This week we talked to Anna (@greenflamingo_anna) from Shipley, West Yorkshire, UK about her plant collection and expertise.
WATER & LIGHT (W&L): HOW DID YOU GET INTO PLANTS?
Anna (A): I got into plants when I moved out from home at 16, I had very little money to make my house look nice, so instead of splurging on flowers I bought plants in the hope they’d last longer. The collection grew from there.
W&L: DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN YOU GOT YOUR FIRST PLANT AND WHAT PLANT IT WAS?
A: I do, my first plant was a peace lily (I still have it). I bought it shortly after moving out from my parents house, around springtime 2001.
W&L: WHERE DO YOU GET MOST OF YOUR PLANTS?
A: I tend to buy the majority of my plants from local markets and independent shops, rarely online after I had a bad experience with mealy bugs.
W&L: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLANT SHOPS TO VISIT?
A: For sure my favourite is the Plant Point in Leeds and their new shop in Ilkley. Also Botanic in York.
W&L: HOW MANY PLANTS DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR COLLECTION?
A: Around 200, I’ve not counted recently.
W&L: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE RAREST PLANTS THAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR COLLECTION?
A: I don’t think I have any really rare plants but I do have some quite mature plants, some cacti around 30 years old, a large Monstera Borsigniana and a Yucca that must be over 40 years old.
W&L: WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PLANTS?
A: I’m a massive cacti collector but I do love Monstera and I’m a total sucker for Fittonia.
W&L: WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT BEING A PLANT PERSON?
A: I love the community and friends I’ve found on Instagram. I love being able to give advice and I love watching them grow and flourish.
W&L: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT YOU HAVE WITH PLANTS?
A: The main challenge I have is light during the winter months especially at the back of my house, a lot of plants need moving into my bedroom for wintertime. Also Mealy bugs, I have a great method of getting rid of them but dread them still. I’m yet to keep a Senecio Rolyanus / String of Pearls and a Maidenhair Fern alive for longer than a month!
W&L: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR PLANT SPECIALITY?
A: Cacti for sure! I rarely have problems with them and they grow so well even here in England!
W&L: WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 PLANT CARE TIPS?
- Get to know your plants, learn which spots they thrive in and which plants work for you and your surroundings.
- If you’re new to plant parenthood keep a diary of watering and care until you get to know your plants routine.
- Invest in a good plant book, Urban Jungle is a good one to start with.