Photo Credit @fiddleandfiglady
I have always loved greenery in the home and bringing elements of nature into the home space, but starting out seems like entering a new world, there is so much information out there. As well as the fact that visiting regular plant shops is an overwhelming experience as a newbie because there is so many plants and there is so much to consider such as costs, pot size and maintenance. We interviewed Sarah from @fiddleandfiglady who co-owns an online plant shop with her sister, their interior styling of plants is incredible and will be sure to inspire you! Both women Sarah and Doha make sure to provide you with all the information and styling tips you need to bring your plant dreams to life!
1. How did you become a serious plant owner and what was your first plant?
I have 2 older sisters who have always been creatively inspiring when it came to all things home. Growing up, I watched as they turned their home into a space that felt like an escape from the everyday. Their décor and styling choice was heavily influenced by neutral tones with a touch of elegant, yet refined statement pieces and of course, real plants! So naturally when I got married, I had this preconceived image of creating a welcoming and calming space for myself and anyone who entered my home. This led to my obsession with plants. My first plant from memory was a palm. Purely because it was big and gave off jungle vibes haha. But honestly, it’s kind of a blur now. Fast forward a few years, my sister and I found such joy in styling our homes and incorporating plants, So you could say, what at tipped us both over into being a serious plant owners? The feeling that living plants brought to the home atmosphere. It’s hard to ignore the sense of satisfaction you get watching a plant grow under your care, or even just the calming effect of its mere presence. If we ever went through a stage where there wasn’t a plant in my home, it just felt like something was missing. Thus we decided that we wanted to do something that brought us both joy and satisfaction, and here we are as @fiddleandfiglady
2. What are the benefits of having plants in the home?
Beyond any styling impact plants have on your space, the benefits they bring are immeasurable. Day to day living, we don’t really think about the harmful pollutants caused by cleaning products and materials that are used in our homes. Growing up we learn about pollution and the toxic impact of car fumes, coal, burning of industrial material, and we may think about the harmful effect these all have on the environment, but do we really think of the direct impacts on us as individuals?
Did you know the air quality indoors is almost 30 times more toxic that the air outside? This was not something I had considered before stumbling across the proven benefits of having plants inside the home. Ever wonder why shopping centres and office buildings are decorated with plants? There is a very well-known ‘clean air study’ done by NASA which highlights the toxicity of everyday items and building materials that we have in our homes. Without getting too heavy, or at least trying not, scientists have studied the air-purification capabilities of indoor plants and found that plants can absorb many gases including carbon dioxide, benzene (found in some plastics, fabrics, pesticides, and cigarette smoke) and formaldehyde (found in some cosmetics, dish detergent, fabric softener and carpet cleaner). These are just examples of common indoor toxins that plants help eliminate.
Then there are benefits that relate to our mental health and general well-being.Reduced stress levels, heightened serotonin from working with plants, caring for them and having them around you, boosting productivity and concentration. How do plants do this? Mainly by reconnecting you with nature as currently there is such a disconnect from nature due to work and lifestyle, so having indoor plants is a great way of closing the gap. (There is also a study on this- hint hint… look up the University of Technology Sydney indoor plant study).
3. What plant do you recommend for someone who is new to the plant scene?
Want the best of both? From a styling and beneficial perspective, you cannot go past large leaf plants. Their large surface area is not only attractive, but also gives a boost of photosynthesis together with its ability to humidify the air makes these plants great choices. Also, I would definitely recommend starting off with plants that are well known for being low-maintenance- this will ensure you are not overwhelmed or discouraged from continuing your plant journey.
My top 5: These are not only air purifiers, but they are also easy to care for and are less susceptible to pests.
Peace lily- Super pretty, easy to care for.
Snake plant – UNKILLABLE – only plant that absorbs co2 by day and releases added oxygen into your indoor space by night (kind of a big deal)
Rubber plant – come in a number of variations
Devils ivy- will literally make you feel like your in a tropical jungle
Philodendrons – Many varieties to choose from, super low maintenance, and will make you feel like a plant superstar
What are some general care tips?
Never ever look at it like a plant is a full-time chore. They require much less than you think, and they are resilient! Also, don’t set yourself up to fail with unrealistic expectation or by thinking that one method fits all.
Water: Always test your soil- if it is dry, your plant is ready for a drink!
Sunlight: No living thing can thrive and continue survive without some level of natural lighting. Some plants can handle and love bright filtered sunlight, others are happy in a corner with minimal streaks of golden goodness, at least every now and then. Even if this means you have a low light tolerant plant, it’s as simple as giving it a day in a bright sun-filtered spot once week (like it’s on a vacation).
And for that extra love, just as your plant shows you love by cleaning your air, return the gesture by giving its leaves a wipe down every few weeks to remove dust build up, this is so the plant can continue to photosynthesise and do what it does best, absorb the bad stuff we were talking about earlier. And keep in mind, some plants will have imperfections, they are living things after all. Others will produce yellowing leaves, or even drop their leaves. Maybe they are lacking something, this is where you can ask for help, but most of the time, they are just old leaves, and the plant is making room for new growth.
That’s as basic as it gets. No need to worry about repotting, fertiliser, pruning. This all comes with time and experience. You will undoubtedly reach a point where you just know what your plants need. It becomes second nature, like housework, cooking, feeding yourself and your family
The absolute most important piece of advice I can give is this:
You can surely kill a plant with kindness. Trust me on that one. A little neglect goes a long way (within reason).
I am so inspired to redecorate and fill my home with new plants, I am obsessed with @fiddleandfiglady instagram feed, it is just absolute music to the eyes! To start your plant journey and add beautiful and unique pieces to your home be sure to visit @fiddleandfiglady