Plant Whisperers: Ruby Bowden
Updated: Sep 3, 2019
Plant Whisperers is our blog section where, each month, we interview true Pilea lovers and plant enthusiasts all around the world!
This month we met Ruby from @botanic_couture: she loves nature, and she owns more than 150 plants (and a cat!).
Hello Ruby! When and how did your love story with plants begin?
I bought my first plant when I was seventeen years old, but my true love story with plants begun many years later. It was around four years ago now.
As soon as I saw that my mental health was slowly started to improve as my garden grew, I decided to start working on my indoor garden. It was healing me, and it opened a door into a whole new world of plants!
What's the best thing about living with plants?
They are the best home decor and provide clean air in the home, taking away toxins that come from everyday products we use in the house.
Also, I think plants contribute to the creation of a zen atmosphere: being around plants is relaxing.
Being an introvert, I often like to retreat into my jungle after a day around people.
I think that humans were not meant to live surrounded by buildings; right now, we are separating ourselves from nature while we should be living as close to it as possible.
You are a Sanseveria and Senecio lover. Why do you love these plants so much?
Sansevieria plants are easy to care for. They forgive me for forgetting about them and tolerate low light levels. They look unusual, and there are many different varieties.
On the other hands, Senecio plants are challenging. The string of pearls, beads, bananas and dolphins can be quite fussy! Also, I love trailing plants.
How many plants do you have at the moment?
Hang on, I best count!
Ok, so, I have 72 different types of plants, and over 150 plants if you take into consideration propagation and multiples of plants - such as 16 baby Pilea Peperomioides, and 10 baby Monsteras.
That's impressive! How can you take care of all of them?
I think the key is to buy plants that suit your lifestyle and are suitable for your surroundings. I haven't got too many plants that are hard to care for, which means I can give them more time.
Don't just buy plants without considering their needs. Assess your surroundings and get a light and moisture meter!
You have a cat. How's living with a pet and plants in the same place?
My cat Eric loves the plants, he brushes his face against them and doesn't chew them.
One thing I didn't consider when taking up my plant hobby is that some plants are poisonous to cats. I'm lucky I've got a chilled cat.
I've got an outdoor succulent garden and Eric's favorite thing to do it brush up against my Graptoveria Milkyway and knock off all the leaves. So now I have a lot of those leaves in propagation - thanks, Eric!
What's your experience with Pilea?
As soon as I saw I Pilea Peperomioides I knew I had to have one, it just looks so happy (#happilea is my new hashtag)!
I think I've had my Pilea for two years and it's giving me lots of babies. I like this plant because it's easy to care for, easy to propagate and visually pleasing.
Watch out for it getting root bound.
My Pilea started producing a sort of sticky sap, and I couldn't figure out why. When I checked the roots, there were a lot of babies suffocating the mother plant. After removing the babies, my plant became happy again!
What plant is on your wish list right now?
Variegated String of pearls, String of watermelons and there's a string of hearts I haven't got. Apart from that, I think I've got enough plants, don't you?
Thank you for telling us your story, Ruby!
Do not forget to follow her account on Instagram, @botanic_couture.
Let's keep spreading the love and the fun!