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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.
I’ve been introduced to so many amazing companies and planty products this year, I have been blown away by the passion of many of these small business owners, and the amazing products they make to improve our Urban Jungle driven lives. I decided to share with you my list of “Maria’s Favorite Things” – a list of planty products that I have been loving lately and items I think would make great gifts for your plant friends this holiday season… or maybe you’ll find they would make a great gift for YOU and you might want to tell your partner or family member to check out this episode/blog!
There are items on here for the ultimate beginner that you might want to inspire this season, and items that could enhance any epic plant collection of a long time plant person. More importantly, I’m just excited to shine some light on these companies that I think are really cool and worth supporting! Let’s take our holiday budgets and support small business owners this year!
I’ve got a LOT of fun products featured here for you! For your ease of reading, I’ve broken them into the following categories: Planty Jewelry, Planty Accessories, Planty Pins, Planters, Grow Lights, Books, and then great resources for live plants and other planty gifts.
So you know, I have affiliate relationships with some of these companies, which means that Bloom and Grow Radio receives a portion of the sale at no extra cost to you. This is a fun way to support the podcast AND your gift list, or planty dreams.
Alright… who is ready for some plant themed products?! Read on!
My first plant themed jewelry purchase was the “Plant Lady” Necklace from Avrocomy, and I pretty much haven’t taken it off since it’s arrival. Allison Jenetopulos is the metalsmith and mastermind behind the amazing online jewelry shop, Avrocomy. I met her because we did a giveaway together where she donated her popular “plant lady” necklace, and after the giveaway, I couldn’t stop thinking about it and had to buy one for myself.
It’s this extremely dainty necklace that has “plant lady” in script attached to a delicate chain and comes in silver, gold and rose gold. It’s so light that I forget that I’m wearing it. It’s just a really fun riff on your traditional name plate necklace.
She also has an entire line of botanically inspired jewelry, including tons of monstera leaf pieces, and they are all handmade by her. Visit her site at https://avrocomy.myshopify.com/
My second planty jewelry purchase was at Folia Collective in LA, when I was visiting my #plantfriendIRL and guest from Episode 24: How To Start A Plant Shop , Danae. She was wearing these adorable, gold earrings that looked like hoops, but were in the shape of monstera leaves and I once again, just had to have them. These “Plant Profile Earrings” are made by WKNDLA exclusively for Folia Collective. Each set of hoops are asymmetrical because they are hand formed and I love that if you are a plant person, you can totally tell that they are based off of a monstera leaf, but if you aren’t a plant person, they just look like really cool, funky earrings.
Folia Collective has a beautifully curated shop with lots of amazing planters and accessories, so make sure to check it out. http://www.foliacollective.com/shop/monstera-leaf-earrings
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.
Visit her website https://rt1home.com/collections/all to take advantage of that discount for the tarp or other awesome products.
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 valuble 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! 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
I know misting our plants is debated to how much the infrequent mist actually helps increase humidity, however, I love doing it when I remember to and I do think any additional source of humidity, even if it’s periodic, is helpful. Also, it just feels good to grab a mister and spritz down your plants sometimes, am I right?
I actually got this silver mister pictured above from my brother last year for Christmas, and I can’t tell you how much I love it and how much I use it. The silver looks sleek and blends in with my living room decor and it just brings a big smile to my face whenever I use it.
For those of you looking for a mister with glass, instead of metal, I love the look of this mister (pictured above) I found on Amazon from a company called Purism. It’s a super cute circular water vessel that comes in all sorts of colored glass and has a brass sprayer. I love that you could get different colored glass to go with whatever color palate you have in your home.
One more fun plant accessory that brings a smile to my face is from a ceramicist named Krista who is behind the Instagram account and Etsy shop, Her Name is Mud. She makes these really adorable little “Plant Pokes” which are little porcelain medallions that have funny planty sayings on them like “don’t’ be a prick” and “it’s not easy being green”. For someone who already has a lot of plants, these could make a great gift or stocking stuffer.
I’ve loved my growing collection of enamel plant pins on my backpack, because they are a super fun way to express my inner plant lady when I am out and about and not with my plants. Plant pins are so popular and there are a ton of pin companies out there making them right now, but these are the ones that I am particularly loving these days.
