Orono plant shop expands, continues community education efforts

The owner hopes the success she’s already seen continues to blossom.
Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 4:09 PM EDT
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - A shop in Orono is planting its roots in a new location just a few doors down from the original store.

The owner hopes the success she’s already seen continues to blossom.

“I want to create a place where people can come and have an experience and learn and build a community, and this is just the beginning of that in Orono,” said owner and founder of Mainely Succulents, Lauren Tuell.

Tuell’s passion for teaching and plants isn’t necessarily new.

What started with leftover succulents from her own wedding has now grown into a popular spot on Main Street in Orono.

“If you come in here it’s not just a plant shop. We’re an experience, we actually teach you how to plant that. We have these little signs kicking around that say choose your plant, choose your pot, and ask us to make your plant baby for you,” Tuell said.

Tuell took what she learned from growing food with her dad as a kid and added a Master Gardener class with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Now, she wants to share her knowledge with the community.

“I actually learned through failure like everyone. You actually have to kill a lot of plants to learn what not to do, and now I teach that to everyone,” Tuell said.

“Lauren has honestly taught me most about plants, and about life too,” said Mainely Succulents plant doctor Kaylee Porter.

Tuell also wants to bust a few myths along the way.

“Succulents are not the easiest plant. They’re drought resistant because they naturally grow in the desert. So you can ignore it and let it get completely dry, but in Maine we don’t really have enough natural light in our houses to just sit it on a table,” Tuell said.

If you’re a plant expert or a complete beginner, the staff known as the plant doctors are here to help you with what you need.

“We actually do take sick plants per se, we’ll have people bring their plants in and ask why are my leaves turning yellow, why is it looking sad,” Tuell said.

Tuell plans to have after school events, ladies nights, and engage with the University.

She and her team say they hope to be a bright presence during the long winters in Maine and after a tough year with the pandemic.

“The site of plants and that green can kind of bring a little bit of hope back in and remind you about plants coming in the spring and the new growth that’s possible,” said plant doctor Julia Gustavesen.

Mainely Succulents also does weddings and interior design throughout the area.

You can find them on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

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