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Hey plant friends!
I’m Maria, the "Plant Killer Turned Plant Lady" with a mission to help you care for plants successfully, grow your indoor jungles, and cultivate more joy in your life. I've got tons of content for you here on the blog, on the Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast, and Bloom and Grow Youtube Show to help you keep blooming and keep growing.
Plant Friends! Last year's “Maria's Favorite Things” was such a success, I decided to release another “Maria's Favorite Things” Gift Guide for the 2019 Holiday Season. I love highlighting small businesses who are making amazing products for our community. It's been so fun getting to know so many of these businesses and business owners as the show has grown- and I'm thrilled to be introducing them to you!
You'll see some familiar products, and some new ones as compared to last years collection. For this gift guide, I looked around at the products I'm using in my apartment, the products people have gifted me and ones I've gifted friends and family and compiled them here (many with some AMAZING discount codes) for your go to holiday planty gift resource!
I hope you get as excited about these products as I do. Feel free to reach out with questions about any of them! And full disclosure: some of these products are Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast Sponsors and partners. I only partner with people who make products I love. So using those discount codes is a great way to support the show!
Alright… who is ready for some plant themed products?! Read on!
This year I partnered with listener and creator Maria Rychkova to create a line of Tshirts, Sweatshirts and accessories that scream PLANT PERSON. Whether you are a “plant lady”, a “botanical bro” or just a fan of the Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast- wear your inner plant parent with pride with a “Botanical Bro” or “Plant Lady” T-shirt, baseball t or sweatshirt shown above….
or show your Bloom and Grow Radio Listener pride with this mug! During this chilly winter season hot beverages can really make your day, especially if they’re chocolate based. So these holidays cozy up amongst your plants with your large B&GR mug to make the cold days a little warmer and sweeter… or put a plant in it!
This one’s for the plant dads out there! This spiral lined notebook is a perfect holiday gift to the botanical bros in your life who you can count on to watch your most precious green babies while you’re away on vacation and the botanical bros who you get all your plant care hacks from!
Since grow lights can be a bit of a higher ticketed item- they make a perfect gift for the special plant person in your life that you want to make feel special. OR make the perfect thing for YOU to put on your wishlist 🙂 Here are the lights that I know and love in my home (and killer discount codes to go with them!)
The 40w Soltech Solutions Aspect is the reason I can grow citrus indoors without guests looking at me weird because of an obvious grow light set up. The light looks so sleek and modern that we just use it as a living room light and no one knows the difference. They use wide spectrum LED lights that range from 2100 to 4200 lumens (depending on size) and appear soft white and mimic the sun. I also LOVE that the light comes with a timer that you can set for whatever on/off pattern you'd like down to the half hour. I keep my on for 12 hours, then off for 12 hours.
I have the Modern Sprout Growbar and Grow House in my apartment: the Growbar in my bookshelf (for a cute video on my installation, click here) and their Grow House in my very low light kitchen.My favorite thing about them is they have a 3 setting timer that dims to mimic dawn and dusk and you can set to 8, 12 or 16 hours.
I gifted one to my friend Kate who said that the installation was extremely easy and she loves that they literally look like frames that had living plants as art! These growframes would be perfect in a gallery wall, mounted on a wall, or even in an office!
Modern Sprout also has a lot of amazing accessories for everyone you need to get gifts for- from the greenest of thumbs to the biggest of plant killers. Their hydroponic grow kits come with everything you need for an easy set up and offer a variety of seeds from medicinal and kitchen herbs to flowers and even cacti and succulents! They even have gift kits built around the grow kits like the Unwind Kit featured below- it comes with a grow your own lavender kit, eye mask, relaxing candle and dreamy room spray.
You can also check out my amazon storefront with other suggestions for grow lights that listeners, friends and colleagues have recommended. And if you are interested in learning more about the science of grow lights and how they work- make sure to listen to Episode 74: Grow Lights 101 with Leslie Halleck!
OK, this is one of my favorite plant accessories I’ve discovered that I never I knew I needed until I found it. The RT1 HOME repotting tarp. Ok, friends… this tarp is so amazing. It's a water resistant tarp that is small enough to fit on your countertop, that rolls up like a yoga mat and stores flat, but when you unroll it, it has snaps on the corners that when snapped together, fold the tarp edges up to make it box-like so your soil doesn’t go all over the place! (Freaking BRILLIANT for a messy Plant Lady like myself!)
For anyone living indoors who has tried to repot plants in a confined space, this item is a freaking godsend. I do all my repotting on my kitchen countertops, and the soil gets everywhere and cleanup is always a disaster. And now with the tarp, I just unroll it, snap up the sides, do my repotting, and then fold the tarp in half and slide whatever soil fell over the pot either back into the soil bag or into the garbage. And since it’s water resistant you can give it a quick rinse in the sink and dry it off.
