What are Fancy Plants?

Fancy Plants takes regular house plants, succulents, air plants, and mosses, and turns them into expressions of living art for your home, dorm, studio, or office. Nature makes it beautiful, we make it fancy.  


What are succulents?

Succulents are a wide variety of plants that are characterized by thick fleshy leaves. The leaves are an adaptation which helps the plant retain water in arid conditions. Just like in their natural setting, succulents like full sun, so a south or east facing window is best. In spring and summer they can be moved outside, however they can be burned by the summer heat. Succulents require very little water, have numerous distinct looks, and have become a very popular choice to grow for decoration and display.


What are cacti?

Cacti are a specialized group of succulents that are able to survive in extremely dry conditions. Unlike succulents, that still produce leaves, most cacti only have spines which protect them from animals and aid in retaining water. Preferring full sun, cacti do best in south or east facing window. In spring and summer cacti can go outside, however make sure it stays above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night and  the soil does not stay too wet from morning dew. Cacti require very little water and grow slowly so they are a good choice for novice plant caretakers.


What is clubmoss?

Clubmosses, despite their common name, are not mosses. While being evergreen and looking like small pine trees, clubmosses are actually more like ferns, preferring shade, moist soil, and reproduce by releasing spores. Place clubmosses away from direct sunlight or in north or west facing windows. Clubmosses are hardy plants that can survive most of the year outside, as long as they are kept in the shade.  As ornamental plants clubmosses are uncommon, however they provide a unique look for a home, dorm room, studio, or office.      


What are mosses?

Mosses are tiny, shade and moisture loving plants that commonly grow together in loosely connected clumps. Because mosses get their nutrients from water they absorb through their stems, they are very sensitive to water quality and their environment. Keep mosses away from direct sunlight or in a north or west facing window. Mosses can be outside in the spring and fall as long as their soil stays moist and they are in the shade. Commonly used but difficult to maintain, mosses can provide a burst of color, a classic rustic look, or be combined with stones for tranquil mosscapes.   


What are lichen?

Lichen are not plants, they are bacteria, algae, and fungi, living together in a symbiotic relationship. Similar to plants, the algae or bacteria parts of lichen use sunlight for photosynthesis while the fungi parts anchor and absorb nutrients from the environment. Durable, lichen are able to survive a wide range of temperatures and can handle partial sun to shade. Common for rustic ornamental decoration, lichen either alive or dried, always add a fascinating look to any piece.


What is a terrarium?

A terrarium is a closed or open container, usually glass, in which plants are grown and displayed.  


What is kokedama?

Kokedama is a variation of the Japanese bonsai arts, in which a plant is contained in soil that is wrapped with moss. Often kokedama are hung with string but they can be displayed in terrariums or flat plates.   


How much do I water my plant?

Cacti and succulents do not require a lot of water, while houseplants, clubmoss and mosses like to stay moist. How much you water your Fancy Plants depends on the types of plants and the containers they are in.

Containers that can drain excess water – Water liberally and allow excess water to drain out

Containers that can not drain – Wet the soil enough that all the water is absorbed and contained within the soil. Water lightly, since the water can not drain out

Kokedama – Lightly mist the surface moss every few days, soak the entire moss ball, plant side up, for 15 minutes once a week.   


How often do I water my plant?

Cacti – Water once a month, or when soil becomes completely dry.

Succulents – Water twice a month, or when soil becomes completely dry.

Houseplants – Water once a week, keep soil moist.

Clubmosses – Water once a week, keep soil moist.

Mosses – Lightly mist every few days, keep moss moist.


Why is my plant dropping leaves?

Many plants when stressed will drop a few leaves even though the plant healthy. If the plant is dropping a majority of leaves, this is a sign of a problem Sometimes this can be a sign of overwatering. If the leaves are curling at the tips and drying out, in addition to dropping, underwatering may be the issue.


Why is there white stuff at the bottom of my terrarium?

Terrariums can not drain water and it is easy to create the environment where unwanted molds can grow. Having mold invade a terrarium is a very common problem.  If a stringy white mold starts to appear either on top of the mosses or in the bottom of the terrarium, stop watering and try to let the terrarium dry out. If the terrarium is closed, take off the lid. If possible, try to take the mold out by removing things that it is growing on, stir the soil to irritate, and as a last resort, create a 9 10 1 water to bleach solution to directly spray the mold. Be careful with the solution, it may kill any mosses or plants that are in the terrarium. 


Why is my plant turning yellow / brown?

