People, Places & Plants: Plant Artists We Love
Nature was a source of inspiration for our Spring 2018 collection. Awed by the lush greenery of the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Gardens during the filming of our latest video, we wanted to bring the set home—and then we realized we could.
In the third and final edition of this series, we asked our favorite plant artists on Instagram how to succeed at plant parenting in the most unnatural climate—the not-so-plant-friendly indoors.
BR: How much commitment do indoor plants require?
“Indoor plants require love and attention just like we do,” says Lisa Muñoz, interior plant designer behind Leaf and June. “The amount of attention really depends on what types of plants you have as well as the environment they’re living in.” Leaf and June is a plant interior design and installation studio introducing plant life to New York spaces.
BR: Where do plants thrive indoors? Under what conditions?
“Plants thrive indoors with good natural light, the right amount of water and humidity, and comfortable and consistent temperatures,” Lisa explains. “If you’re comfortable, chances are your plants will also be comfortable.”
BR: So, what makes a committed plant parent?
According Hilton Carter—an artist based in Baltimore, Maryland—a committed plant parent knows their plants like the back of their hand: “Know its needs and do what you can to make sure the plant thrives. You wouldn’t believe how many people don’t even know what kind of plants they have in their home.” Hilton’s shop, Things by HC, is full of plant-related prints, sculptures and art.
THE FIRST SPROUT
BR: What are the best plants for beginners?
Both experts agree that snake plants, ZZ plants and pothos are the way to go for beginners.
BR: What are the best small indoor plants?
“Dracaena, cacti, hare foot fern and any variety of pothos,” Hilton suggests. Lisa recommends succulents and silver Philodendron.
BR: Best big indoor plants?
For Hilton, the larger varieties of Philodendron and Monstera are perfect for those who are ready to take on big plants, while Lisa is a proponent of Dracaena marginata and bird of paradise.
BR: Most rewarding (or fickle) indoor plants?
Lisa finds the maidenhair fern and angel wing begonia exceptionally rewarding despite their demanding care schedule. Hilton and Lisa are both fans of the ever-popular Ficus lyrata, better known as the fiddle leaf fig.
BR: Best plants for a frequent traveler?
“Plants that require smaller amounts of water and can still thrive on a little neglect are best,” Lisa offers, “a snake plant or cactus are great for just that.”
IN FULL BLOOM
BR: What was your first plant?
“My first plant was a peace lily I named ‘Patsy’ after ‘Patsy Cline’—she’s been around for about 12 years now and while she’s very emotional, as peace lilies tend to be, she still gives flowers a couple times a year,” says Lisa.
BR: What plant made you want more?
“I had a money tree named Robert Plant that I bought in Chinatown when I first moved to New York,” Lisa reminisces. “He stood about 8 inches tall when I first got him and ultimately grew to be 7 feet tall. Seeing that growth turned me into a plant-loving lady.”
BR: What is your favorite plant?
Hilton’s first is his favorite: “The purchase of my first plant—the fiddle leaf fig that I bought while living in New Orleans—sent me into the hoarder of plants that I am today.” With over 180 plants, this fiddle leaf fig has definitely made an impact.
BR: The secret to a thriving apartment jungle?
“If there was a secret I’d surely tell you, but it’s just the basics I described earlier,” Hilton alludes, “these are living things that need your attention and dedication. Do a little research on each plant you have and you should be fine. Just remember these 3 words…bright, indirect light.”
BR: What is most rewarding about being a plant owner?
“To me, witnessing the varying stages of a plant’s growth is the most rewarding,” Lisa explains, “with that comes shedding of old leaves and the unveiling of tender new leaves.”
For Hilton, it’s the environmental benefits: “It changes the air in the space—you can really feel that. It also makes your space feel more warm and welcoming. But be careful, your friends might never leave.”