In this episode, we'll meet Maria. She is a pilea lover who lives in Toronto with her husband and 2 little creatures who knock her plants over and over. Want to know more? Read her story!
Hi Maria! Welcome to ChooseYourPlant! I'd ask you to present yourself so people can know who you are, what you do, etc.
My name is Maria and I am a plant enthusiast living in Toronto, Canada 🇨🇦. I am an Early Childhood Educator, mom of two tiny humans and 35 plants!
I am also the founder of Planted Souls, an online community where we share our favorite plant related products for other fellow plant enthusiasts to enjoy.
Wow another community! How nice! I'm sure we'll be able to collaborate. What's the story behind your first plant? How did everything start?
I have always had a love for plants for as long as I can remember, but I was always convinced that I could not successfully care for them. Until one day, I took the plunge and bought my first plant (a pilea from a small plant shop in downtown Toronto).
Once I realized that I was not only able to keep this plant alive, but got the cutest little pilea plant babies I went out and got another plant. After seeing that other plant thriving as well, I felt confident in my ability to grow indoor plants and lost all control.
Almost two years later and I am now lost in the world of plants!
We all love Pileas! In this two years, how many plants did you collect?
Now, I now 35 plants. But I have more babies and cuttings that I am currently propagating and they are too small to count!
With your current experience, what's the thing you wish you knew when you started growing plants?
The one thing I wish I knew when I started growing plants would be that along with those plants I would need planters as well! Now, not only do I have an addiction to plants but I love collecting cute pots and planters as well.
This is what brought me to creating my website Planted Souls.
After a couple of years, do you have a favorite baby?
My favorite plant... ahh... that's a tough one! If I had to choose one I think it would be my first love the pilea. I find this plant to be super rewarding because of all the babies that come out of it. Not only does the plant naturally bring out many babies, but whenever a leaf falls off I just stick it in water and bam!
I have myself another plant. This plant and all of it's babies have come in very handy as gifts for those around me.
You make look that new growths are easy-peasy! What's your routine when it comes to take care of your plants?
My routine is pretty simple, I water them once a week in the morning, and fertilize them every other week. It has been working for me so far!
We see your pileas grow super healthy, but what about the other plants? Is there any plant you can't keep alive?
My maiden hair fern. I cannot seem to keep this plant alive! I have looked up all the care tips and all of the requirements but it struggles no matter what I try.
This hurts so much because it is such a beautiful plant. I think it might have something to do with the humidity in my apartment but even when putting it next to a humidifier it still struggles. I will not give up on this guy though! As long as I still see some green I will keep trying new things, and hopefully one day it will flourish.
Maiden hair fern is one of my favorites as well! I'm someone who likes to travel and I bet you too! What's your "How to prepare your plants before traveling"?
I have not traveled for more than a week while having my plants so I have not had to worry about how keeping them alive while being gone for long. But if I had to my mom lives near by so I would probably just give her the run down on how to water them while I am gone. I also hear that grouping all the plants together helps!
Grouping plants together works fine, yes! And how does people you share flat with handle your plant passion?
I live with my boyfriend and two daughters. Luckily they all appreciate nature just as much as I do so they love my plants as well. My daughters are very protective of my plants, if anyone accidentally touches them they come running to tell me, haha.
Do you have any mini evil pet that break plants and stuff?
I do not have any pets, but I have two young children. They have knocked over my plants while running around several times. There have been times where I honestly have questioned who to look after first, if my daughter or my plant!
I could imagine your children crying and you asking your plants if she's alright haha! You got many plants, do you get them from the same place or you like to try new places?
I usually get my plants from plant shops around the Toronto area. There are many nurseries and small plant shops around. If I had to pick two I would say, Holland Park Station Home in Burlington, and Valleyview Gardens in Markham.
And have you got any bad experience buying somewhere?
I am happy to share that I have not had anything but good experiences with buying plants around the Toronto area.
No bad experiences? That's amazing! And... What would you like to have that doesn't exist related to plants?
It would be really cool to have free access to some kind a troubleshooting app or website for the problems that one can encounter with plants. Most of the information I come across is on how to care for the plants, but what about when you come across pests, or some kind of marking on leafs and want to learn how to deal with the problem?
I know if you search around you can probably find the answers somewhere, but I am lazy sometimes or do not have the time. It would be so helpful to just know where to go for the answer without having to search around for hours.
What a great idea! I've found some apps that try to deal with it, but personally I didn't have good experiences. Do you follow any bloggers or youtubers?
I really enjoy following Christian the @crazyplantguy. I find his material to be very informative but also silly and entertaining at the same time. He is one of the first plant accounts I came across and still one of my favorites to keep up with.
And last buy not least, for those who enjoyed the interview and want to knonw more about you, where they can people find you?
Again, thank you so much for having me here. Hopefully this isn’t too dreadfully long. But this was super fun to do!