Here at The Little Botanical we are very mindful of our impact on the planet, we want to be green in more ways than one. That’s why we are continually looking at how we can improve our sustainability and this week we’d like to share our progress with you.

Our journey to improve our sustainability began two and a half years ago and we are continually striving to improve. Our aim has always been to provide our indoor plant loving tribe with the very best quality, British-grown houseplants and we aim to live up to this promise whilst also protecting our beautiful planet.

We’re very proud of the steps we’ve already taken on our mission to be more sustainable with our planet first approach. Growing the majority of our plants on our nurseries in West Sussex to reduce our carbon footprint, packing our products in fully recycled and recyclable packaging, sourcing like-minded suppliers who share our commitment to ethical and sustainable practices and recycling all of our plastic waste so that it can be made back into plant pots are just some of the measures we take to ensure our sustainability and lessen any negative impact on our planet. And this week we want to tell you in a bit more detail, about our most recent step. Keep reading to learn more about our journey to peat-free houseplants.

The Journey to Peat Free Indoor Plants

At The Little Botanical, moving to peat free soil is a huge part of our sustainability strategy and is a very important step on our journey to net zero horticulture. After more than two years of experimenting and developing we are so happy to have found the perfect peat free soil mix that keeps our houseplants happy, healthy and growing beautifully.

It hasn’t been as easy as it sounds but we have persevered and are now oh so happy to be able to bring you our range of peat free houseplants.

Some of you may already be aware of the benefits of moving away from peat, but equally many of you may have questions about the use of peat in soil and why peat free is better. So, let us tell you a little more about the reasons for moving to peat free soil, how it impacts the houseplants and what it means for us as a business.

What is Peat?

Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation or organic matter and it is found in unique landscapes such as bogs and moors, collectively known as peatlands. These peatlands, which cover 3.7million square kilometres, are very special and unique landscapes as they act as carbon stores, form habitats for many types of wildlife and control flooding. Sadly, when peat is extracted from these peatlands, for a number of reasons including for use in compost, the landscape is negatively impacted, sometimes irreversibly.

When peat is harvested large amounts of stored carbon dioxide are released which adds to greenhouse gas levels. Given that peat grows back at just 1mm a year, it is a non-renewable resource meaning peat mining is not sustainable.

Why Peat Free?

Given all that is now known about the negative environmental impact that is caused by peat-mining, moving to peat-free soil is a very important step on the journey to net zero horticulture and will pave the way to a more sustainable growing strategy across the whole horticulture sector.  In fact, the government target is to remove peat from all commercial horticulture by 2027. As a grower-owned, online houseplant brand, we are proud to say that here at The Little Botanical, we are leading the way in removing peat from all of our houseplants. After two and a half years of trialling and testing we are happy to say that we have found a soil recipe that ensures our plants have the perfect conditions in which to thrive and we are confident that we will be able to transition most of our varieties to peat-free, including the rooting and propagation of many popular varieties.

Peat-free soil is porous and allows for good drainage and aeration resulting in healthy, vibrant and long-lasting houseplants. This is great news for you plant lovers out there because you can confidently buy our green beauties safe in the knowledge that your purchase will have as low an environmental impact as possible. And you’ll still get all the gorgeous green style that you’ve come to know and love from The Little Botanical.

How Does This Decision Impact You as a Company?

Our journey to peat-free has not been an obstacle free path. Peat free soil behaves very differently to soil containing peat and so producing the same quality plants has, at times, been quite the challenge. But thanks to a lot of hard work combined with the breadth of growing experience that we have at TLB, we can very happily say that our customers can confidently buy peat free houseplants of the same high quality that they have come to expect from The Little Botanical safe in the knowledge that they are making an eco-friendly choice.

What percentage of products will be grown with peat-free compost?

We are pleased to say that we are now planting all of our beautiful botanicals in peat free compost and we are also rooting many of them in the same peat free compost. Some of our products are rooted by specialist growers on the continent and do still contain a small amount of peat but we are working with these growers in order to help them transition to 100% peat free. The product description for each plant will identify whether they are 97% or 100% peat free.

How does peat free compost impact the houseplants?

As we’ve said earlier in the blog, peat free compost is porous and allows for good drainage and aeration meaning your houseplants will grow and thrive happily in peat free soil. The lack of peat in the compost is likely to mean that your plants will need more frequent watering so it’s a good idea to check the soil more regularly at first to get used to the watering schedule.

What’s next on your peat free journey?

Our peat free journey isn’t over yet, we know there is still more to do both within TLB and in the industry as a whole. Internally we are very happy with the progress we’ve made so far and we are now working to improve our peat free options for specific plant varieties. We are also committed to helping the wider industry and so, to that end we are working with and supporting the RHS Peat Free Fellowship to help the broader horticultural sector transition to peat free and to better understand other alternatives to peat and assess whether they can offer a more sustainable solution.

Shop Peat Free Houseplants at The Little Botanical

Introducing our peat free range, the same high-quality houseplants, potted in the same stylish ceramics now with no peat for the eco-friendly, planet first choice.

Our full range of peat free indoor plants can be browsed here, but rest assured that many of our most popular varieties are already available.

Whether you’re looking for a retro Spider Plant or an easy-care Sansevieria, a colourful Croton, a trailing Devil’s Ivy or a vibrant Dracaena, a feathery Boston Fern or an alluring Blue Star Fern, our peat-free range has got you covered.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about our peat free journey and can now enjoy shopping our range even more knowing that you are choosing sustainable houseplants. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about our peat free journey, our broader sustainability plans or our peat free range. We’d love to hear from you, drop us a line at [email protected].