Conversations with our wellness experts

The green thumb underside: a dialogue between Kimberly and Sarah

The first one might need extra space in her home to contain all of her plants and build her first home, which will soon welcome many soothing verdures. The second one loves photographing them, helps us take good care of them and even, inspires us to do both while cozying up in a blanket—dialogue between Kimberly and Sarah.

Taking care of my plants allows me to escape mentally and press pause on everything else while doing so. You decided to make a living out of plants. What do you enjoy the most in your work, Sarah?

Like yourself, taking care of my plants, equally the ones I have at home than the ones I am taking care of at the workshop, is very therapeutic. What I like to do most is to re-pot them; remove my plants from their little plastic pot in which they live, and find a bigger pot that makes them more beautiful and allows them to grow. I also enjoy pruning plants; it is satisfying to create new plants that you can offer your family or friends from a plant you already have at home.

 

Plants can transform our decor into something more enticing, but they also hold many other benefits. What are the perks of having plants or a garden at home?

Obviously, everything is a question of perspective. For me, owning plants brings joy inside my home, allows me to escape and brings me much comfort. When you’re in the city, creating a little plant Oasis enables us to stay connected to nature while allowing us to escape from urban areas without fully leaving it. Many people may also say that holding many flowers at home filters the air, but I think you need to have a lot for it to work. Sure thing, they can’t hurt!

 

Do we absolutely need to have a green thumb in order to take care of plants properly?

For me, having a green thumb is simply being well informed on plants’ maintenance and deconstructing the popular thinking that a plant that does not thrive needs water. The more important thing is to get to know the environment and, mostly, the light we are working with. That might explain why a plant that lives well in a situation might die if it gets moved somewhere where the sun is entirely different than what it knows. There are still a lot of plants that can adapt to almost every light. Sansevieria, commonly referred to as the mother-in-law’s tongue, zamioculcas, also called ZZ plants and pothos, which are incredible hanging plants, are a few examples.

Speaking of light: should we all bring out our plants outdoors if the temperature and environment allow us to do so?

Since many plants originate from tropical environments, they can all live outside, as long as we gradually bring them outdoors, not to burn their leaves. The tip is to acclimate them slowly to their new surroundings for about a week. It is also the right thing to do at the end of Summer when it is time to bring them back inside. Tropical plants do not enjoy being exposed to temperatures below 12 degrees Celsius; you then have to bring them inside during cold nights to avoid a temperature choc!

And obviously, since the sun is always much more intense outside, plants, when moved outdoors, require more water than when in an apartment.

 

And how do we know if our plant has been overwatered?

There are so many factors influencing the water level our plants need that we cannot rely on a schedule to know when to water them. You have to check by inserting your finger into the plant’s soil and wait for it to be dry to avoid rotting the roots by adding too much water. Although some tropical plants love to live in a humid environment, it is essential to recognize which ones they are.

Towards the symptom side, plants that were overwatered usually get brown spots, not to be mistaken with browns or dry leaves tips. When roots are limp and brown, it usually means they are rotten due to too much water.

 

We love plants so much that we tend to have a lot of them in a tiny space, but when small bugs decide to attack one of them, how can we avoid them spreading to all flowers?

There is no better solution than cleaning your plants regularly because insects can spread quickly. When it is not possible to shower them, cleaning them with a damp cloth can really make a difference. There are also natural insecticides meant to alienate different types of bugs. Personally, I like to spray neem oil, mixed with water, a tad of gentle soap and even a bit of clove essential oil on all my tropical plants.

In the end, it is vital to study different types of plants and insects to find the right ingredients to get rid of them.

If Kimberly and Sarah are all about the benefits of having plants in our everyday life, they both agree that it is not the only way to take care of ourselves. Learn more about the different ways to contribute to your well-being by reading our next blog articles covering the 4 pillars of wellness, such as nutrition, mind, movement, and beauty.

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