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The Flower Show

PHS Gardener Highlight: Plant & People's Holistic Approach to Health and Wellness

February 23, 2024

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By Melissa O’Brien 

In the heart of West Philadelphia lies a haven for plant enthusiasts and wellness seekers alike: Plant & People. Founded in December 2020, this plant and wellness boutique offers a diverse array of botanical delights, from vibrant houseplants to herbal products, coupled with educational classes and community outreach initiatives. In a recent interview with the founders, Cherron Thomas and Amma Thomas, we delved into their journey, their involvement with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), and their upcoming presentation at the renowned PHS Philadelphia Flower Show

A Family Passion for Horticulture 

Plant & People is a Black-owned business started by a mother and daughter plant-loving duo looking to share their passion for plant life in their own community. Cherron's daughter Amma shares the genesis of Plant People, stating, "We are a plant and wellness boutique in West Philadelphia. We have a brick-and-mortar location as well as an online store." Rooted in a passion for horticulture nurtured since childhood, their connection with PHS runs deep, stemming from early participation in horticultural programs during Amma's homeschooling years. 

Their engagement extends beyond commerce, reflecting a commitment to community and sustainability. Amma elaborates on their involvement with community gardens, citing the Hansberry Garden in Germantown as a catalyst for their business. She emphasizes the significance of community gardens as accessible spaces fostering local engagement and camaraderie. 

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Integrating Plants into Holistic Health Practices 

At the forefront of Plant & People's ethos is the integration of plant wellness with holistic health practices. Cherron, Amma's mother, underscores their family's extensive experience in the natural health industry, spanning over 50 years. "Plant medicine has always been very integral in my life," Cherron says, highlighting the dual focus on medicinal plants and the mental health benefits of plant care. 

Their forthcoming presentation at the Flower Show's Know to Grow series promises to delve deeper into the intersection of plants and health. Cherron sheds light on their approach, emphasizing a holistic view of plant wellness encompassing nutrition, healing, and self-care. "Plants are a viable option for well-being," she says, advocating for a "plant-y lifestyle" that embraces the multifaceted contributions of plants to human and environmental health. 

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Cultivating Connection at One Art Community Center 

Beyond their business endeavors, Plant & People actively promotes community engagement and environmental stewardship. Amma discusses their annual event, the Big *** Plant Sale (BAPS), held at the vibrant One Art Community Center. With a focus on connecting plant enthusiasts and supporting local nonprofit organizations, BAPS exemplifies Plant & People's mission to cultivate a greener, more connected community. 

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Nurturing Wellness Through Plants and Community 

In closing, Cherron offers advice for those eager to embark on a plant-centric journey: "Stop into a local plant shop, check out books on gardening, and explore educational programs." She emphasizes the transformative power of small actions in nurturing both personal wellness and community vitality. 

As Plant & People continues to flourish and inspire, their commitment to fostering a thriving ecosystem of plant enthusiasts and wellness advocates serves as a beacon of hope and resilience in an ever-changing world. With roots firmly planted in community, compassion, and cultivation, Plant & People embodies the essence of wellness in every leaf and bloom. 

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