Q&A: Rare Plants and Humidity with @apartmentbotanist
Alessia Resta, the creator behind Apartment Botanist, lives in an apartment in NYC with her boyfriend Micah, two dogs Zeus & Pachino, and over 175 plants! Alessia shares her ideas, methods and experiences on her blog, apartmentbotanist.com, helping everyone from new plant parents to seasoned professionals along their own plant journey. We sat down with Alessia to discuss her work, the particular way she uses Wally Eco planters in her space, and her method for increasing humidity for the care of rare plants.
Many thanks to our interviewer, Elise!
A: I started Apartment Botanist roughly 2.5 years ago. I was working from home and began to think about the plants I had in my apartment, and I wanted to understand their plant origins to know how to care for them. I wanted to be able to adjust my arrangement, while at the same time allow for the plants to adjust to my environment as well. An example of this would be keeping my apartment cooler year round, so there is no temperature shock. Plants are more forgiving than people think, and they will adjust!
A: Color is an important starting point for me. I want to keep things vibrant even in the apartment, so I wanted to reflect this color in my Instagram, too. My #plantsincolor series is a labor of love, and it allows me the opportunity to play with color!
A: I've been so happy with the success of my Wally Eco planters. Using two 6 inch nursing pots, I potted my low-light plants into a premix, loose draining mix. I chose specific plants based on the light situation, which in my case was lower light but still bright room light. I placed a bed of hydro balls (1.5-2 inches) to keep the nursing pots raised and flush with the Eco, helping to create humidity for the plants.
A: Since I take care of a lot of rare tropicals, I tend to imitate their basic needs amongst my plant population. I wanted to make sure I incorporated my loose draining soil mix and humidity to help create a great opportunity for the plants to thrive. Humidity has always been an important part of what I provide for my plants, and I can tell the difference in plants and see that they are happier and healthier from it.
A: I like to challenge myself and see what limits I can push to keep rare plants living in my NYC apartment. I like the fact that people can come into my apartment and see something they would typically never see here in NYC!
A: My dogs are super lazy! We do have leaf casualties, usually due to my big dog Zeus' tail, so I recommend smart placement and putting your plants in higher spots! Overall I'm pretty lucky my dogs do not have a huge interest in the plants, and if anything, the plants calm them down. I tend to catch them sleeping under the monstera!
Thanks to Apartment Botanist Alessia for sharing her methods and her story with us! See her works on social media:
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