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016: You Grow, Girl! with Brandy O’Neill

Hello! Welcome to episode 16 of I’d Rather Stay In. In this first episode of 2020, we are joined by our friend Brandy O’Neill (@nutmegnanny) as she drops all of her plant lady knowledge on us.

How did Brandy become such a plant lady?

Soon after starting therapy and medications for ADHD and depression/anxiety, Brandy had a sudden desire to start caring for plants. Her therapist thinks this could be a result of being in a generally better head space.

Brandy also notes that it’s a good way to keep tabs on how she is doing; she notices that if she doesn’t want to take care of her plants, she may not be doing as well mentally or emotionally as she thinks.

Brandy loves the satisfaction of keeping something alive and that she has found a secret skill that not everyone is good at.

What are some good starter plants?

The easiest houseplants to care for include pothos, peace lilies, and spider plants.

What are some of Brandy’s favorite plants?

Brandy loves rope hoya, pilea and staghorn ferns.

Brandy picks up plants any place that has a good selection. If you have a nursery that specializes in houseplants, check that out.

Look for nurseries that are clean, have good ventilation, where the plants are overall pretty healthy.

Cats & plants: What’s the deal?

Important distinction that Brandy made: a plant being an irritation to cats is not the same as being poisonous to cats.

Brandy believes you can have plants that are an irritation to cats (but NOT poisonous) if you own cats. Of course, we must make the disclaimer that you should only do what you and your vet are comfortable with.

Spider plants are great and completely non-toxic to cats.

NEVER keep true lilies in your house if you have a cat – they are extremely toxic to cats.

The ASPCA has a helpful document on what plants are poisonous to animals.

Tips for plant care

Keep new plants separate from existing plants for the first couple of weeks to make sure it isn’t carrying any pests or other gross things.

Really spend some time figuring out where the best light in your house is so you know where to put plants that need full light versus partial light, etc.

Brandy recommends Googling what care a plant needs when you bring it home rather than relying on the card that comes on/in the plant.

Moving with plants

DO start thinking ahead by collecting boxes and considering which plants you really want to take versus give away.

DO make sure everything is packed in super tight in your car.

DO try to pick a day that isn’t too hot in the car. Consider what it might be like for the plants in the back seat with regards to temperature and direct sunlight.

DO water your plants before the trip.

DON’T leave plants in the car overnight during the winter if you are in a cold climate.

Brandy’s favorite plant resources

Instagram: @boyswithplants, @houseplantgal, #urbanjungle, #onwednesdaysweplantpink, #plantsmakepplhappy

Facebook: Houseplant Hobbyists

Other stuff we mentioned in this episode

Special shout-outs to Brandy’s friends Julie (@tablefortwo) and Gina (@runningtothekitchen).

Stephie has a few plants in kokedamas hanging in her house.

“Proplifting” is a hot topic in certain plant groups, but we think it’s picking up trash.

Brandy and Stephie love their grow lights, even if they make for a nefarious-looking situation.

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