A passion grew into a boutique where customers can purchase plants and also bring them in to get nursed back to health, Newsday TV's Elisa Distefano reports. Credit: Newsday/Drew Singh

Willow and Bloom, a rustic and homey houseplant boutique, has put down  decades-old roots in Wading River. 

“I’ve always had a green thumb,” says owner Chrissy Pirnak, 39, who opened her business in September.  “My dad has an amazing green thumb. I take after him.”

The shop, near the duck pond, is a plant lover’s paradise. Pirnak stocks “a lot of everyday plants,” she says, and some greens  boast a special history. They originated from cuttings from plants that belonged to Pirnak’s paternal grandmother. “Some are from a plant from her funeral in 1996,” Pirnak says.

Around the store, a former flower shop, beginners will find relatively low-maintenance plants like pothos, a trailing plant with heart-shaped leaves, syngonium, also known as arrowhead vine, and various types of philodendron. More advanced plant parents may opt for anthurium hookeri variegated, a plant with frilly, paddle-shaped leaves. 

“I get a lot of inquiries from people who are new to plants,” she says. “They’ll say, ‘I've killed everything I've had’ or ‘I don't really know where to start.’ ” She offers tips to rookies.

“If there's any issues with anything, I have what I call a plant hospital,” says Pirnak. “People can bring a plant here for rehab.”

Before opening Willow and Bloom’s permanent home, Pirnak test-marketed her business for more than a year as a pop-up shop at nearby stores. She has enviable good timing in her favor.

The interest in houseplants has shot up like a weed since the pandemic, especially among millennials. Two-thirds of American households own at least one indoor plant, according to industry analysis.

In personal terms, the timing to commit to a full-time business was right for Pirnak, who lives “two minutes from the shop” with her husband, Jamie — who helped with renovations to the store — and their two children, ages 8 and 4, and numerous houseplants. 

Plant prices range from $8 to $75. Plants are guaranteed for 14 days. They come with matching laminated cards with care instructions. In addition to potted plants, the shop features candles, ornamental pottery, jewelry and macramé plant holders.

On Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m., Pirnak will present a handmade wood planter and holiday centerpiece workshop ($80) in collaboration with R.E.N. Design Company, at 9 Sound Rd., where the event will be held.

Willow and Bloom, 2 Sound Rd., 631-886-1701.


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