are beautiful to look at, use, and see the results of. I found that something beautiful that I could see would inspire me to use it more regularly.”

And, if you’re a soon-to-become Sowvital kind of gardener, you’ll be delighted to know that Jack and his team refer to their customers as “Avant Gardeners” – so cute. And as Jack puts it:
“Through Sowvital I have discovered how broad the world of plant lovers is. An attraction to the natural world is undefined by age, location, and even hobbies and interests. It’s hardwired, so whether people have one plant, or a jungle, they all appreciate the ritualistic nature of caring for plants. 
For some it is an escape or a Sunday routine that grounds them. For others, it is a career – wealth of experience and knowledge combining to create a need for reliable and effective formulations that help their plants thrive. There is often a broader interest in creativity and design in our audience, however for some, just the simplicity and consistency of our products is what brings out the Avant Gardener within.”
$33.09 USD
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$30.55 USD