Welcome back to our blog series: Real People Love Plants! We're interviewing our some of our favorite customers that have proven their thumbs to be just as green as plant professionals. We had the opportunity to talk all things houseplants\with Siobhan Rodgers, or @von_whiskey on Instagram:
1. What is your very favorite plant?
My Pilea, of course! I'd been on the hunt for one for so long. I would see people offering them for sale here and there and just always had the hardest time pulling the trigger. So, one insomnia-fueled night at 2am, Black Friday, actually, I came across your page and decided it was time. I never really buy myself anything for Black Friday, so I like to joke that she's my Black Friday purchase of 2017.
(one of my mom's pots from the 70's that I inherited)
2. What sparked your love affair with plants?
I grew up elbow deep in a huge organic garden surrounded by lots of gardenia bushes and hydrangeas, which I also love, but my mom had all of these old, intricate, beautiful terra-cotta pots that she'd collected in the 70's and 80's and they were always full of hens and chicks, aloe, and African violets. She had this peace lily for the longest time and when she moved from the house I grew up in to another state, she passed it on to me. So I guess that's when it all started!
3. What was the first plant you fell in love with?
That would have to be my giant Monstera, Big Bertha. I think of her as the shelter dog of my plants. She has all of these huge, beautiful leaves with these long, thick stems, she's really a giant monster, but the majority of her older leaves are all ripped up and torn. I knew that I had to save her as she was just so beautiful. A lot of her leaves are bigger than dinner plates! She recently put out three new HUGE leaves and they're the most perfect monstera leaves I've ever seen in person.
4. Where do most of your plants live?
We currently live in a 1000sqft condo, so they're pretty much everywhere. I recently counted 48 house plants between plants, cactus, and succulents(not counting the propagated plants I'm working on). While the majority of them are in the living room, I've spent the last few months working on having an entire dedicated wall in our bedroom that is the first thing we see when we wake up. Some have also begun to make their way to my job. Maybe no one will notice lol
5. If you and your favorite plant had a song, what would it be?
Definitely 'Crush On You' by The Jets. I'm an 80's baby at the core.
6. Are there any plants you’ve had to break up with?
Omg, the most frustrating Pothos I've ever come across. I acquired it from a local greenhouse. It was so long and trailing, the prettiest variegated Pothos at the greenhouse. I snatched it up only to get home and see that it had an awful case of root rot. I usually pride myself on being a plant resurrector, so this was a huge blow to my ego. I literally did everything I could think of to save that thing, yet, no matter what I tried, it would look a little better, and then two or three days later, it would be yellow and droopy or shriveled up. Finally, after about two months, after pouting all day over it, I came home from work, grabbed it off of the mantle, and marched it straight to the dumpster. No regrets.
(Its replacement is doing much better)
7. Do you tend to over or underwater?
I'm so paranoid, exceptionally so after the root rot incident. I'd have to say I tend to lean towards under-watering. Better safe than sorry. My motto is if you're unsure, wait another day!
8. Do you talk/read/sing to your plants?
I will typically run my fingers across their leaves when I walk past them for my own happiness. I'll occasionally compliment their new growth or their new leaves. But the one thing I always do, everyday? I tell them goodbye when I leave the house. My dog thinks I'm nuts.
9. Have you made any friendships thru your plant collection?
Quite a few, actually! I moved to Charlotte in 2016 not knowing anyone except my boyfriend, and I have to say, a lot of the people I've met have been through the mutual love of house plants and cactus. I've never been a super social person, so this has been great for my social life!
10. What plant are you dying to find right now for your collection?
It's currently winter here in North Carolina, and it's been exceptionally colder than usual, so the plant selection has been minimal when I go to the greenhouse. I actually have two that I'm dying to acquire: an oxalis triangularis and a begonia maculata. I'm trying to add a few pops of color to my collection. Although, there's no such thing as too much green.
Thanks so much, Siobhan, for giving us a peek into your life with plants!