Plant Rental 101: A Beginner's Guide

by Matthew Schechter on July 10, 2017

Event planners contact us all the time asking for greenery. Whether it's succulents for high boy tables, trees by a DJ booth, or palms for a Cabana area, the options are limitless.

So when you get overwhelmed by the choices, or the client is stonewalling you about details, what are you supposed to do? In our experience, we've discovered 5 key steps to get what you need in the easiest, fastest way possible. 



(Above: Two different types of greenery. First from Top: A blossoming Cherry Tree; Adonidia Palm Trees.

Step One: What do you need, Why do you need it?

Why would anyone need to rent a plant? Usually it's for the following reasons:

  • Greenery helps enhance brand narrative. 
  • Theme, such as Secret garden, Lush Jungle or Campfire
  • Soften bland or ugly spaces with gorgeous greens


A theme or vibe shows the event attendee what kind of experience they are going to have. This field of flowering plants was placed in front of a Hamptons art show. The natural beauty of locally blooming flowers elevated the conversation before the attendees entered the space.

Brand Narrative


These lemon trees were for a Resort collection at a popular designer's showroom in the meatpacking district. The lemon trees added to the narrative: taking the buyer to the Italian countryside, for instance. 

Soften the Space

The Bride requested decor to help beautify and hide the construction materials on either side. We created this pop-up garden to guide the couple through the space.

Step Two: Priority Spaces

Plants can transform any venue space, but if you're on a budget, there are smart ways to prioritize your decor. Doesn't matter if you are spending a hundred or half a million. Concentrate on priority spaces to maximize your plant footprint. 

(The entrance is considered a priority space by most event planners: it's an easy way to make a clear statement. Above: Plants outside the James Hotel, SoHo, NYC)

Think about the important places at a venue. For a wedding, it might be on either side of a Chuppah or Alter. For a club, it might be on either side of the DJ booth. Think about the space, and what you want your guests to be reminded of. Think about what would be fun.

Then think about your budget : ) 

Step 3: What's the Budget?

Sometime's it's hard to come up with a budget, especially if you don't know anything about plants. You don't want to toss a random number out, but you don't want to waste your time either with plans you can't afford. So here's a cheat sheet we normally give to professionals. Remember: Rental Pricing is usually half of the purchase price.

Ballpark pricing for Palm Trees, Tropicals or Evergreens

3' - 4': 45.00 - 95.00

5' - 6': 75.00 - 195.00

6' - 8': 95.00 - 250.00

8' - 10': 195.00 - 395.00


 (Different Containers - Picking the right one doesn't have to be overwhelming. Start by thinking about the correct vibe, and then think how important they will be to the client. You can scale up or down as needed.)

Containers are what the plants go into. Otherwise, they would arrive in the nursery pot. Unless you're going for that look, almost all planners want their plants in the right pot. 


Wood Square Planters - These can be painted the Benjamin Moore color of your choice. They come in any size you can think of. Estimate: 95.00  - 195.00 each. 

Matte Black (or White) Cylinder Planters - A simple, clean look for professional affairs. These cylinders can be used for corporate events, or more informal functions between friends and family. Either way, it's a classic look that lets the plant be the star. Estimated Rental Cost: 25.00 - 35.00 each.

Woven Basket - A woven basket is generally included in any plant rental price. Event planners will often request for either a woven basket or burlap wrap. This can actually look great and save money! Something to think about for your next event.

Note: We often recommend matte cylinder or wooden square or fiberglass planters for outdoor use, especially windy zones like waterfront or rooftop venues. 

Step 4: Venue and Logistics

Before you reach out to a plant vendor, it's important to know two things:

  1. The Rules of the Venue
  2. Elevator / Stair Situation 
  3. Load In / Load Out Time

Rules of the Venue: Sometimes a venue is super chill. Sometimes it's the Javits Center. On a sliding scale of "our casa is your casa" to "here's a phonebook of rules", it's good to know what's allowed and what's not. Check with the venue about any possible restrictions of the space. Does the venue need a Certificate of Insurance (COI) or any other requirement before delivery? A warehouse or gallery space most likely does not require one, but some commercial spaces do. Check with your venue to make sure.  

Elevator / Stairs: Is it a ground floor delivery, or is it a rooftop shindig? Perhaps it's on a terrace that needs the guests to climb a flight of stairs. This info is critical when considering the price for the labor. Elevators make the delivery easier, because plants and trees tend to be heavy. Imagine trying to bring them up a flight of stairs! We recommend  using seasoned professionals who know how to transport any tree to any space. 

Load in Load Out Time: Some events need the plants delivered the day before. Some can be done the same day. What are your needs with this event? Any plant rental company should be flexible with the time, however, labor during normal business hours is usually your best bet. It's more affordable and sometimes easier for venues. But if it needs to be done at 1:00 AM, it shouldn't be a problem for any reliable plant vendor.

Step 5: You're Organized. Now reach out! 

If you have the vibe, the budget and the venue info, you're ready to reach out! 

For those who are looking for an immediate quote, reach out our team at Interior Foliage. We're a small family business with over 35 years of event production experience. Give us a call, email us, or leave us a note in the comments! 


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Hi there, looking to create a tropical vibe at my wedding with plants like this:

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Have a wedding next year in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and would love to get pricing on plant rentals

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by Donna on April 30, 2020

Interested in possibly renting trees for our sons wedding in October. The venue is Liberty Warehouse in Brooklyn.

by Audra V. Pace on June 19, 2019

I am thinking of hosting a small (24ppl) wedding at a restaurant we love in September. The only problem is that their garden space is too casual. We think it could be resolved with a few plant installations. Our budget is way tight, but I would love to get some recommendations and estimates from you to see what you think is possible. Please reach out.

Thank you!

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Can I rent trees as far as maryland for a wedding?