Vinkovci-Based Biljke.Plants Conquers Five Larger Cities

Lauren Simmonds


July the 8th, 2024 – Croatian entrepreneurship has been on the up for some time now, and the Vinkovci-based Biljke.Plants has made quite the name for itself.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Roksandic writes, regardless of whether they’re for plant lovers or those who can’t manage to keep their plants alive, terrariums are the ideal solution because they’re self-sustaining ecosystems in beautiful glass containers.

According to Ana Hrgovčić, the owner of the Vinkovci-based brand Biljke.Plants, which specialises in the production of plant terrariums in a bottle, her customers are divided into huge lovers of plants and those who even manage to kill cacti.

“After the coronavirus pandemic, everyone started buying plants en masse. I think that people lacked contact with nature and became aware of the effect that living plants and the colour green have on the psyche. What we concluded is that most people like terrariums because they;re an innovative way of keeping plants that enables their continuous growth and longevity, and they’re a solution for accidental cactus killers. Of course, cactus killers would also be good plant owners if they chose a plant that fits their space and if they were careful with watering,” explained Hrgovčić.

Hrgovčić learned how to make a plant terrarium in a bottle quite by accident while surfing the Internet. Soon after that, her interest in indoor plants was awakened and she opened an Instagram profile called Biljke.Plants where she wrote instructions for maintaining indoor plants.

biljke.plants took on a life of its own

“I did the same thing that every person who discovers plants does, but I still stood out from the majority and started a serious company specialising in making plant terrariums in a bottle and making them as business gifts in a box with a logo,” said the owner of the brand.

She entered the typically choppy entrepreneurial waters in pandemic-dominated 2020 when she was 22 years old. From the initial production in Vinkovci, she reached five branches across five Croatian cities: Split, Zagreb, Rijeka, Pula and Osijek. In addition to Biljke.Plants branches, they also have an online store.

“Expanding to other cities enabled me to produce a product that is of high quality and that is long-lasting. Terrariums are a solution for all those who aren’t comfortable with the maintenance of plants, for those who don’t really have good conditions in the office or at home for plants, and for those who want an original unisex gift. The terrarium isn’t immortal, because it’s still a living plant, but it’s a perennial plant that succeeds better and longer for the type of customers I mentioned previously than other plants,” said Hrgovčić.

Starting her own business, she said, wasn’t very difficult even though she didn’t have much entrepreneurial background, but that is exactly why she started everything with the idea that she had nothing to lose. Today, she has employees and students with her, making up a total team of 12 people.

“I threw myself head first into entrepreneurship, I interrupted my studies, I moved to Zagreb and worked from 24 hours per day in order to build what I have now – a successful company that plants plant terrariums all over Croatia with quality and dedication. The fact that I had earned capital from several business collaborations that I worked on while I was still in the phase of just being a plant enthusiast made it easier for me to sail into entrepreneurial waters. Somehow I knew that this would work, I didn’t allow myself to believe that all the effort, risk and work would go to waste,” testified Hrgovčić.

Creating a terrarium is a creative gardening process that only takes about 15 minutes. During the production process in Vinkovci, they always try to prepare all the materials for work in advance so that the planting is as quick as possible.

To make a terrarium, it’s necessary to prepare a high-quality substrate, i.e. soil that contains enough nutrients for the growth of plants for a long period of time, and to arrange soil that is neither too hard nor too loose. The most common buyers of terrariums are women, who mostly buy them as gifts,” testifies Hrgovčić.

“However, men aren’t far behind either, but they buy terrariums for themselves more often. Terrariums are extremely popular as a business gift because they’re a sustainable choice that can be given to both sexes, and it’s great that they can be kept in offices and are always in sight of the person you gave it to,” said the owner of the brand.

the bilje.plants business experience taught her a lot…

In order to make that business gift even more special, Biljke.Plants made it possible to personalise it with engraving on cork, with logo stickers, pendants with instructions for terrarium care, decorative ribbons with print and in the colour of the brand, and with decorative lines of sand in the colour of the customer’s brand inside the terrarium.

The materials they use for production are purchased from across Europe, and they independently mix the substrate and plant the plants in their own characteristic way. In smaller quantities, they also buy materials from Croatian producers.

“We collect micro quantities ourselves. Especially when we have themed terrariums such as marine souvenirs for branches in Split, Rijeka or Pula. Then we use pebbles and shells collected on local beaches,” explained Hrgovčić, admitting that sometimes inquiries lead to new ideas. That was the case after they had an inquiry from an IT company and they started maintaining the plants in their offices.

“I must admit that we learned a lot in the field with them and their office plants. We’ll see what the market will need in the coming period and we’ll probably try to answer that problem too. There are a lot of ideas to mull over”, concluded Hrgovčić.


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