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Plant Whisperers: Yza Raif

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



This month we met Yza Raif from @shinyhappyleaf, a plant lady from LA who loves to travel. She has more than 140 plants!



Hello Yza!

How did your love story with plants begin?


I’ve been asked many times how or why I started to become a “crazy plant lady”.


My answer is always: “Oh, you know, I just wanted to start a new hobby for the new year...” and so on.


Okay, maybe at first, that’s what I thought I was doing, a “hobby”, but I feel like there’s a lot more to it. All I know is that I am glad that I started this passion!






What's the best thing about living with plants?


Besides the fact that houseplants are natural air purifiers, they are very comforting, pleasurable, giving, fun, and stimulating.


I remember telling my sister how my plants are affecting me. They make me more relaxed and patient. I am also learning when to let go and how to let things be.









How can you manage to have 140+ plants?


When I first started this plant journey in 2018, I used to water and tend to all of my houseplants in one day. That took me about 3-4 hours. It sounds overwhelming, right?


Then I realized that 4 hours wasn't giving the special attention each plant deserves.


So, I decided to water my plants following the popular hashtags: #monsteramonday, #marantamonday, #onwednesdaysweplantpink, #trailingthingsthursday, #philodendronfridays and so on. Thanks to whoever came up with these hashtags for making my life easier!



What's your experience with Pilea?


Pilea Peperomioides was one of my first houseplants. I’ve had it for about two years, and it gave me babies after babies after babies!


It’s truly the best plant to share with my family and friends.


The mother plant is in a 6” terracotta, and few babies that I kept are in a ceramic mug. Both are hanging out by the northeastern facing window. Usually, the humidity level in my apartment is more or less 50%. I water once a week or when the pot is too light!




You love to travel. How do you keep your plants alive while you are away?

When I’m about to go on a week trip, I hold off watering my plants until the day before I leave, and they all should be fine until I get back.


When my trip is longer than a week, I also use hydro spikes to those high maintenance plants (like Calatheas), or I ask my sister to plant sit. So far, this routine worked during my travels.








Do you ever play music for your plants?

Yes! I have this routine where I listen to music every time I tend to my plants.



What's on your plant wish list right now?

Believe it or not, I don’t have anything on my plant wish list at the moment. I’m happy with what I have right now!



Thank you for sharing your story with us, Yza!


Remember to follow her Instagram profile, @shinyhappyleaf.




Let's keep spreading the love and the fun!



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