I seriously can’t say enough amazing things about this product, or it’s clever designer, Rhiannon who is the founder of RT1 Home. Rhiannon is a plant mom running her business out of Los Angeles and although most of her products are made stateside, she draws a lot of inspiration from Japanese gardening, and in addition to this amazing tarp, she also has some really beautiful Japanese gardening tools on her website.
So my watering can (pictured below), which I get so many compliments on whenever I post a photo with it, isn’t technically a watering can… but since people always ask me about it, I figured I’d include it in this post. It’s actually a fancy pour over kettle that Billy uses for his coffee. It’s called the Hario v60 Buono Stainless Steel Stovetop Drip Kettle. We live in a small apartment, so anything that can have two functions is very valuable to us. I've found the narrow spout is perfect for watering small pots or for plants with lots of foliage you have to get under and controlling the water flow.
Another watering can that’s actually created intentionally for the Plant Person that I’m excited to tell you about is by the one and only Darryl Cheng from @houseplantjournal, who was my guest on Episode 08: Dirty Talk and the Creation of Houseplantjournal and Episode 52: Soil Aeration and Living in a Low Light Home .If you follow Darryl on Instagram or his blog, you know he is a huge advocate for soil aeration. Darryl says “water your plants because it’s doesn't rain in your house. Aerate your soil because there aren’t any insects in your house”. So this super sleek, super sexy, chrome watering can that has a thin spout has a soil aerator attached to it. I mean… look at that thing! It's gorgeous! Darryl provided me with some great information on soil aeration here. You can find the watering can on the shop section of his website at here
When I started getting into plants, my sister started getting curious. So for Christmas last year I gifted her a “starter urban jungle”. It had several cuttings of my own plants, a snake plant, a pilea peperomioides and some small succulents for her big windows. My sister now has an apartment FILLED with plants! Helping her get started on her planty journey was so fun, but watching her own passion and collection grow has been even more fun.
I have loved getting plants shipped directly from the grower to my doorstep with Plants by Post. Plants by Post is a family-owned nursery located in Northern California specializing in indoor and outdoor annuals and perennials that ship direct to your doorstep, nationwide. They care about sustainability and are even MPS certified (meaning they submit their energy, water, chemical, fertilizer and recycling practices and usages on a monthly basis to be graded by a third-party certification company) AND their shipping is on POINT (check out several unboxings of their plants on my youtube channel!).
Their website is super easy to navigate and you can mix and match which plants and pot combinations you want! I appreciate that since their pots don't have drainage- they slip the plant in it's nursery pot into the “cache pot” – which makes watering a breeze!
(Code valid through end on 2019)
I found these “plant sticks” by FruitSuper at Sprout Home Chicago and I have totally fallen in love. My first couple of pilea babies stretched a bit because I didn't have them close enough to my grow light- so I've used these “sticks” to prop them up in a stylish way. One pack has three brass sticks that are different shapes. They are beautiful AND super helpful for unruly plants!
Highline Wellness makes premium CBD products without any THC at honest and affordable prices (learn more about the difference between CBD and Cannabis at the end of Episode 69: Growing Cannabis Part 1. Adding their oil to my nighttime tea or tonic helps me wind down after a long day and fall asleep in all of the different hotel rooms and beds as I travel on tour. I also love their nighttime gummies that have both CBD and Melatonin in them (my new fave). They even have a really affordable gift set available!
Billy and I are OBSESSED with our Wallygro wall. We installed it in December of last year and the growth in the last year has been unbelievable! Check out the before and after below! For anyone who has aspirations of a living wall in their homes or on their patios, a Wallygro set would be the perfect gift (to either gift or request for yourself!). They have several different models of Wallygro planters and pockets that are sustainably sourced and made from 100% recycled plastic. They come with everything you need to attach the planters on your wall and assembly seems very easy. How dreamy would it be to wake up to a WALL of plants?!?!
If you've listened to the podcast, you've heard about my amazing stay at the plantiest houseboat in Norfolk, VA but I want to state again how absolutely cozy and special my experience was staying on a BOAT surrounded by plants! It’s a great getaway for couples or a group of friends surrounded by some elements of nature!
To learn more visit www.theloiselainehouseboat.com and message Nicole for 20% off your stay by telling her Maria sent you!
I wrote a blog on my favorite books I read in my first year as a planty lady. It contains a wide variety of books of all levels: from the first basic plant 101 book I opened, to a whimsical and informative book on the history of citrus in Italy, to the botany book I’m reading now.
If you or your gift recipient is interested in learning more about artificial lights (and you’ve already listened to Episode 12 of Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast) then I would suggest getting Gardening Under Lights by Leslie Halleck. She breaks down everything you need to know about grow lights in a very digestible way! Leslie also has a great book on propagation called Plant Parenting: Easy Ways to Make More Houseplants Vegetables and Flowers.
I have more gift ideas on my amazon storefront in addition to various shopping lists inspired from different episodes of the Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast. It's basically a one stop shop for anything and everything houseplant related.
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