ITHACA, N.Y. — Looking to freshen up your plant collection? Local long-time florist Michaleen’s is hosting its first-ever plant swap Nov. 16 where people can bring along a plant or cutting and exchange it for something new with other attendees.

The plant swap will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16. People attending the swap won’t be able to trade for any of the shop’s plants but will have the chance to chat with other plant enthusiasts and swap with them.

This week marks 32 years in business for Michaleen’s, a florist and garden center with two greenhouses at their location at 2826 N. Triphammer Rd. in Ithaca. Owner Michaleen Herzog said they provide flowers for many local weddings and offer tropical plants in their greenhouses year-round. Herzog said a customer inspired her to host a local plant swap.

(Provided Photo)

In the past year, Herzog said she has seen a surge in young people interested in buying plants. “People just love them – and the crazier plants they can find,” she said.

Herzog said when she first got into the business over 30 years ago, green plants “were huge,” however people shifted to more fake, silk plants in the mid-80s. But now, she said she’s seeing a resurgence of green plants.

If Instagram or Pinterest are any indicators, decorating with greenery and filling spaces with plants is a popular design trend right now. Pinterest has even noted a surge in people searching for gardening and indoor plant ideas.

“People just love them,” Herzog said. So, it seemed like a good time to bring people together and host a plant swap.

To participate in the plant swap Nov. 16, people can bring a healthy plant or cutting they want to trade and find someone who is willing to swap. (To be clear, people can’t trade with any of Herzog’s inventory at the store). Michaleen’s will be offering a 20% discount on plants at the shop that day, too. Light refreshments will be provided.

(Provided Photo)

To check if the plant you want to trade is healthy, Herzog recommends taking a close look at the plant, make sure it’s a nice green, not yellowing or dropping leaves, and to inspect both sides of the leaves for insects. She also recommends people wrap their plants for transport to keep them safe from the cold.

At the upcoming plant swap, Herzog said she would love to talk to plant enthusiasts and see what other types of programs they are interested in. One idea she has for January is hosting an event in her greenhouse about plant care for tropical plants. It will also be an opportunity to enjoy some greenery in winter.

Learn more about the event on Facebook here.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.