When you’re no good at plants, bringing home a new one can be daunting. From knowing where to put it, to how often you should water it, there are so many ways to get it wrong. And the results can be fatal.
Even the simple act of moving your plant from the nursery-supplied plastic pot to a prettier, more permanent one can cause dropped or yellowing leaves, wilting, and, in some cases, death. Beau Micallef and partner Joe D’Aspromonte launched Vine Boy with this in mind.
The plant and gift delivery service includes potting as standard, so when your new green baby arrives it’ll be ready to go – no traumatic transplants required.
“We started with a really shitty name that was a nod to Joe’s Italian heritage – it’s that bad I don't even want to tell you,” Micallef says. “After running through countless brainstorm sessions and word clouds, we were walking our dogs and I blurted out ‘Vine Boy’. It stuck.”
The focus is on seasonal indoor varieties that are easy to look after, such as the Ficus Elastica, with its broad, shiny green fronds; and the dramatic Snake Plant, which has tall, spear-like striped leaves.
Pots are all simple, white designs, which keeps extravagant price points at bay – most potted plants come in at a very decent $39, with some larger varieties costing $69.
Once you’ve chosen your plant, you can add a selection of local products. There’s skincare by Grown Alchemist, St Ali coffee beans, organic dark chocolate from Hunted and Gathered and scented candles by Moss.
“All the brands are Australian designed and made,” Micallef says. “We plan on keeping as much as we can home-grown and connected to our community.”
You can even throw in some booze. Salted Caramel Espresso Martinis, Negronis, Margaritas and Amaretto Sours are by Melbourne Martini, and wine comes from Zig Zag Road, a family-run producer that favours biodynamic and minimal intervention practices.
“They’re based up in the Macedon region and welcomed us to their cellar door with warm, open arms and the most approachable, unpretentious take on viticulture,” says Micallef. Micallef and D’Aspromonte have been developing Vine Boy since Micallef left Frank Green earlier this year, where he was the global customer experience manager. But he credits D’Aspromonte, a primary school teacher, with the idea for Vine Boy.
“He struggled to find any one site that ticked all the boxes,” Micallef says. “Accessible pricing for plants, potting as a standard feature, free delivery over a certain threshold, weekend delivery, and gifts that we would actually buy.”
In the future, expect more local collabs, a wider range of plants and pots, and the option to customise your plant-pot combo.
Weekday delivery within 25 kilometres of Melbourne CBD is free for all orders over $75, otherwise a $10 fee is charged. Order by 9pm for next-day delivery.