This week we talked to Belinda (@plantloversonly) from Queens, NY about her plant collection and how plants helped her to cope with a loss of her dog.
WATER & LIGHT (W&L): HOW DID YOU GET INTO PLANTS?
Belinda (B): It starts off as a sad story because I started collecting plants after my childhood dog passed. It helped me cope and allowed me to heal from such a devastating loss. Plants and plant people are amazing and being apart of this community has helped me through a hard time.
W&L: DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN YOU GOT YOUR FIRST PLANT AND WHAT PLANT IT WAS?
B: The first plant I ever bought was a snake plant and I still have it!
W&L: WHERE DO YOU GET MOST OF YOUR PLANTS?
B: I tend to go to my local Home Depot’s and look for plants. I also buy plants at local shops all around the city and Long Island.
W&L: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLANT SHOPS TO VISIT?
B: There’s one by my university in Suffolk county - Bb&Gg. they have a huge greenhouse and tons of plants. I love it there!
W&L: HOW MANY PLANTS DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR COLLECTION?
B: I haven’t formally counted in a while but definitely over 100!
W&L: WHAT ARE THE RAREST PLANTS THAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR COLLECTION?
B: I’m a sucker for common plants and most of my collection isn’t rare but I’d say the rarest is my rhaphidophora tetrasperma and philodendron mccolley’s finale.
W&L: WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PLANTS?
B: There’s so many to choose from and it’s so hard to pick favorites, but if I had to pick a few it would my monsteras, golden pothos, and staghorn ferns!
W&L: WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT BEING A PLANT PERSON?
B: I am in love with the plant community! Everyone is so supportive of one another and it’s filled with some of the nicest people that share the love for plants.
W&L: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU HAVE WITH PLANTS?
B: Pests! Spider mites are a nightmare and have claimed some of my collection. I treat them with 1:3 ratio of hydrogen peroxide and water and then rinse the whole plant in a tub to get rid of them. Another challenge would be watering. With so many plants sometimes it gets hard to keep track of everything and make sure everyone is hydrated!
W&L: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR PLANT SPECIALTY?
B: I’d say monsteras. I was actually very hesitant to get my first one because I thought they were difficult to care for. I decided to give it a try when I found a neglected one on sale and it has been thriving ever since!
W&L: WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 PLANT CARE TIPS?
B: My number one care tip is that care varies from plant to plant!
1. Know the conditions your plant needs and do your best to replicate its natural environment.
2. Never overwater. Overwatering can bring pests, like fungus gnats, and eventually kill your plant due to root rot.
3.Last but not least is that when you’re watering your plants, give it a thorough soak. Always pour enough water in your pot until it starts coming out of the drainage holes. This will ensure your plant is well hydrated and keep its roots healthy.
Check out Belinda's Instagram for more plant photos.