Tigard Business Spotlight
Entering Laura Renecker’s MI Home Nest in downtown Tigard is akin to stepping into a tropical rain forest.
While there are no chirping birds, there are tropical fish swimming in an aquarium, hundreds of plants and high humidity.
While selling plants, including rare plants, is her main focus, she also sells crystals, candles, containers and soil, and because she knows plants inside and out, she can help folks with their ailing plants, diagnosing problems and offering “rehab” and solutions.
Just call Renecker the Plant Doctor, although it is her second career.
“I was always a plant person, but my background is in accounting and law,” she said. “I always wanted to have my own business and came up with a business plan… Now my business is 60 to 70 percent plants, and the rest is décor and products to help you nest at home.”
When people come in with ailing plants, Renecker said the cause is usually the soil, the light or the amount of moisture. In her shop, she uses and sells a special soil that doesn’t retain excessive moisture, because too much can mean death to plants.
Walking around the shop, Renecker points out some of the many plants for sale, including ferns, peperomia, prayer plants, dieffenbachia, fichus, schefflera, snake plants, cacti, succulents myrtle (which is like bonsai), peace lily, dracaena, pilea, hoya, begonia, air plants, pothos, tradescantia and alocasia.
“We grow the rare plants ourselves and keep the mother plant, selling the plants locally and online,” Renecker said. “The rest we get from nurseries.”
And instead of using insecticides, Renecker relies on predatory mites, which are contained in small bags hanging all over the store. The minuscule mites eat all the bad bugs in plants and the soil and nothing else, and people can buy them too.
To celebrate Mother’s Day, candles are 20 percent off, and if you buy a plant and pot, you get 20 percent off. Unlike giving fresh flowers, “if you kill the plant, you still have the pot,” Renecker said. And four times a year, all plants on the middle table are 40 percent off, with the next sale set for June 24-27.
MI Home Nest is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.