Aisha, the founder of Love and Paper NY, was actually one of my first plant friends I ever made at my first plant swap. Love and Paper NY is an awesome design company that does creative things from wedding invitations, to stationary to these adorable plant pins. I have her Plant Mom pin on my backpack. Browse her whole shop at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LoveAndPaperNY
The most epic plant pin company of them all is Hemleva. You have probably seen these adorable pins and packaging in local plant shops around you, because the founder Samantha is kind of taking the plant pin world by storm. If you visit their website, you’ll see the wide array of different planty pins she has designed, from a rose gold saguro cactus to a “Plant Lady is the New Cat Lady” pin, but my favorite is her Culinary Herb collection, because we all know how much I love my herb garden. I love the idea of an herb garden on your backpack or shirt or jacket! https://www.hemleva.com/flair/
Two of the other pins on my backpack are a set from from Folia Collective. They made a set of friendship pins called their “Best Fronds” pins which are so freaking cute. One pin is a Monstera adonsonii and then other is a Alocasia leaf. You can buy the package, keep one for yourself and give the other to a plant friend! The gift that keeps on giving!
Alessia from @apartmentbotanist who you know from Episode 36 on How to Grow a Large Urban Jungle in a Small Space and Humidity Hacks, has made a beautiful Monstera inspired pin called the “Celestial Monstera Pin” which is a gorgeous black and gold pin with gold little stars all over the monstera. She will be restocking her pins soon at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ApartmentBotanist
I honestly have to say that right now, I’m a little frustrated with the limited amount of affordable, stylish pots that have drainage on the market. I’m thankful for the artisans and curators I mention below who are committed to this in their work. I also am definitely having a moment of moving away from purchasing planters without drainage anymore. I have a mixed collection in my apartment of drainage and non drainage pots, and I have plants living successfully in the non drainage pots, but I’m really just enjoying bottom watering my plants, and feel like it is so much easier to not overwater plants when you have that drainage hole. So here are a couple of ceramicists I love, and a couple of websites I like to go to to search for planters.
Ok… this artist is my new planty artisan crush. Michiko is a Brooklyn based artist originally from Japan who crafts the most gorgeous planters and tableware. I discovered her in my new favorite Brooklyn plant shop, Tend. But upon further inspection, I realized that she is also the artist behind the pots that Alessia from @apartmentbotanist talked about on Episode 36: Growing a Large Jungle in a Small Space. She has a variety of pots on her website, but I am completely obsessed with the work she does with terracotta. I mentioned before that I’m moving towards only buying pots with drainage holes, I’m also trying to use mostly terracotta pots, because 1) I like the unified look and 2) I like that terracotta is a porous material that helps the soil dry out to avoids root rot.
Michiko’s work with terracotta is so much more than your basic triangular terracotta pot you buy at the garden center. Her designs are sleek, minimalist, and almost delicate.
I can’t say enough about her work, so just visit her etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/MichikoShimada
*This code expires 11/18/18 so go check her site out asap if you are interested in using it.
Another artist that a listener tipped me off to was Melissa of Muddy Heart. I found Muddy Heart because this listener specifically suggested Melissa’s Mid Century Modern Style Planter and Wood Plant Stand. I had several people reach out to me for mid century style planters, and this and lots of other things Muddy Heart has to offer seems to the answer to our prayers. Melissa hand crafts each item to order and what I love is you can order it with or without drainage. How cool is that?
For anyone who has aspirations of a living wall in their homes or on their patios, a Wallygro set would be the perfect gift. 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 are interested in incorporating grow lights into your homes, I strongly suggest listening to Episode 12: Everything You Need to Know about Indoor Grow Lights of the Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast. There I have Chris, the Plant Scientist from The Sill, breakdown what light actually is, and how lights replicate it. Below are the three grow lights that I personally use in my home and absolutely LOVE.
I use the Growbar in my bookshelf (for a cute video on my installation, click here) and their Grow House in my very low light kitchen. Their LED lights are full spectrum and have a soft white light and at its highest light it’s 4500 lumens! The lifespan of their lights runs up to 12 years and the lights produce little heat and are water resistant. 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.
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 recently 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.
I wanted to give a HUGE congratulations to Morgan (Guest from Episode 15 of Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast: 5 tips for Curating a Planty Instagram) and Erin (Guest from Episode 16: Mounting Epiphytes) from House Plant Club for the launch of their book: How to raise a plant and make it love you back. If you listened to Episode 15, you’ll remember that Morgan and Erin actually announced that they were working on the book on Bloom and Grow Radio! These women did such an amazing job with every aspect of the book, from the photography, to the layout to the topics. They cover the basics with necessary tools, pest control, best watering practices, but also dive into Vacation Plant Care, fun DIY tutorials, profiles on their favorite plants and #plantshelfie inspiration. I’m so proud of these two and think this book would make a great coffee table addition and the perfect gift!
