Life Video·Houseplanted

Inside a suburban Quebec home teeming with lush plants of every size

Kim of @houseofbotanical reveals her secrets for mimicking natural habitats so that her diverse collection of plants will thrive indoors.

Kim of @houseofbotanical reveals how she mimics natural habitats so that her plants thrive indoors

Houseplanted is a bi-weekly series where folks with extraordinary houseplant collections invite us inside their homes for a tour of their verdant spaces and to share tips and inspiration for keeping nature alive inside. 

In this episode of Houseplanted, we meet Kim, the plant enthusiast behind @houseofbotanical, located in Châteauguay, Quebec. Her extensive collection showcases several giants, including a towering Bird of Paradise and a golden pothos that has crept its way across every corner of her living room ceiling. In this video, Kim shares her expertise on selecting and nurturing the ideal plants to create a lush, green oasis right in your living space.

Check out the video, then scroll down to learn a bit more about Kim and her plant collection

​​This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Tell us about your home.

My husband and I bought our first home during the pandemic in 2020. We left our Montreal apartment so we could raise our two boys in a bungalow located in the rural suburb of Châteauguay. We're fortunate to have a large backyard where we raise chickens and tend to a beautiful garden in summer time.

How many plants are in your collection and how long have you been at it?

I care for approximately 80 plants, which doesn't include all my air plants, all my propagation vessels  — plant cuttings I'm eventually going to turn into plants  — and all the plants that are in my terrariums. For as long as I can remember, I've had a huge passion for botany and horticulture. With our new home came big windows with lots of light, and with that, the opportunity to have the collection I own today. With that said, I've had my collection for the last three and a half years, and a few of these plants I've owned for over a decade. 

Can you share your very first plant, your most recent addition, and your all-time favourite?

My very first plant was given to me by my late uncle — a golden pothos. I've had the plant for over 16 years now. It's been with me from apartment to apartment, and now in a very happy location trailing along my ceiling in our new home.

My most recent addition is a Hoya linearis. Such a wishlist plant! I'm so lucky to own one and can't wait for it to bloom

My all-time favourite is very hard to choose. However, it would have to be my Bird of Paradise, also known as a Strelitzia. Such a statement plant! A magnificent plant that brings a touch of tropical vibes in any indoor space. 

Explain your overall relationship to your plant collection.

I love walking into my home and seeing all the greenery and vibrant colors come together. They represent life, growth and, of course, beauty. I enjoy using plants to create DIY projects. I love learning about, researching and sharing the beauty that comes with owning plants. They not only teach me but also my children the basics of nature — roots, watering, sunlight, photosynthesis — and foster an appreciation for nature.

Describe the emotional connection you have with your plants. How do they make you feel?

Owning, caring for and sharing my plants brings me much joy. They allow me to disconnect from my mom life and work life. Many of the plants I own were bought in response to a special occasion or were given to me as a gift. 

There's an amazing feeling of accomplishment when you put time and care into a plant and you're rewarded with a new leaf  — or beautiful fenestrations on your Monstera Deliciosa, for example. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own houseplant collection?

Know your home environment, take the time to research the plants you're interested in, don't give up and, most importantly, learn from your mistakes if you fail at keeping the plant alive. 

What's the most important rule or practice you follow when caring for your plants?

It's always important to research the plant and then make sure your home can fulfill its needs. I always say, knowing how the plant thrives in their natural environment will give you a better understanding of how to help you care for it and recreate the conditions in your home. With my large windows and lots of sunlight, my home tends to be on the drier side, which means that high humidity-loving plants wouldn't flourish as much.

Have you developed any unconventional methods or techniques for growing and nurturing your plants?

Since most of the plants in my collection are aroids, an original way of displaying them and allowing them to grow vertically is by having their aerial roots attach to something like moss poles or driftwood. I also added hooks on my ceiling to allow my pothos to trail along it. Not only do I enjoy making my own moss poles, but I also enjoy making kokedama plants, and my latest project was making a terrarium lamp. 

Where do you see your plant collection heading in the future? Are there any specific goals or aspirations you have for it?

I'm constantly finding creative ways to arrange them throughout my home. For my next project, I'd love to put together an IKEA greenhouse cabinet. That way I can broaden my plant collection with anthuriums, ferns and orchids. I have come across some beautiful cabinets. I love the look and would definitely be up to the challenge of setting one up. In the future, I'd also love to build a greenhouse in our backyard. I'd love to expand my garden, start my own apothecary station and just have a place where I can be surrounded by more plants, flowers and herbs. 

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