This week we talked to Estela (@plantifulabode) from New York City.
WATER & LIGHT (W&L): HOW DID YOU GET INTO PLANTS?
My husband Brian and I first got into plants when we bought our first home in Long Island. I was interested in plants for both their aesthetic appeal- bringing the green indoors (especially during long bleak winters)- but also for the health benefits they provide, like purifying stale indoor air. We now have a lot of space and light for plants to grow in our new home and have placed them in our bedrooms, living room, home office and bathrooms. They’re a big part of the house now and we couldn’t imagine living in a space without plants like we used to in the city.
W&L: DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN YOU GOT YOUR FIRST PLANT AND WHAT PLANT IT WAS?
I got a small cactus in college as it was easy to take care of. It survived the neglect I put it through in my early twenties!
W&L: WHERE DO YOU GET MOST OF YOUR PLANTS?
We like shopping wholesale online for plants as you can often buy them in bulk and get them at lower prices (like air plants) but there is something special about going into a brick & mortar plant store and being able to touch different plants and see their unique characteristics up close and personal.
W&L: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLANT SHOPS TO VISIT?
Greenhouses are my favorite as you’re surrounded by plants and can almost feel yourself getting lost amongst them. It’s just a cool shopping experience. One of my favorite greenhouses is on the drive to Port Jefferson in Long Island. There are also great farms out in Long Island that sell plants and flowers in the summer. In the city, I work near W. 28th street which is plant heaven. I did some DIY decorations for our wedding and got most of my plant materials for that event on 28th street.
W&L: HOW MANY PLANTS DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR COLLECTION?
There is never a solid number in our collection as it’s more of a rotation. Some plants die and need to be replaced or get gifted to friends here and there, but approximately 20-25. Looking to expand the collection!
W&L: WHAT ARE THE RAREST PLANTS THAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR COLLECTION?
It’s probably not considered rare- but our String of Pearls gets a lot of attention when guests come over.
W&L: WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PLANTS?
I love cacti and succulents as they come in so many different shapes and sizes and are low maintenance. We’re looking to get a 5 foot cactus for our dining room which has really high ceilings and a tall vertical window. Other favorites include tropical varieties that remind me of warm weather like Banana Leaf Plants and Monsteras!
W&L: WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT BEING A PLANT PERSON?
My interest in plants is one that is also shared by many nowadays which is great. It has allowed me to connect with people from around the world who have the same passion. Through my IG account @plantifulabode, I combine my interest in interior design and plants by providing inspiration to others and collaborating on plant design ideas and projects. It has been really cool to be a part of the plant community and get to know others!
W&L: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU HAVE WITH PLANTS?
It’s a battle to keep some alive and a part of my soul gets crushed when I see yellowing leaves but it’s part of having a living thing under your roof that is always evolving. My husband and I work a lot and sometimes when life gets hectic our plants suffer. Sticking to a care routine for your plants really helps and not being afraid to ask for plant care advise when needed.
W&L: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR PLANT SPECIALTY?
I am not a plant know-it-all by any means and am very much still learning a lot about different species and how to care for them. That said, I love green design and thinking about ways to integrate plants into different spaces as well as curating plant-themed home decor goods made by local craftsmen/women.
W&L: WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 PLANT CARE TIPS?
1. Select a day once a week to routinely water your plants and groom them as needed. A weekend day is usually preferable or a day you know you’ll have some time at home.
2. Have a cheatsheet somewhere with info on how much light, water and ideal temperature each plant you have needs. You think you’ll remember these things but it’s hard to track when you have a growing plant family!
3. Ask for tips/advice from your local plant shop or friends on IG as needed if your plants aren’t thriving the way you’d like.