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!
One more book by a recent guest worth mentioning that’s available for preorder is the Boys with Plants book! Founder of the @boyswithplants instagram account, Scott announced that Boys with Plants will be having a book come out this spring! It’s available for pre order here!
If you are thinking that you want to go the direct route and send a loved one a plant for the holidays: here are my suggestions! (Sorry for my International Listeners on this one, not sure where these companies can ship to and where they can’t.
We all know my “Citrus Grove” aka living room corner where Lemony Snickett (my Meyer lemon tree) and Limey (My bearss lime tree) live is the pride and joy of my urban jungle. Growing citrus indoors is SO fun and watching the small blossoms (which smell amazing) bloom into fruit that you can harvest (and make cocktails with) brings me so much joy. Episode 29 tells you everything you need to know about how to grow citrus indoors! If you are interested in growing your own citrus or gifting a citrus tree, I love the guys at Via Citrus. They grow their Meyer Lemon, Lime and Calamondin trees in Florida and ship them nationally.
If you live on the East Coast, I would be careful with ordering Citrus in the wintertime and be ready for your tree to have a period of leaf drop as it adjusts to your indoor environment. Both of my trees dropped a lot of leaves when I brought them home, and then put on a lot of growth after the got comfortable.
Wouldn’t a fun (and EPIC) gift for someone be a citrus tree paired with a Soltech Solutions light?! (Or maybe that’s the gift you request for yourself…)
I love Gardenuity and their customized herb and vegetable gardens that are curated specifically for your local conditions. What better gift this season than something you can not only grow… but eat! They have a Matchmaking system that matches you (with your zipcode) and the plants perfectly suited for your zone to be grown in the moment. I grew their kitchen herb garden this summer and cannot say enough great things about the quality of herbs that arrived on my doorstep and the fun assembly of the kit.
To see what seasonal herbs and vegetables you can grow right now, visit www.gardenuity.com and enter your zip code!
I’ve talked about Folia Collective a bunch throughout this blog, but their online shop has a bunch of awesome planty products from tools to pots to accessories to those gorgeous earrings I mentioned. It’s definitely worth a look for gift inspiration!
PIEP made it’s way onto the plant scene as your go to grower of Pilea Peperomiodes. You’ll remember PIEP’s owner, Mackenna, being the Pilea whisperer who joined me on Episode 14: The Friendship Plant aka Pilea Peperomiodes. I have sent MANY gifts to friends and family from PIEP because they always have really fun and interesting plants available on their website (including Pilea Peperomiodes, of course!). The plants have always shipped well.
A product they make that I think is just adorable (and have used on my Pilea) is their Friendship Plant Kit! It’s this adorable kit that comes with 3 small pots, soil, fertilizer, pruning sheers and even gift bags and clear instructions on how to properly propagate your Pilea pups to share with friends! I propagated 3 pups and potted them up and have loved sharing them in their adorable pots and gift bags that come with them!
We know my love for The Sill runs deep with my Plant Science Series on the Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast with the Plant Scientist, Chris (Check out Episodes 2, 12, 18, 30 and 38 to hear my chats with Chris!) Their quality of plants, and the way they ship plants is unparalleled. They also have a great selection of pots as well as online classes available on their site in addition to a plant subscription service.
To learn more, visit www.thesill.com
and last but not least…
I realize I need to hop on the Bloom and Grow T-shirt and apparel bandwagon, I actually have a ton of ideas for this but just haven’t had the bandwidth or time to actually make the line that I’d like, (so if anyone out there has experience with this and wants to work together, reach out). BUT many of you have mentioned that you love my “Keep Blooming, Keep Growing” shirt that I wear in a lot of my photos so I’ve arranged for that shirt to be available to you too. It’s a super soft material and has a billowy fit which is lovely for weekend plant shopping or repotting.
So if you are interested, go click the photo!
If you are in the market for a pop socket, here is the link to the Bloom and Grow Radio Pop Socket as well! Could make a great stocking stuffer for the BAGR listener in your life 🙂
Bloom and Grow Radio is a weekly podcast created by host Maria Failla to empower and inspire people to bring nature indoors. A self proclaimed “Succulent Killer turned Crazy Plant Lady”, Maria interviews expert guests and learns alongside her listeners on various aspects of houseplant care.
Listen to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and most other podcast players.
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