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Plant Whisperers: Leaf And Paw

Plant Whisperers is our blog section where, each month, we interview Pilea lovers and plant enthusiasts all over the world!

Plant Whisperers: Leaf And Paw

This month we met Anastasia from @leaf.and.paw. She lives with two cats, an African Pygmy hedgehog, and over 50 houseplants in a cottage in New York. She created a website called Leaf & Paw, where she gives tips about life with pets and plants. She defines herself as "a cat and hedgehog lover, indoor plant parent and, finally-able-to-call-myself, plant blogger."

Hello Anastasia!

How did you fall in love with plants? 

I've always liked plants, but after working at a greenhouse in 2016, I became obsessed.

Now here I am, some hundred plants later. I'm not sure how it happened; it just happened so fast!

Plants have definitely changed my life (and because of that, now I have too many!)

After bringing home a giant Rubber Tree, a Monstera and some small air-purifying plants, I swear the air quality in my home improved, and I just felt better. Plus, those plants inspired my blog!

How can you manage to have 50+ plants?

I grouped my plants by:

1. chance of getting eaten by my cats,

2. sunlight, and

3. watering schedules.

I have a large home, and it takes a while to water each plant, but after grouping them, it became much easier.

What's your experience with Pilea Peperomioides?

I wanted one so much! Finally, a local shop was carrying your Pilea Peperomioides. I bought a huge one and named her Penelope!

That was back in 2018. Since then, baby Pileas have been literally taking over my house! Pilea pups are my favorite part – they're so cute and tiny, and I love watching them grow into mature adults.

In my opinion, the biggest misconception about Pilea is that it doesn't need a lot of light. My Pilea plants love to get a lot of bright, indirect light! I have them all close to a South window, and they seem to be quite pleased.

Your Instagram Bio says: "living with pets and plants is possible." Tell us how! What's your secret?

Yes, you can live harmoniously with plants and pets together.

I get the "how can I stop my pet from eating my plant?" question a lot, and the answer is... You don't. You just need to put some smart solutions in action.

I keep my plants on carts, pedestals, plant stands, and I can't imagine storing them any other way. It allows me to move them around and keeps my more toxic plants out of reach!

Tell us more about your website and blog,!

After a plant mishap with Harlequinn, my little black cat, and a Dracaena, I started to search for some non-toxic plants for my home.

One thing led to another, and I decided to compile my found “pet safe plant” info into a blog, which took off so much more than I expected.

My biggest surprise is the amount of questions I get. I love helping people and am so glad I can direct them to pet-safe plants and help with planty problems!

Do you ever talk or sing to your plants?

Talk, all the time. They also seem to like Jazz and Lo-fi music. If I sang to them, I'd probably kill them!

What's on your plant wish list right now?

Monstera Albo – I'm waiting just to find one on the ground, but that seems unlikely. Also, I am searching for a big Fan Palm. It's pet-safe and so gorgeous, and my living room is desperately missing one!

Thank you for sharing your story, Anastasia!

Remember to follow her Instagram profile, @leaf.and.paw.

Let's keep spreading the love and the fun!

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