Tell us more about you and your podcast! 

Hi, I’m Tay! You may know me from Plants For All People, a now-defunct plant shop I started with my best friend Emily Boevers. We loved what we did but both decided to stop to pursue other careers. Emily and I have taken a huge step back from plants for now, and it’s been nice to have a break. But our love is always reignited again when spring rolls around and we see new growth in all of our plants– and fortunately, it’s right around the corner!

Our podcast is what we decided to keep in the stead of our former venture. It is under the same name currently, Plants for All People: The Podcast. We talk, we are slightly inappropriate on occasion, and we have a lot of fun. Find us anywhere you listen to your podcasts!

First things first, what are some of your all-time favorite plants? 

I would probably have to say, for starters, a pothos plant, a.k.a. Devil’s Ivy. They are incredibly easy to grow and are great plants for beginners because they tell you when they need water by wilting and coming right back after they are watered. But in general I love all types of philodendrons. Most don’t need particularly specific care and grow quickly, which is part of the fun of having a plant in your home. 

What kinds of house plants grow best in our climate, and what kinds of plants should Washingtonians avoid?

Ferns do well in our climate. Other than that, our huge lack of light through the winter months makes it particularly difficult to grow indoor plants here. Because the plants most suited for indoor growth tend to be tropical plants, they want lots of filtered light and more humidity than our average home humidity.  

Most folks who have a lot of plants in their home add in some supplemental lighting like LEDs or fluorescent bulbs to give their plants an extra boost of light through those months and also use a humidifier to keep their plants at their happiest! 

What are some good things to keep in mind in terms of houseplants and sustainability? 

Reuse everything! There is such an immense amount of plastic used in the growing and propagation of houseplants. If you throw away the nursery pots after you’re done planting them into your fancy ceramic, it usually goes directly into a landfill.

Whenever I repot a plant, I pot it into another reused and sanitized plastic nursery pot (you can sanitize by using hot, soapy vinegar water and letting them dry completely before transplanting). Then I place that nursery pot into a fancier ceramic pot. It’s easier for watering (and not overwatering) and for transplanting because you can more easily check on the roots to decide when it’s time to upsize!

What are your top three rules of thumb when it comes to the care and keeping of houseplants? 

  1. Lighting is key! If you don’t have enough light you can really easily overwater your plants and also slowly kill them, sadly. 
  2. Educate yourself on houseplant pests! I had no idea that there were pests that were potentially killing my plants, but they are usually easy to treat if caught early. You can check for them by occasionally inspecting your plants during waterings. Especially check on the undersides of your leaves– this is where they like to hang out. 
  3. Don’t overwater! Plants are resilient and can usually come back from being underwatered but have a MUCH more difficult time coming back from an overwatering. Overwatering literally suffocates and kills the roots, and then your plant can’t absorb water and looks dehydrated. 
  4. I’m adding a fourth because I just have to: Don’t read the tags on the plants for care instructions! They are often wrong and will lead you astray. There are great local groups on Facebook for houseplant tips and tricks. Try out Bellingham Houseplant Circle on Facebook for starters.