Plant Life

It’s official, plants are having a moment. What started off as an Ikea cactus here and a cheap supermarket succulent there has transcended into a fully fledged green finger obsession. Cheaper than pets (and children), pretty to look at and carrying great health benefits to boot, there’s definitely something appealing about this plant life.

So to discover more about the dos and don’ts of becoming a plant parent we sat down with BrandAlley’s very own Head of Marketing, Alexandra Simion AKA @flatwithplants to find out first hand just why her plant babies are so special to her…

How did your plant obsession start and where’s the best place you’d recommend to buy from?

It all started when a friend of mine asked me to plant sit for her while she and her partner were renovating their home. The mere thought filled me with dread as I was terrified of killing all of her plants yet I accepted the challenge anyway. To become an expert overnight I installed 3 plant apps on my phone to research how to care for them and I’m pleased to say we all survived!

Since then I’ve bought all of my plants online, a very millennial approach to being green fingered! Some of my first plants were from a website called Patch Plants but I also found lots of smaller sellers on eBay with a great variety of plants for very good prices.

Are there any health benefits to having plants in your home?

Definitely! In my case, caring for the plants is extremely beneficial to my mental health as it helps me to quieten my mind and relax. Plus, some plants have great capabilities for purifying the air in your home by providing a natural way of removing toxic agents such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air. NASA carried out a survey to see if house plants would help clean the air in their space station and lots of common house plants like Rubber Plants, Snake Plant and Devil’s Ivy all made the cut.

What’s your favourite plant and why?

It’s probably my Philodendron Pink Princess. It took me months to find it as it’s rare in the UK and it was by far the most expensive plant I’ve ever purchased.

Which plant would you recommend for a beginner?

My ‘starter pack’ included a Pilea, a Rubber Plant and an Aloe Vera. None of them have died a tragic death (though the Pilea was very close) and in fact actually thrive on a bit of neglect every now and then.

Any other top tips for first time planters?

Firstly think about the space you are buying plants for. Does it have enough light for a plant to survive and thrive? If your place doesn’t have a lot of natural light, try searching for plants that can survive in low lights such as a ZZ Plant, Sansevieria or Snake Plant. However, if your place has no natural light at all you should perhaps consider some artificial plants or setting up grow lights to ensure they thrive.

On the subject of living space, plants also need humidity and shelter from frost and drafts so it is imperative to take your space into consideration before any purchases.

And lastly, don’t be scared to lose plants! If your plant dies it’s just a perfect excuse to treat yourself to a new one (or two)!

And finally what’s next on your shopping list?

I’m on the hunt for a Hoya Carnosa Tricolour and a variegated Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Keep an eye on Alex’s Instagram page for regular updates and exciting giveaways!

Words: Jenna Jones