For succulents, leaves turning yellow is a common sign that the succulent has been over watered. Stop watering the plant until the soil has completely dried out.

For houseplants, turning yellow or brown is a common sign that the plant needs to be watered. Check the soil to see if the plant needs watering, if so water it more frequently, but remember if the container can drain excess water.

For moss, yellow or brown can be many things, too much much sunlight, not enough water, or impurities in the water. Keep your moss out of direct sunlight and in the shade as much as possible. If your moss is a part of a terrarium with a plant that needs sun, point the moss side away from the light. The moss should be soft and slightly moist if you touch it.  Tap water may have trace chemicals in it that can harm moss. Rainwater for moss is best since it contains minerals that the moss can absorb. However using rainwater be not always be a convenient option. Reverse osmosis filtered water can be used if your tap water is the issue.


Why is my moss turning black?

This can be a sign of a combination of problems, too much water and mold. First, immediately take out the black moss so it does not spread. Check the terrarium to see if there is an excess of water. If you have a glass container, try to see if water is pooling at the at the bottom. Give the terrarium a chance to dry out, if it is a closed terrarium take the lid off. Moss likes to stay in the shade and damp, but they can handle a dry spells, more sun, and lower temperatures longer than many of the molds that can get into terrariums.    


Why are the leaves on my succulent curling up?

This is a sign that the succulent needs to be watered. Feel the leaves, if they feel dry, weak, or soft, the plant needs to be watered. However, if the succulent is in a container that does not drain excess water, be careful not to over-water it.


Why is my succulent growing so fast?

Succulents come out of dormancy with the right amount of sunlight and warm temperatures, so they can begin to rapidly grow suddenly in spring or summer. However, if the succulent begins to dramatically change shape and look stretched out, this could be a sign that it is not getting enough sunlight, or there is too much water in its soil.  


Is my plant dying?

One of the best ways to check on the health of your plant is the feel it. This may not be possible with cacti, they have this thing about being touched. Succulents and cacti should feel plump and sturdy. Brittle, dry leaves, also leaves and stems that are turning black or brown are all bad signs. Mosses should look green (unless its dried moss) feel soft, and be slightly moist. Succulents, when stressed, may drop a few leaves while the plant itself is still healthy. If a succulent is losing most of its leaves, there is a problem.

For succulents and  house plants, lookout for rapid leaf loss, browning, or blackening of the steam or leaves, and the plant having a  drooping appearance.

For mosses, look for color changes or if the clump of moss that looks like it is losing size and puffiness.

For containers that do not drain water that have to be keep moist, be on the lookout for white mold or other growths that may suddenly appear in the container.


Is my plant alive?

Succulents and especially cacti can go into dormancy periods that are longer than the average house plant. Cacti, because of their shape and long dormant periods, can look like they are not doing anything at all. Houseplants should have new growths and get larger in the spring and summer months. Mosses and clubmosses are small and grow very slowly. When the conditions are right for them they will produce small stalks to release spores.  


Will I have to repot my plant?

All Fancy Plants are put into containers where they can grow larger, however, given enough time and the right conditions, they will grow and need to be potted again. If the plants roots begin to grow out of the bottom or top of its container, or the plant becomes too big for its container, it is time to repot it.

For cacti and succulents: Make sure to use Cacti and Succulent soil and get a container that is only about an inch to 2 inches bigger than the original container. You can make a mixture of ⅔ succulent soil and ⅓ sand to repot them into.

For houseplants: Use indoor potting soil.

To Repot: Remove the decor and carefully work the plant out of the container. In the new container, put the plant at the same depth in the soil that it was in its previous container. Wait at least a week before watering succulents in their new pots, for houseplants clubmosses and mosses, water immediately.


How much sun does my plant need?

Cacti and succulents need a lot of sun and are better facing a south or west facing window

Houseplants do well with full to partial sun, mostly depending on the plant. They do best in east or west facing windows

Mosses and Clubmosses are shade loving plants and do better away from windows and direct sunlight, or in north or west facing windows.


How do I purchase Fancy Plants?

The Fancy Plants team will be attending several vendor and art events in the DE/PA/MD area, check our website often for dates and locations

Fancy Plants are available through 

New Valley Nursery and Design, a part of Leon’s Garden World 

Maisy’s Market LLC


How do I return Fancy Plants?

We can not accept returns, however, if you have a question or need advice for your plant, email us at plantsfancy@gmail.com and we’ll be happy to help you.