Interview with Amanda from @amandaandtheplants
Amanda started gardening as a kid, and has been building her arsenal of plant knowledge & beautiful plant babies ever since. Her instagram is full of helpful plant care tips, inspo, and of course her DIY potting soil!
Let's learn a little more about her tiny gardening experience.
"I live in Southern Indiana but I'm originally from New Orleans, LA! I have so many vivid memories of gardening with my mom when I was little and I never quite stopped. It went from flowers in the garden to houseplant collecting as soon as I had my own place."
Do you collect houseplants? Same. Check out our beautiful selection of planters to add a unique touch to any plant collection!
Are there any hurdles you had to overcome as a new plant parent or methods of plant care that you found particularly difficult at first? We all start somewhere!
"I was a habitual over waterer! Constantly thinking my plants needed way more water than they actually did and then wondering why they were dying on me. It took me quite a while (a quite a few dead plants) before I realized I needed to let the plant tell me when it needed water."
We've all been there, overwatering is the #1 houseplant silent killer! That's why all of our planters have drainage holes and most come with dishes - we gotchu.
Which plant have you had for the longest amount of time? We bow to you, you plant-growing guru.
"My oldest plant that I currently have is my Heart Leaf Philodendron. I've had it for 4 years now and it's lived in the same place the entire time. It's a super laid back plant. I'd recommend it to anyone just starting collecting plants. I have a tendency to grow plants big then give them away. I have a limited amount of space so when I get new plants, I usually rehome a few."
What a beaut 😍
What do you love the most about plants/gardening & how does your collection inspire you?
"It's such a satisfying hobby. To watch something in your care grow and thrive. It's equally as satisfying to have a hobby where you are constantly learning something new. There's always something new and interesting to discover about plants."
Are there any plant care routines you have that your plants would (literally) die without? Spill all the wisdom!
"I check for pests often, almost daily, for plants that are especially susceptible to them. I catch any pest issues very early (and trust me, there are always pests to battle) and have never had a huge outbreak. I think that habit has really contributed to the long lives of some of my plants."
Amanda also has two pups at home, so we asked how she manages having pets & plants!
"Keep the plants off the floors. All of my plants are on shelves and tables so they can't be knocked over easily. I'm lucky that neither of my dogs show any interest in them. But, bless their furry hearts, they've knocked over a few plants with their wagging tails. Especially my boy, Otis. He's got this long tail that swings wildly and he's whipped a few leaves off here and there. He's the best and I couldn't even be upset about it."
Do you have fur babies and plant babies? Have no fear. Check out our hanging planter holders & wall mounted planters to help keep those precious plants alive & happy! (And your pets from getting into things they shouldn't ;)
We love that you mix your own soil! What is your go-to potting mixture and how did you land on the combination?
"My favorite combination is any pre-made cactus soil, added perlite, bark or coco chips, horticultural charcoal and slow release fertilizer. I used to use just the pre-made cactus soil until a friend of mine on Instagram taught me all about the different amendments you can add. I started with perlite, orchid bark and horticultural charcoal. I just started using coco coir chips instead of bark and I'm really liking them. And I like to add a bit of slow release fertilizer to all of my soil to feed the plants."
Your variegated plant collection is pure goals. Which one is your absolute fav?
"My variegated String of Hearts is my absolute favorite variegated plant that I have. My most favorite plant is my Philodendron Billietiae. It's not variegated but it's still my favorite. The leaves are incredible and the stems are a bright orange."
Yay for propagation (FREE PLANTS!) Amanda is quite the pro. The cutting-to-full-plant journey she is most proud of, is a cactus!
"Most recently, I received a one leaf cutting of a Fern Leaf Catus and after a lot of patience, it's putting out multiple new leaf points. I'm really happy about that one because it's such a beautiful plant. A lot of my large Hoyas always started as small cuttings. I'm always amazed at how big they've gotten when I see old pictures."
Her advice for beginner tiny gardeners:
"Start with cheap or free plants because you will kill a few in the beginning. It's inevitable and it happens to everyone. I hate hearing about people losing money to dead plants!"
Thanks for joining along in this interview, Amanda! We salute you and your tiny gardening expertise.