There are so many reasons we should grow plants. It has air purifying properties, it gives out negative ions that creates positive vibes, it improves house interiors, it’s therapeutic, and above all, it keeps you sane under these gloomy circumstances.
Undoubtedly, the quarantine period brought us back close to nature and someone you know, for sure, who may have turned plantita or plantito while stuck at home couldn’t agree more. Social media feeds colored with lush greens are the evidence. And like them, celebrities made plant parenting even more trendy.
Sure, it may have influenced the price tags on plants, but indeed, there’s nothing more fulfilling than seeing life grow, especially now when it is so threatened.
So here are some celebrities who have shared their love for plants for the pure love of it.
A certified plantita, actress Aubrey Miles, who prefers the name “Plant Mother,” has been taking care of several plants inside her home for almost 11 year now. Yes, she was way ahead of the game even before plantita became a trend on social media during quarantine.
She was exposed to gardening when she was young, being a garden host for her grandmother and mother who also grew plants. Getting used to seeing greens, she eventually became a plant enthusiast when she was pregnant with her second son. “I was already doing outdoor gardening then but I decided to bring plants inside the house, so I didn’t have to go out. I think I had more indoor plants than outdoor back then,” Aubrey says.
To Aubrey, her collections are like her kids, minus the crying and complaining. She worries about them when she’s taping or traveling. She also takes care of them with tender loving care.
“Plants give me peace of mind and the patience I never had,” she said. “It did help me stay happy and always positive”
Aubrey also loves collecting rare plants. She has lots of favorites. But she loves Philodendrons that,belonging to the Arums or Aroid (Araceae) family, have so many varieties, because they are the easiest species to take care of. In fact, her most expensive plant is the Philodendrons billietiae variegated, which she propagates, so she can get her investment back.
Among her tips as a garden expert is not to spend too much money on one plant, as well asnot to hoard on your first buy. “You should know your goals and research what plants you’d like to see every day when you wake up. Get plants you can accommodate because you might get overwhelmed, and more plants means more disappointment when they die on you,” she says. “Three to four plants are a good start. Gardening is a responsibility. Plants only thrive under your care and make sure you’re willing to learn how to take care of them.”
Tuesday has been in love with plants since she was young, assisting her grandmother Leony in gardening. When she moved to her current address in 2012, she used the knowledge she acquired from her grandma and combined it with research to do the landscaping of her place.
The comedian, actress, and singer grew plants not only for decoration but for other purposes. She has peripheral plants to protect her home’s privacy as well as an edible garden.
During the lockdown, apart from exercising and reading, growing and cultivating plants kept her busy. Aside from checking on them in the morning and before sleeping at night, Tuesday also plays vinyl records to them regularly.
Last April, when she sourced plants, some of her friends and batchmates asked her to also buy for them. So her hobby became a business. Eventually, she put up her online store Tuestogrow. She stopped retailing, but maintained her regular clients last August, because according to her, the plant community became toxic. Also, customers have become demanding and very rabid.
For those who want to go into planting, Tuesday has this advice: “Don’t get into the hype. Gardening is a commitment and it’s not a fleeting hobby that you’ll start and you’ll give up on as soon as the first plant dies on you. Death in nature is natural and it’s part of learning and improving your gardening skills. So arm yourself with the basics, study and research. Then, start with easy care plants before you go into the more high maintenance ones.”
She also cautions against status symbols “Don’t purchase expensive plants just so you have something to post that people can admire. I’ll be prouder of you if you had a Gumamela plant and you made it flourish, rather than buying a P65,000 Montera Albo that will eventually die on you. That’s how you miss the essence ng gardening.”
Gretchen became viral a few months ago when she posted her Alocasia named Cher on social media. A common plant that grows in the provinces, it is popularly known as Badyang. She was bashed for it and even blamed for its rampant poaching.
