Life Video

Houseplanted: Inside a Toronto plant consultant's botanical oasis

Julia, aka @torontoplant.girl says, ‘I let the plants do their own thing. It’s their world, I’m just living in it.’

Julia (@torontoplant.girl) says 'I let the plants do their own thing. It’s their world, I’m just living in it'

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. 

Meet Julia, aka @torontoplant.girl, a Toronto-based plant consultant and stylist who helps her clients achieve their botanical dreams. In the first episode of our new series Houseplanted, we explore her leafy collection and get her advice for finding the houseplants that are right for you.

Check out the video, then scroll down to learn a bit more about Julia and her plants.

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

Tell us about your home.

I live in Toronto at home with my family. It's the house I grew up in since I was about four-years-old.

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

I think I have around 100 plants in my collection, and I've been collecting plants since 2018.

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

My very first plant was actually four plant purchases. I went to my local garden centre and got a snake plant, a small Bird of Paradise, a succulent and spiny cactus. I still have the snake plant and cactus in my collection! 

My most recent additions are a few bigger plants that I purchased for my home office: a Dracaena Reflexa and a Monstera Deliciosa. 

All-time favourite… this is a tough one. I would have to say my original Monstera Deliciosa that I bought in early 2019. I got it in a small three-inch pot and now it's in a 12-inch pot!

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

There's such a calming effect that I feel when I'm surrounded by plants. If I'm ever having a bad day, I know that taking care of them or going to a garden centre can alleviate my anxiety.

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

Start with "easy" plants and don't just get a plant because it looks pretty. Learn the basics and start small so you don't get overwhelmed.

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

"Patience is key." One thing I always hear is "how much longer till this plant gets bigger?" I think people miss out on the fun of nurturing the plant, and watching it grow day by day. I, too, wanted big, luscious plants when I first started, but the joy of getting the tiny plants and seeing how much they've grown in the five years I've had them is priceless.

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

I do have some of my plants growing up my wall where the aerial roots have attached themselves quite literally to the wall of my room... pretty unconventional.

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

Keeping my collection healthy and growing strong is the biggest goal. I want to be in my 50s and 60s with the same plants I have now in my 20s… that would be pretty cool.

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