A green thumb inherited from her grandfather: Riza Plants thrives in downtown Napa


Jessica Zimmer

A wide array of tropical plants thrive in Napa homes, including snake plants, Chinese evergreens, succulents, cacti, and ZZ plants, also known as Zanzibar Gems.

Alyssa Piombo, owner of Riza Plants in Napa, said the two most important factors are the amount of light in the home and the owner’s ‘plant parenting’ commitment.

“The best plants for a lower light environment are snake plants and ZZ plants. Ferns, Monstera, and Pothos plants do well a little further from a window in bright indirect light. Fiddle leaf figs and succulents grow best in direct sun.”

Piombo said Riza Plants offers everything to help a new plant owner, from plants, pots, and indoor garden supplies to plant care tips.

“If you’re new to houseplants or don’t have the best of luck with plants, don’t worry. There’s a plant for everybody.”

Piombo said houseplants come in different colors, shapes, and sizes.

“The benefits of having houseplants are that they boost your mood and creativity and improve indoor air quality. Plants also allow you to develop patience and skills in nurturing.”

A green thumb inherited from her grandfather

Piombo was first inspired by the large garden at The Parthenon Apartments, a residential complex formerly located between 2737 and 2803 Soscol Avenue.

“My grandfather, George Parras and grandmother, Ourinia Parras, owned the apartment complex in which I grew up. They bought it not long after he immigrated from Greece at 18 years old. I used to go to their house and play there all the time. He grew everything imaginable,” recalled Piombo.

Piombo said she remembers Parras gifting friends who bought a house or got married pomegranate starters and olive whips he had propagated.

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