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Plant Whisperers: let's meet Thijmen van Gelderen

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

Welcome to Plant Whisperers, our blog section where, each month, we interview true Pilea lovers and plant enthusiasts all around the world!


This month we had a chat with Thijmen van Gelderen, a funny plant guy from Holland.

His small apartment is filled with more than 60 plants. You can follow him on Instagram @timeootheosplants; he's also growing three lovely Pileas!


He's what we would call a true plant whisperer. Keep reading to discover why!



Hi Thijmen! When has your passion for plants started?

My love for plants started two years ago. I moved in with my boyfriend, and his house was a bit empty. At first, I started collecting seeds from herbs and vegetables. I loved to see them grow from little seeds into majestic plants and I loved when they bloomed and eventually gave me some fruit or vegetables. During winter I didn't grow anything on my balcony, so that's when I started to collect plants.

At first, I bought a Howea Forsteriana, a big palm that lived inside a big pot. It was an eye-catcher for our living room, but I wanted more. Luckily I have a plant store about 100 meters from my house, so I just started to buy lots of plants. In the beginning, I didn't even know a thing about plants and how to take care of them, so I had to do a lot of research. Now I have about 65 plants inside my little apartment, and I wouldn't want to have it any other way!





Sixty-five plants! You must really love your indoor jungle. Do you have a favourite plant?

My favourite plant must be my Alocasia Black Velvet. I love the dark colours of its leaves, and I love how it grows. Most of my plants are staying in terracotta pots, and the Alocasia Black Velvet fits perfectly inside a terracotta pot with its dark colours. Another plant I like is Pilea Peperomioides, of course!



You are in the right place for that! Tell us something more about your Pileas.

It's one of the first plants I bought because it was so popular. After a few weeks, I discovered four babies growing next to the mother plant, and I put them in water to grow roots. After about a month, they were ready to go into some soil. I gave one away to my mother and one to a friend. I kept for myself the other two. Right now they are almost as big as the mother plant!


I've never experienced any troubles with growing Pilea. The only thing I sometimes forget is to rotate the pots, so they are all growing in one direction, but I don't really mind. My only advice is to give small bits of water two times a week during summer instead of giving more water at once.



Thank you so much for this tip! Our readers will test it out for sure. Where did you place your Pileas?

My Pileas are all in the living room, and they enjoy a south-facing window. They are not standing in the sun but they receive a lot of indirect sunlight, and it seems that they do enjoy that. One of them is in a mason jar, one of them is in a terracotta pot, and one of them is in a white container.



Your Pileas look extremely cute! Do you talk or sing to your plants?

I do sometimes talk to my plants. I don't know why but I feel like they sometimes need it, especially cuttings! They are so little that I feel like they need to be encouraged.



Talking to cuttings... That's enchanting! You really deserve to be one of our Plant Whisperers. Do you share your love for plants with anybody?

Yes, my boyfriend also loves plants now! In the beginning, he was kind of sceptic about the whole urban jungle thing, but nowadays he encourages me to buy more plants. I even removed all the wine glasses out of my cupboard to make more room for plants! 



That's great news! We are glad your boyfriend is now part of the houseplant club. Have you ever met new people thanks to your passion?

Yes! A great thing about my plant obsession is the fact that I had the chance to meet a lot of new people.

I am part of a swapping community which is about sharing plants or cuttings with each other. You can either send them by mail of you can meet up. I prefer to meet up so I can share my passion with other people with the same passion.



Thank you, Thijmen!

Talking with Thijmen has been truly inspiring. We can't stop thinking about him whispering to his cuttings! Check out his Instagram page and enjoy his plant-filled apartment!



Let’s keep spreading the love and the fun!



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