Hello to all my golden beets out there in the web world! And Happy Wednesday.

You would think that with all the talk about going green, businesses would be lining up to add plants to their offices. It’s a plantastic way for them to go green, plus it’s a nice thing to do for their employees, as the plants clean the air and add a quiet ambiance that makes an office feel cozier.

Sadly, that hasn’t been my experience in my small plant care business, Good to Grow, here in Albuquerque. Most companies are so pinched for extra cash, that the last thing they want to do is spend any on greening up the office. Even before the recession officially began, restaurants, for example, were getting hammered with higher food costs and higher fuel costs. This was detrimental to an industry that already had paper thin profit margins. As a result, I lost all my restaurant clients over the last two years. They didn’t want to let me or the plants go, but they had to find a way to trim costs, or start laying off employees.

Before you go crying for me, please know that I understand this – I am lucky to enjoy a close relationship with my clients, I visit each office (or restaurant) once a week. I understand that when times are lean, office managers are going to start looking around for things they can cut to save money – plants, magazine subscriptions, employee parties. That’s just the way it goes. And it’s ok, because many of my clients have been thriving during the lean times. General Mills, the cereal factory, is a great example – during recessions, people eat more cereal at home, so they are growing. Then there is Superior Mortgage, which has been opening new offices left and right, each of them furnished with vibrant healthy plants. Even many clients who aren’t growing understand the importance of supporting local small businesses, so they’ve stuck with me.

I’m so thankful to all my clients who understand and appreciate how plants enhance their offices! Thanks everyone!

Still, now that spring is nearly here, I’ve begun looking for ways to grow my business.

The first step is to create a marketing tool. In my case, baby plants! Who can resist baby plants?

I pretty much always have Pothos cuttings rooting. Pothos are great plants for indoor spaces because they require very little light. Some of my clients don’t have windows in their offices, yet Pothos can still thrive there. Since they grow so fast, I’m forever pruning, pruning, pruning. I can’t bring myself to throw out the cuttings, so I root them in water.

Sometimes they stay in water so long the roots become shaped like the vase, lol! Pothos is one of many plants that can happily live in water forever. But I had something else in mind for these cuttings.

So the first thing I did was trim those roots and separate out the stems. Cutting roots is like cutting your hair – it doesn’t hurt the plant and the roots grow right back.

You might find it easier to trim the roots after you’ve separated the stems. These stems, for example, don’t need all those roots, so I trimmed them even more. Then I found a pot for them.

I used a small growers pot and planted two of the stems in it, pressing down the soil as I went along.

Now these babies will be able to settle comfortably into their new pot. I repeated the process for several other cuttings. All the babies seem happy in their new homes, but growers pots are not attractive.

So I put them in these cheerful yellow sleeves. Next is where the marketing angle comes in!

Those are my business cards on plastic florist sticks. Cute, eh? The goal is to distribute the babies to offices that could use some greenery, hopefully generating an enthusiasm for plants. But now I needed a way to carry them.

Aw, that’s just adorable. Er, if I do say so myself!

There are lots of businesses in and around Albuquerque that are growing despite the tough economic times. My goal is to find them, walk in with my basket of plants, and earn their long-term business. Wish me luck!

You may think I’m crazy for showing you this behind-the-scenes look into my small American business and my new marketing tool. But I think it’s important to share ideas – that’s what the Internet is all about, isn’t it? Gardeners willingly share their tips on their garden sites, chefs share their recipes online, crafters reveal how they created their projects. So why not me, too? If you have a business and can adapt this idea, go for it. Just don’t compete against me in Albuquerque!! Sound fair? Great, we have a deal!

I’ll return tomorrow with a new Plants 101 post, and a winner to my 100th post giveaway. If you haven’t put your name in for the prize, there’s still time. Just click here and leave your prize choice in the comments section. Until tomorrow, happy indoor gardening everyone!