Life With Plants
An Introduction to Plant Parenting, By Lindsay Michael
We all have our knacks. I can tidy up a house at the drop of a hat. I cannot keep most plants alive for more than one season. So, I call in the experts. Friends who know I need greenery in my life, but who also know to gift me only the easiest to care for plants. One person comes to mind so quick. Most of the plants in my house that have made it through more than one season are from this lady. Lindsay Michael, green thumb goddess. Not only does she know how to keep plants and care for them. She knows how to teach others to do the same. It’s her spiritual gift. Lindsay Michael, Keeper of the earth, loves chickens, dirt and playing darts in her shed.
I asked Lindsay if she would care to share her wealth of plant knowledge with us here at Hiser House and she so kindly agreed. Here it is, a Q&A for all of you ladies (and gentleman) out there that want to venture into plant parenthood but feel like you may not succeed.
First can you introduce yourself? Name, what you do and what you love?
What I do pretty much translates from what I love: being a wife, a mom, a friend and digging in dirt. I can’t say I’m great at all of those things simultaneously…
I’ve got a great deal to learn, but I think that when you do find what you’re good at, you should go at it with all your heart.
Tweet that. 😂
So, plants, you have a hundred so you must love them! What attracted you to having plants in your home?
I do. I really do. Growing up, my granny was always surrounded by plants and spent hours in the garden. When friends would visit she would always send them off with a bouquet of some sort and that has always stuck with me. As someone who is a natural giver of gifts, having plants and learning to propagate them allows me to give without always having the budget to do so. Plants create a sense of peace in a space for me. At the same time they remind me how alive I am. There are so many spiritual parallels I’ve learned/am learning as I garden with my husband and it’s just become a pretty special “hobby” for me. I foresee it becoming so much more.
How do you choose what plants you want in which rooms?
Honestly if it were up to me every room would be filled to the brim. Especially rooms that light pour into and drench each and every corner. But I’m a little biased. Ha! Depending on how much light a room gets or the environment you’re trying to create would determine what plant choice I would make. For instance, a sansevieria (or snake plant) is one of my favorites. They are pretty content without much light, but they also thrive in a well lit space. I would always recommended starting with something low maintenance. Did I mention house plants are known as air purifiers? They also lower stress levels, promote alertness and reduce mental fatigue! I mean, sign me up!
For someone who is just starting, what are your five favorite plants to build your confidence in plant ownership and why?
1. The snake plant is a personal favorite. The cylindrical, clean modern vibe gives it a really sexy look to me. Yes I said sexy.
2. Spider plant. They are a fan of indirect or bright light and have great long shoots off the ends. These are a personal favorite to propagate.
3. Dracaena. These are the popular little tree looking plants everyone gets at IKEA for $2.99. They are super low maintenance and can grow up to 6 plus feet over the years. One to pass on the grandkids!
4. Bamboo! Did you know bamboo is known to reduce formaldehyde! I have mine in water in both our main bathroom and our daughter’s room. So easy to care for and if you ask me, bring a nice pop of green eye candy to the space!
5. Aloe. Along with all the medicinal properties, aloe is so easy to care for. They are known to be wound-healing, antibacterial, and have anti-inflammatory properties. They are also extremely simple to propagate.
In a typical week what is your plant routine (think moving, cleaning, watering?)
I think I’m not the average plant owner. On the sunniest days I’ll bring all my sun loving plants outside on the front porch and place the shadier ones on the screened in porch. I usually water mine once a week but it depends if it’s winter you obviously water much less. In the summer they will drink it up once a week. I’ll note that most house plants die because they are over-watered. Less is more! I feed them monthly during the summer as well as a clean the leaves of my fiddle fig, rubber plant and monstera. Coconut oil with a damp soft antibacterial cloth does the trick. Mostly, I just listen to the plant. Good soil, sufficient drainage, and love.
Lastly, for the KC locals, where are you favorite places to find plants?
Great service, knowledge and prices? Oh I love the Soil Service on Troost. When I lived close I would walk down just to chat with the workers and see all the seasons change. They have beautiful pots! And for those of you who also like to grow your own food it’s a great place to learn and start! Heartland Nursery is also a recent favorite in Kansas City. I don’t shy away from Home Depot, Lowes or Aldi as well. I’ve purchased some of my favorite plants in the off season for $5 or less and more than likely made 10 or more plants from them. I hope this helps! I encourage you to start with one so you don’t get overwhelmed. I’ve killed plenty of plants but it’s only helped me to learn how to care for them better the next time. Such is life, right?
Connect with Lindsay on Instagram @herwelshness and be sure to stay tuned for her near in the future workshops and plant sales!