In this episode, we'll meet Karolina. She is from Poland and like most of us, she can't keep a fern alive because of the humidity problems. She has a couple of cats, and loves to spend the weekends with them and her plants!
Hi Karolina! Tell us about yourself and what you do for living!
Hi! My name is Karolina and I’m a plantoholic 😜. My home is full of plants and I still want more! I also love animals, good coffee, and electronic music!
In my free time, I take a lot of pictures of my cats and plants, and almost a year ago I decided to create my plant account on Instagram - @kociokwiatki (btw. In Polish 🇵🇱 my nickname is a combination of these two words - "cats" and "plants").
I live in Poland, Warsaw. Professionally, I deal with something completely different than plants - I am a project manager in an influencer marketing agency.
How cool is that nickname?! What's the story behind your first plant? How did everything start? and how you got seduced by plants?
I’ve been interested in plants for about three years. In the beginning, I had only 2 or 3 plants. However, when I noticed that I manage to keep them alive, and taking care of them gives me a lot of pleasure, I started buying more and more… 😃
how many plants did you collect in the last 3 years?
Hmm, I have to count... 75 plants!
After gaining experience for 3 years with plants, what should a person who is just starting out growing plants know?
That no matter how much experience you have, it can always happen that a plant dies. At first, it demotivated me horribly, but now it’s easier to deal with it.
Absolutely! We have to embrace the fact plants die. What about your favorite baby? Do you have a favorite plant?
Oh, it’s really hard to say! Every time I buy a dream plant I think - it's my favorite! Haha 😃. But I’m currently in love with Alocasia Black Velvet - these leaves! <3. Alocasias are usually a challenge, they can be really difficult to grow because of the humidity requirements, but this one is amazingly easy to care for.
And to take care of your 75 plants, do you have any morning routinne or something like this?
The weekend is usually for plants, then I have more time to take care of them. I start with watering and fertilizing if the season requires it. Every week I also try to thoroughly clean the leaves of dust. With so many plants, it really takes a lot of time but it's very relaxing for me.
I also check the leaves then - looking for any signs of disease or parasites 🐛. If there aren’t any I breathe a sigh of relief and if there are... then the fight begins!
Unfortunately, I am currently facing a scourge of thrips and spider mites, it's very frustrating when you look at dying plants, but you can't give up 💪!
So you could keep your Alocasia Black Velvet alive, that's a great achievement! Mine die when the winter comes. Is there any plant you can't keep alive?
Ferns! We can't get along completely. Ferns require very high humidity, which I think is missing in my apartment. My grandmother has the most beautiful fern I've ever seen! I even asked her once how she did it and she said: "Oh, you know, I fertilize it, spray with water a lot…". I tried - It didn’t work on my fern, it must be some kind of spell haha 😜
I know how you feel... I love Maiden hair fern but I can't keep him alive! Do you also travel? How do you prepare you plants before your trips?
Yes, I do travel! If I go away for a week or longer, I usually ask my friends for help. I always give them detailed instructions. It is also worth placing plants close to each other. Together, they can create a microclimate and lose moisture more slowly.
Yes! Grouping plants together works fine, I do that too! And how does people you share flat with handle your plant passion?
Yes, I share a flat with my fiance. Since I started to be more interested in plants and talk about them all the time I noticed that he got into it too! He knows almost all the plants' names and encourages me to buy more 😃
Wow! You a lucky one then! haha I'm sure lots of people wishes that! Do you have any mini evil pet that break plants and stuff?
Oh, this is actually the most popular question on my profile! Yes, I have 2 adult cats. Fortunately, they aren’t interested in plants at all (knock on wood). Of course, sometimes they drop a pot but generally - they get along with my plants, they don’t eat or destroy them.
However, we have to remember that many plants are toxic to animals ☠️. I’m aware that it’s dangerous, that's why I always try to put toxic plants out of their reach. Luckily, there are also a lot of beautiful pet-safe plants.
First your fiance, and now your cats. It looks like you have the perfect vibe to have plants at home. Do you get them from the same place or you like to try new places?
Usually, I get my plants from local garden stores. A trip there is always a great pleasure for me! I prefer to watch the plant carefully before buying. But of course, sometimes I order some rare plants on the internet 😃.
Do you follow any bloggers or youtubers?
From Poland I really like @warsawjungle, @plantolina, @ulubionyogrodnik, @zieloneuszy (it's really hard for me to choose!) - inspiring people, who share a green energy! I didn’t think that I would meet so many great people on Instagram 🙀.
And last but not least, for those who enjoyed the interview and want to know more about you, where they can people find you?
For those who liked my story and want to know more, they can finnd me at @kociokwiatki. I upload images of my plants and sometimes my cats appear on them!