Christan Summers in Tula’s Brooklyn showroom.

More than just cool home décor, plants are living and breathing companions that thrive when treated properly. Thus is the whole basis of Tula, a Brooklyn-based plant showroom and design house started by Christan Summers and Ivan Martinez. We recently spent the day at the sun-soaked Tula showroom, where we shot Aquazzura’s spring collection of desert-inspired footwear among the well-curated selection of exotic house plants.

Between takes, we couldn’t help but glean knowledge from Christan, whose passion for all things green and growing is infectious. “People say, ‘Oh I always kill plants!’” she told us shortly after we made a similar remark. “But, no—you can do it! It’s about giving people the right set of tools. So many places don’t educate their customers; they don’t ask questions. You can’t just tell someone to water a plant once a week without knowing the environment in which they live.”

Below, we share some Plant Care 101 from Christan, plus some of our favorite plants available for purchase from the Tula showroom, online shop, and roaming plant truck. For the full story about Tula featuring Aquazzura’s spring collection, click here.

Don’t Overwater
“Overwatering is the main killer of plants. People don’t get to know their soil, which is why our tagline is ‘finger your plants.’ Literally, stick your finger in and get to know what’s going on! I can’t tell you when to water your plant, because I don’t live in your environment. Get to know the soil rather than following basic instructions.”

Begonia Escargort
Pictured: Begonia Escargot

Always Drain
“Drainage holes are key. I know some pots look better without one, but you need one. When they don’t drain, it takes longer for the soil to dry out. A drainage hole means it’s harder to overwater.”

Notocactus Magnificus
Pictured: Balloon Cactus

Not Too Roomy
“There’s a misconception that you need a big pot to make room for the roots, but plants don’t actually need a ton of soil and huge pots. If there’s too much, the soil retains a ton of moisture, which makes it more susceptible to root rot. If you water and two days later the soil is already dry, that means it’s time to repot because it’s become mostly roots in there.”

Ponytail Palm
Pictured: Ponytail Palm

“Plants thrive on at atmosphere that feels like home. We want people to understand that plants are part of our environment and affected by the same things that we are. For example, if you’re house is super dry and dusty, your plant feels that. Maybe it’s time to invest in a humidifier—not just for your plants, but for yourself!”

Rex Begonia
Pictured: Rex Begonia