In response, Gretchen launched a photo contest with #PlantitaGretaChallenge to raise awareness. She was overwhelmed with the number of entries. She awarded the winner with enough cash to start a small business.
But how did she become a plantita? When Gretchen Fullido moved to her condo unit, she only had a plain white wall interior. Finding it so bare and cold, she decided to put a corner plant. From there, she added table plants then more corner plants until her flat, which fortunately can accommodate a lot of ornamentals, turned into a “jungle.”
“It changes not only my condo but also me because I got more relaxed,” says Gretchen. “I noticed that plants help me with getting day by day when I was going through depression and anxiety. And that even if it’s uncertain outside, and there are things that we have no control of, there’s something beautiful happening inside my home. Moreover, seeing them grow boosts my confidence.”
Gretchen’shas the extra challenge of growing plants without the natural condition to house them. So she studied the needs of every plant she has so they would thrive. She even built a greenhouse and an ICU (intensive care unit) for her plant babies inside her unit. “I always say that with planting, you can apply your theories, whatever you read online, and we can ask experts on certain things, but really your best teacher is your experience,” stresses Gretchen.
Some plants that Gretchen finds endearing are monstera, anthurium, begonias, and caladium. “Even though they look so attractive, I don’t treat them as decorations but as babies. That’s why I am committed to giving time to take good care of them,” she says.
She encourages plant parents to be responsible. It’s possible that we’re taking care of plants indoors while destroying nature outside. So before buying, she advises that you do your research because the plant you want may be endangered.
For more tips on indoor gardening, you may check Gretchen’s channel It’s a Greta Lifeon YouTube.
After posting on social media several photos of her with her plant children in different varieties, budding as well as full grown like her variegated Alocasia Elephant Ear, a huge two-toned plant that really caught netizens’ attention, the online community dubbed her “The Plantita of the Year.”
It’s a title she deserves for having a wide collection of plants, in all sizes, that are scattered in almost all corners of their mansion in General Santos City. In her Instagram posts, you can see various species of plants, common and rare, beautifully displayed not just outside but inside the house from the door to staircase to living room to lounge area and even in the kitchen’s lavatory.
When you scroll Jinkee’s IG thumbnails, you’ll see how good her eye for beauty is. Her impressive collection includesbougainvillea, bonsais, ferns, palms, orchids, aglaonemas, pothos, philodendrons, caladiums, begonias—name it and she probably has it.
‘You should know your goals and research what plants you’d like to see every day when you wake up.’
One of her posts showing two different varieties of Sansevieria (Snake) plants beside the staircaseis a glimpse into why Jinkee loves plants. “Ang ganda mo lang tingnan, nakakawala ng stress (They’re so nice to look at that they relieve stress),” a caption in her post says.
Most of her plant posts are accompanied by bible quotations to inspire her followers.
Actor Rocco Nacino was influenced by his athlete girlfriend Melissa Gohing, who is really into plants. She introduced him to indoor plants that he can grow while staying at home. “It helped me deal with anxiety and stress,” Rocco said in his Instagram video.
The two partnered in putting up an online store All About Plants PH that showcases different indoor plants that are head turners.
As a certified plantito, part of Rocco’s daily routine involves going around the house to check every plant if it has a new leaf or a new bud or something that’s growing.
For starting plantintos and plantitas, he recommends getting a snake plant, the easiest to take care of because it doesn’t need much water and it can grow even in a shady corner of your home. Other plants he finds easy to start with are Money Tree and Peace Lilly.
One of his favorites in his collection is the Watermelon Peperomia, a small plant, whose leaves mimic a watermelon.
Rocco also went live on Facebook during the quarantine and discussed indoor and urban gardening with herbs like Serpentina, which is good for lowering blood sugar for diabetics. He also gave tips on how to repot herbs to ensure its growth.
For him, research is really the key to know what you should put inside your house. He suggests going for the basics and taking care of one. And when you start planting, Rocco reiterates not to overwater your plants.