Inside Look: Tennessee Tropicals

Tennessee Tropicals Owner, Calvin Owen

Monsteras, philodendrons, and pathos, oh my! While these may sound like the beginnings of a Harry Potter spell, they’re all different types of plants. These tropical wonders can be found all over the world in rainforests, beaches, and even your home and Tennessee Tropicals, a hidden gem nursery right outside Nashville.

Whether you’re new to the plant game, or a fertilized plant parent, Tennessee Tropicals in Springfield, TN has got everything you need and some of what you didn’t know you wanted. Calvin Owen Jr., Owner of Tennessee Tropicals, has been interested in plants since he was about eight years old. “My dad had me out in the yard in the ’90s, and I had a little plant bed where I started planting seeds, and every year the bed would get bigger. After two years, I started noticing butterflies and hummingbirds- nature interacting with my plants, and I got into it.”


Certified Plant Lover

As Owen grew, so did his love for plants. He quickly started adding more and more tropical plants to his collection, but he noticed, since he didn’t have the proper storage for his collection in the winter, he would lose a great deal of growth in his plants. Some didn’t come back as vibrant, and others didn’t come back at all. “So, by the time I was 15, I and my dad built my first greenhouse… Every year I’d work in the summer and add another section to it. It started off 14 by 25, and it ended 14 by 50 by the time I was 18. And it just went from there.” Fun fact: this is the same greenhouse that you can see on the property when you visit Tennessee Tropicals.


The Ultimate Self-Care

Though becoming a plant parent, or even adding to your growing collection, can be expensive, Owen says it is a great investment for a myriad of reasons. “Plants help with anxiety and stress. For mental health, they’re helpful for creating that ‘destress place’… it’s very therapeutic just to take care of your plants– maintain them and watch them grow.” Along with the added health benefits of owning plants, air-purifying qualities, and more. Working in a garden or tending to the plants around the house is a great way to unplug from the world, and connect with nature. 


Make It A Day Trip

Now that Owen has told us why it’s beneficial to be a plant owner, it’s important to know why you should be a Tennessee Tropicals plant owner. With such a large variety of plants, and I do mean large, it’s almost impossible not to find the perfect plant for you. Whether you’re looking for something small and dainty for your nightstand, a statement piece to fascinate your guests, or just something different to catch your own eye, Tennessee Tropicals in Springfield has it. If this wasn’t enough to excite you about this little slice of paradise up the road, Owen says he’s excited to expand the plant variety as well as build a pond to bring in some freshwater stingrays this summer. In the next two to four years, there will be a display garden that will allow people to come to visit these rare plants in their mature form and see nature, like birds and butterflies, interact with the plants. Just be sure to make an appointment first. 


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