Hello gardeners – I’m back with the 8th in this series of interview posts. I set out to talk to gardeners who have blogs or YouTube channels.
I wanted to learn more about them, their interests, what kind of content they create, how they got started with gardening, and more.
Below, you can read our 8th interview with Mike, who runs the Plantician website.
1. What is your name and location?
Hi, I’m Mike and based in Sydney, Australia. I live in the western side of Sydney, where temperatures are generally warmer than in surrounding suburbs.
2. What is the name of your website, and what topics does it focus on?
My houseplant and gardening website is plantician.com, a side project I started in September 2021. Like many, I picked up gardening and general plant-keeping during the pandemic. My site covers various gardening topics but more so in the houseplant space.
3. What is an interesting fact about you?
I often compare myself to a flower because I need to be outside daily to take on the sun. I spend most of my time working from home, so I find gardening an important activity for the mind.
4. What is an interesting fact about gardening that not many people know?
House plants grow better when they’re repotted into a bigger-sized pot. New plant parents often buy from their local nurseries and continue to keep their plants in their original pots.
This may be because they’re not confident in the repotting process. A lot of people overthink this step, and there’s plenty of online demonstrations for beginners.
5. What is your favorite plant? Why?
My favourite plant at the moment is the epipremnum amplissimum silver that I brought home a few months ago.
The plant requires very little maintenance and watering. Unlike some other plants I have, I don’t have to take this one outside every now and then for fresh air. It grows incredibly fast and adds a beautiful touch of green to my room.
6. What is your gardening nemesis?
For indoor plants, fungus gnats are probably the most annoying pest because they fly around my computer screens. I now limit the number of houseplants in my room to reduce dealing with these pests.
For my outdoor vegetable plants, aphids, caterpillars, and whiteflies are irritating pests to deal with. Most mornings, I have to check the backside of leaves for pests. Insecticides are also expensive to buy on a regular basis.
7. What is the biggest gardening mistake you have made? What did you learn from it?
I made the common mistake of overwatering my indoor plants. It’s so easy to do this.
One often thinks that you can simply bath the soil weekly, but this is too much for some plants, such as succulents. These days, I like to keep houseplants that are forgiving in some under or over watering, such as the peace lily.
8. What is your favorite gardening gear? (equipment/tools) Why?
My bare hands! Getting my hands dirty in soil in the repotting process feels good.
9. What is your favorite gardening article that you have written on your site?
One of my favorite articles that I’ve written is about reviving the Alocasia Black Velvet. I’ve read several online articles stating how easy to care for this plant, but my experience totally agrees.
This tropical plant is fussy in its weather conditions, and I’ve had trouble keeping it alive throughout the winter season.
There was a point where it had lost of all its leaves and I was about to throw the whole plant in the bin. But I decided to keep it, and it surprised me with new leaves at the start of spring!
Another article I enjoyed documenting is the appearance of brown spots for the Tradescantia Nanouk. I enjoyed watching this plant grow due to its unique tints of purple.
However, they tend to grow brown spots, and I experimented with placing the plant in various lighting conditions around the house to see its preferred location. I shared my findings in this article.
10. How many posts do you have on your website?
As of 20 April 2023, I have 90 posts on my site.
11. How many posts do you write per week/month?
On average, I post one article a week. I’d love to be able to share my knowledge and post more content at a faster rate, but my day job can get very demanding.
12. How long have you been interested in gardening?
I’ve been interested in gardening activities for over five years.
13. How many different types of plants do you have?
I have about 20 different types of houseplants and 30 various vegetable plants at the backyard.
14. Is there anything else about gardening or your website that you would like to mention?
For someone who’s thinking about starting some kind of gardening or plant care, I suggest starting small and looking for plants that are easy to care for.
A common houseplant to start off is the Pothos. These are often very cheap at the nursery or you may be able to snip a cutting for free from a friend.
The pothos is common everywhere (at least in Australia) and is a great beginner plant that grows in a wide spectrum of weather conditions.
Once you get comfortable, you can branch off to other species of houseplants. I recommend quickly researching the interested plant before buying from the nursery to minimize the chances of killing plants.
Unless you have time, I would avoid growing fruit and vegetable plants because they can attract a whole of issues, especially dealing with pests.
Whatever plant and gardening journey you decide to take, enjoy the process!
Mike, thank you for taking the time to do this interview!
If you want to check out Mike’s posts, you can find them here.
I hope you enjoyed this gardener interview, and I hope you learned something interesting today. Check back soon for more interviews!
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