Interview with Ciearra of @thethriftedplanter
Ciearra became a serious plant mom about three years ago, and runs an instagram @thethriftedplanter loaded with helpful tips, fun DIY projects, and seriously inspirational plant progress pictures!
Let's see what advice she has to offer about year-round gardening, checking for pests, and more!
*some answers have been altered for length & clarity*
Are there any hurdles you had to overcome as a new plant person or methods of plant care that you found particularly difficult at first? We all start somewhere!
"Oh many many hurdles but the main one would be pests. I had no idea why my early plants would die or why their leaves were turning brown and dying. It was rough because I do not like bugs and instead of trouble shooting I would trash the plant haha. I remember buying a HUGE palm and returning it the next day because I found a spider living in the pot. Now I still don’t like pests but I know how to handle them."
Her inspiration comes from all sorts of places, including her mother.
"I gather inspo all over.My mom has been a plant lady since I can remember. Going over to her home is so refreshing because her plants are all happy and thriving. I’m inspired by her collection especially since she’s had some of her plant babies over 10 years. Aside from family I love Instagram and Pinterest for houseplants and garden inspo."
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When asked what inspires her to keep growing, she said...
"I love seeing new growth.I find so much joy in seeing a plant that I've been nurturing thrive. This past spring I started many of my garden vegetables and some annuals from seed, tuber and bulb. I have never been more proud of myself. A tiny tomato seed can produce pounds and pounds of food. It's amazing! Realizing my capabilities as a grower keeps me growing."
We love a can-do attitude, and Ciearra puts routines in place to make sure she accomplishes her gardening goals!
Her routines are simple enough to practice every time they need to be watered:
"Whenever I water a plant, I do pest checks. I wipe down or rinse off leaves. That way you're on top of any potential pest issues before they get out of hand. Pests happen but if caught early you can nip it quickly."
Check out our watering tools made for small spaces.
Did you ever have a major plant fail? What did you learn from it?
"Oh wow I had a huge plant fail this summer. I was so excited to have warm weather and sun that I moved my Bird of Paradise outside into direct sun and the foliage burned. The worst part of it all was that I knew better. I know that you have to transition plants from indoor living to the outdoors."
We noticed that you’re a year-round gardener! So awesome. Any tips for moving and storing plants during the colder months?
"This is a big question because there are so many other questions I’d ask you about what exactly do you want to overwinter. To keep things simple if you moved house plants outside for the summer months then you would want to transition them back inside before temps drop too low. 45 degrees is usually the lowest I’ll go.
Here's the routine Ciearra follows when transitioning plants from outdoors to indoors:
- Rinse my plants with the hose.
- Then treat them with a pest spray.
- Re-pot if necessary.
- Then I bring them into a quarantine area for about a week to adjust to the environment indoors.
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Questions every apartment gardener should ask:
"If you want to be the perfect plant parent then I’d say you need to assess your space...
- What kind of light do you get and for how long?
- Is your space humid or dry?
- Do you want plants you can ignore or more high maintenance plants?
- How much space do you want to dedicate to your plants?
If you're anything like me you buy the plant and ask questions later, but if you want to be a good plant parent you do your research first then bring in plants that will thrive in your environment and space. You don’t want to get a plant that at maturity will be taller than your whole house. Find plants that work for your lifestyle and your space. Get creative and have fun. There is joy and peace when you learn to love and care for plants."
We love Ciearra's dedication to finding solutions that work for her plants - always try something new if one of your plants seems to be struggling!
Thanks for joining us, Ciearra!
For more interviews from this series, click here. Happy gardening, everyone!