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Choosing a leafy green friend to share your space

Photo by Sidekix Media via Unsplash

Plants, in their lush, green glory have a universal power to add pizzazz to any space. Most claim they are easy on the eyes, to maintain, and on the bank. Okay, the last one is debatable for fiddle leaf owners, but at least they’re not as expensive as faux flora.

But choosing the perfect indoor plant comes down to compatibility! After all, you’re embarking on a

relationship that may last for months or years — so a little research is in order. We’re definitely not going to give you any more of those personality type quizzes (you’re had enough of those from your friends, Karen). Instead, we’re giving you the raw deal from 4 real humans (from different walks of life) to help you pick the perfect houseplant, based on your personality and/or the role you play at home. This is our version of planned parenthood, and you are welcome.

1. WILMER, Interior Designer, Low Rise Condo Dweller

Wilmer’s plants thrive near windows, fueled by indirect sunlight. Photos courtesy of Wilmer Lopez

Have you noticed anything in common about the indoor plants you own?

They are mostly indoor plants like Monstera, Pothos, Philodendrons, some semi-outdoor plants near the windows, and my terrarium.

What do you love most about them?

Aside from they’re low maintenance when it comes to watering, they give life to my spaces, creating a more relaxed atmosphere while bringing life to my home.

How do these plants match your personality?

As I have actually been into plants since I was a kid, I have always considered plants as companions. Like me, they’re great company!

How do these plants keep you sane as a designer?

Plants keep me relaxed. I always enjoy looking at them. I started making terrariums as a hobby and I’ve been doing it for about 3 years now. Staying indoors allowed me more time to create and take care of them. This hobby and the terrariums give me a sense of joy and a feeling of security. Since terrariums are an enclosed environment, I feel that I'm creating a world where I am in control, which makes me calm when I need balance.

How do you keep these plants sane and alive (care tips)?

Different plants need different attention and care. I choose plants that are easy to take care of and I “train” them to work around my schedule, watering them once a week or every three days (they’re mostly indoor plants, anyway). Sometimes, when I leave for several days, these plants don't need everyday care because they have adapted to our “shared schedule” and my own space.

How do you display them at home/in your room?

I place tall plants in corners of the room with a woven, organic container. I make sure they have enough light and are accessible when watering. Sometimes, I place them outside to get more light where I also do some maintenance work like clipping dried leaves. I also have plants displayed on shelves in groups according to species with similar pots. I arrange them by height so all of them are seen properly. With plants where areas don't have enough natural lighting, I use grow lights so they also get enough sunlight with proper monitoring.

Where do you usually get your plants?

I buy randomly wherever I go. I frequent plant fairs in QC Circle and garden stores in White Plains. I also sometimes buy online.

2. COCO, Mom of 2, Single Detached Home Dweller

Coco’s family adores indoor greenery not just for its beauty, but for its power to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. Photos courtesy of Ryan Alimon

Have you noticed anything in common about the indoor plants you own?

Not really! I tend to pick my plants based on how they look and their price tag. I always ask, “sulit ba

‘to?”. I think I have a good mix of ornamental plants but I’ve steered away from certain succulents because they always seem to die under my care!

What do you love most about them?

I love that each plant is unique and that they all add character to our home.

How do these plants match your personality?

I guess you can say they’re like me in a sense that they thrive more when outdoors (in the balcony) and with lots of company (other plants).

How do these plants keep you sane in your daily grind as a mom?

Being in nature has always been therapeutic! Bringing pieces of that indoors, through plants, somehow makes the home more relaxing to my family. How do you keep these plants sane and alive (care tips)?

I have a watering schedule for them, making sure they receive the right amount of sunlight and humidity. I also spray them with a homemade Thieves blend!

How do you display them at home/in your room?

My plants are mostly in clay or terracotta pots which are placed on the floor, side tables, and in shelves. As for my hanging plants, I hang them using iron coconut shell baskets.

Where do you usually place them?

Just around the home; every corner, space, and nook and cranny I could find! Hahaha. I’m honestly running out space but that’s the goal- to fill the home with greenery!

What plant would you recommend for other busy moms out there?

I would recommend a Monstera Adansonii! It’s one of my favorites because of how unique it looks and surprisingly so easy to care of.

Where do you usually get your plants?

Most of my plants are from BM-JOV Garden Center located in Paranaque and EFS Garden in Quezon City. Both stores have Facebook and Instagram.

3. CHELSEA, Working Single Woman, Condo Dweller

Chelsea considers watering and caring for her plants part of her me-time.