The Sill Review: From Black Thumb to Proud Plant Parent
We can’t help but envy the people with that life on Instagram. You know the one: peppered with perfectly decorated acai bowls, designer dogs, and impeccable interiors lush with healthy houseplants. We want that life. But we’ve always figured, if we don’t have the time to make our own cashew milk, then we certainly have no business looking after a plant either.
The Sill is betting otherwise. The houseplant delivery brand boasting the most aspirational of Instagram grids (and more than half a million followers) has made a thing of marketing itself as a wellness and self-care company that will set you up with a starter plant and the support needed to make it thrive.
It’s a lovely idea and one we’d love to really believe in. So we put the brand’s #plantsmakepeoplehappy theory to the test by ordering our very first houseplant from the site. We admit: Choosing the right plant took a minute, partially because we felt great responsibility bringing a living thing into our home and partially because we had no idea what we were doing. Thankfully, the site is set up to help with the latter, with filters to pare down options based on pet friendly, potted, and plan size options. A quick description of each plant’s needs (“Medium to bright indirect light” for example) helped further winnow the scope. Our choice? A Brazilian seven-inch Calathea Rattlesnake baby housed in a pale gray earthenware pot with drainage holes and saucer ($68), which all sounds very professional, but the site promised it only needed watering about once a week.
About that great responsibility we felt during the ordering process: It severely dissipated by the time the plant arrived in the mail nearly a week after ordering. Maybe if we were stay-at-home plant parents we wouldn’t have left it in the box for three days after delivery, or completely neglected it in a window sill for another five or so days, for that matter. Hey, it was a busy week in which we were hardly home. But guess what? It lived.
After we finally gave it water — and noticed how the thing flexed its leaves toward sunlight, then fanned out on hazier days — we became fascinated by its resilience and responsive nature. Suddenly, we found ourselves combing through The Sill’s succinct plant care articles, which taught us how to modify feedings as seasons change and mitigate pest infestation. We could feel our thumbs turning green as we learned and nearly a month later, our Rattlesnakes is still going strong.
Overall, The Sill experience has been a positive one: Excellent customer service allowed us to painlessly change our order 24 hours after placing it. Through some sort of packaging wizardry, the 10-plus pound potted plant arrived without a scratch. (If the shipping process is not so fortuitous, the brand will replace plants that die within two weeks or arrive in busted pots.) Plus, we’re comforted knowing dedicated expert advice is just an email away should our plant take a turn for the worse. Not that we’ll call on the brand for all of our houseplant needs. Nearly $70 is a lot to spend on a houseplant (we found similar and larger options — albeit housed in plastic containers — at a nursery for about $20). The six-day turnaround time (two of which the plant spent in transit) can feel like forever in a world that runs on Amazon Prime.
Still, The Sill has been a game changer. It fed us the perfect cocktail of aspiration and education to think we could become successful plant people — and actually pull it off. What’s more, it may have made us a little cocky: We’re already setting our sites on additional apartment-friendly flora to bring into the fold.