What’s the story behind your Dirty Roots?

Having been inspired by sustainable agriculture and concepts like ‘Living Soil’, Dirty Roots went about crafting an indoor plant company that redesigns and rethinks every aspect of how we live with houseplants from the ground up. We focus on sustainable practices from composting and feeding the soil food web and growing plants in water culture, to working with reclaimed and repurposed materials.

What steps did you take to create your business? 

It all happened naturally, there was no rush to make it a professional business with a strong community and online presence. We started simply with social media accounts, but a lot of people and friends were asking us about the actual website so we started slowly focusing on that as well. We are just doing what we are doing, and we are amazed by the feedback and support we are getting.

Currently, we are taking the steps to grow our customer base organically and sustainably by promoting our mission and collaborating with other like-minded artists and designers.

Do you have a favorite piece?

The Handcrafted concrete and Lava-Rock containers are our absolute favorite. The juxtaposition of the smooth concrete and the rough lava-stone standing in contrast to the plant that it supports evokes a certain otherworldly wonderment that I don’t often see in the standard houseplant community. Plus it’s really messy and fun to create them! 

What would you say inspires you the most?

We are inspired by the vastness of our universe. How, out of the fiery furnace of a thousand suns, our planet coalesced in just such a way as to bring forth life. I am inspired by how life evolved into the complexity we have today and what we can do to be a beneficial piece of that process.

Because of this, we name our concrete spheres after comets and asteroids, the creators and destroyers of planets. We name our propagating pieces after the famous botanists who have done the exciting work of studying and categorizing the plant world around us, and our botanical laboratory sets after alchemists (for obvious reasons).

What materials do you use and where do they come from? 

We use a variety of materials like concrete, rocks, glass, wood, and metal. For example, our wooden propagation stations are upcycled from reclaimed wood that would have otherwise been trashed. Our plant lab and vintage glass is locally sourced, helping to reduce our reliance on newly produced products.

The soil in all of our containers is “living soil” which means that it’s full of the natural microbiology necessary for healthy plant growth without the need for soil additives such as fertilizers.

How do you create “living soil”?

The living soil is created in house by using vermicompost from worms that we raise ourselves. This helps to turn what would otherwise be waste products into the basis for soil life that feeds and supports the plants. By doing this ourselves, we greatly reduce our carbon footprint while increasing the amount of carbon sequestering our soils and plants provide.

Can you describe what sustainability means to you?

Sustainability means allowing nature to guide practices that increase the amount of life our planet can support, not just for ourselves, but for all natural resources.