Hi Plant  Friend!

I'm Maria.

A Plant Killer Turned Happy Plant Lady
making  the world a kinder and greener place by helping everyone successfully care for houseplants while thriving alongside them.

Learning to care for my houseplants in my 500 sq ft apt and growing an herb garden on my small balcony changed my life.

Plants made my tiny apartment feel like a home and a safe haven amidst the hustle and bustle of NYC.

Plants helped me learn how to:
  • disconnect from screens
  • reconnect with nature
  • mindfully spend time with myself 

But more importantly...

But I wasn’t always the Happy Plant Lady you’re looking at right now...

I used to be a serious plant killer. Like... embarrassingly so. I couldn't keep a plant alive is someone paid me! 

Then... things changed. I moved in with my boyfriend (now Husband!) and decided to give plants one last try in an effort to nest in our new home. We set up a small herb garden on our balcony (the video at the top of this page) and this time, I actually applied myself and researched the plants I was caring for. With that newfound knowledge... came success.

That's when things escalated.  With the herb garden thriving, I decided to bring a few houseplants indoors. 
3 turned into 10,
which then quickly turned to 20. 
We peaked with an indoor jungle of 160 houseplants.

When I started caring for plants, in the mornings, I found myself turning away from my cell phone and towards my herb garden. That’s when the magic started.

In those delicious morning moments away from screens, I found myself again.

But our new house plants ended up being so much more than just interior decor...

I perched on my tiny balcony (seriously tiny… literally 9 sq feet) and allowed myself some quiet moments to naturally wake up - screen and distraction free. I’d let the scents of the herbs tickle my brain, watch drops of dew drip from a strawberry leaf, or write a gratitude list in my journal.

It was the first time in a long time (maybe ever) that I was actually still with myself and my thoughts.

And what I found was that caring for plants brought me joy 24/7!  Having living, growing things in our home was a beautiful reminder that growth is always happening, dormancy is sometimes necessary, and to remember to water (yourself)! 

Once the “Happy Plant Lady switch” turned on in me, there was no going back.

After being unable to find a podcast about houseplant care geared for people like me: novices with a little understanding about plant care but a BIG passion and curiosity for it, I decided to make one!

I taught myself how to podcast from free Youtube videos and borrowed a microphone from a friend, and Growing Joy with Plants (Formerly Bloom and Grow Radio) was born!

What I thought would initially be a small passion project of 10 episodes max has grown into 200+ episodes, 2 million+ downloads, and cultivated a BEAUTIFUL community of listeners around the WORLD. 

The Podcast has now become a multi-media company and my first BOOK released in 2022.

I feel honored to help people in their Plant Parenthood Journeys, and am excited to help YOu...

Bloom and Grow some JOY !

What gets me up in the morning...

I believe the basic skills required for plant care, beyond understanding light and drainage, are patience, empathy, and kindness.

If we practice these skills on plants, we can bring those skills into the world and make it a kinder and greener place.

Wanna help me make the world kinder and greener?  Join our Community!

Curious how Growing Joy grew its roots?

Here's a glimpse into our story up until now...


• Book my first Broadway Show (Cats), and move into a tiny 500 Sq Ft NYC apartment with Billy. 
• Fall in love with the experience of caring successfully for plants and decide I want to share this experience with others like me.
• Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast (this was the podcasts first name)  is launched!


• Growing Joy hits the road! I travel the country on the Broadway Tour of Cats, and do Listener Meet Ups and Live Tapings in many of the cities the show is performing in
• Spoke at Cultivate ‘19 about Plant Parenthood and Social Media.
• Hit 1 Million Downloads!


• Come home from a year on tour away from my plant collection.
• Partner with NYBG to take their educational courses and share what I learn with their teachers on the podcast.
• Launch the Plant Parent Personality Test.
• Leave NYC for upstate NY
• Get a book deal to write GROWING JOY

Stay tuned to see where we grow from here...


• Move to the Catskills (from 500 Sq Ft to 5 Acres)
• GROWING JOY is published! 
• Launch Virtual Garden Society App
• Take control of mental health after suffering from depression
• Become a full time Plant Lady Podcaster and Author


• "Bloom and Grow Radio" is rebranded to Growing Joy with Plants 
• Start delivering 4 free episodes per month instead of just 2
• rebrand and reimagine Growing Joy (Virtual) Garden Society

Our Growing Joy “Root” Principles

Our Purpose:  To educate, empower and inspire Plant People around the world to grow their plant collections and cultivate more joy in their lives.


Keeping it real, always.


Everything we do always relates back to serving our audience of plant friends. We prioritize our audience over money.


Making the world a kinder and happier place.


Always seeking to learn more, with an open mind.


Never taking ourselves too seriously and centering joy in every action we take.


We work to cultivate A network of like-minded individuals that build and support one another

Check out my favorite Planty Products!

Check out the Bloom and Grow Shop for all of my favorite planty merch, books, plants, pots, educational resources, accessories, and more!  Can't wait to hear what you snag!

Visit the Bloom and Grow Shop

Snag some freebies to help you Grow More JOY!

Green up your workspace

Transform your work-from-home set up into a restorative oasis that you actually look forward to going to every day.

Snag the guide

Understanding Natural Light

Learn to confidently measure and understand YOUR specific light availability in your home. No more guessing what "bright indirect light" is!

Snag the guide

Plant Parent Personality™ Quiz

Unlock your Plant Parent Potential by taking the Plant Parent Personality™ Test and get recommendations for your specific lifestyle. 

Take the Quiz

Garden Club Art Print Download

Never miss an episode, event, coupon code and more by subscribing PLUS receive a free and exclusive Molly Mansfield “Keep Blooming” Art Print download. 

Join the club

So glad you're here,  plant friend!

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