Real Life Plant Parents: Kayla
This month we have an interview with Real Life Plant Parent Kayla, whose brand Genre Green hopes to inspire people to become plant parents themselves. We recently met with Kayla in person and gave her a tour of our greenhouses!
A Growing Obsession
We of course asked Kayla how she got started as a plant parent, but first, we were just blown away by how many thriving plants she has added to her home in such a short time.
I’ve been collecting plants since June of 2018. So, this coming June will be officially a year collecting. I now have a grand total of 65 plants, not including all the plants currently being propagated!
Deep Respect for Plants
Kayla was first introduced to houseplants as a young child, and her love for plants was pretty dormant for many years until she was reintroduced to plants in her twenties.
When I was younger my grandmother always kept two beautiful Golden Pothos on her mantelpiece. I used to help her water them all the time. My other grandparents had a massive garden in their backyard. We would spend hours collecting produce and they would even teach me tricks to picking or special things about gardening. I had appreciation for it, but it wasn’t until I got older did I realize how important all this was.
One day at work, my co-worker brought in sections of this plant. At the time I had no clue what it was but I thought it was amazing. It was sectioned Sansevieria trifasciata, or Snake plant to most. I fell completely in love with it. So I asked her about it. She said this plant was impossible to kill and didn’t need much maintenance, so I thought okay this will be easy, right? Then she went on to tell me the pieces she brought in were from her own plant at home. Those pieces were over 25 years old. Then went on to tell me her plant came from pups she was given from a mother Snake plant that had been in her friends' yard for many years before that.
That’s where everything sunk in. It felt like I was in charge of this plant, like I needed to respect it. I felt like I owed everything to keeping this plant alive. From then on, my adoration for plants has never been the same.
Not Afraid to Fail
We asked Kayla about her advice to new plant parents, and her words of wisdom were spot on!
Surrender to the idea of failing. Surrender to the thought of not being able to make a difference. Each and every day is a lesson closer to succeeding as a plant parent. You must know that patience is the key role in making yourself better. Homing plants or gardening will give you one of the most important life lessons: To be able to love and care for something with knowing very well that it could never even think about being able to love and care for you back. That’s what this is about.
So of course, we asked if she’d had any big failures as a plant parent.
Oh of course I have. I think that’s completely normal. You learn for the future and that’s how you become successful. I had an amazing, 7’ long, Jade and Pearls Pothos. It was so thick, and lush, and it was one of my favorite plants. One day I noticed that it seemed a little sad, it was drooping over the side and the leaves felt soggy. I got a little worried so I checked the soil. A week before hand it was watering day and she was extremely dry so I watered her like normal. Now, the soil felt extremely wet still and I really wasn’t sure why, after a week normally she would have been half way dried up. So, I took it upon myself to check the root system and see what was going on. I pulled it out of my hanging basket and I was seriously appalled. The root system was so compacted and so overgrown that it was actually blocking off the drainage holes to the soil. In essence, everything was getting backed up into the pot and the roots were now sitting in it. I tried my best to save what I could but things like this happen! I’m happy I checked and found out what happened. In learning this, I can now prevent that from happening in the future.
A Showy Favorite
As always, we had to ask about our Plant Parent’s favorite from her vast collection.
The one plant I hold most near and dear to my heart is my Monstera deliciosa. It was my first really “big girl” plant as I was making the transitioning into harder, more exotic plants. I read many articles saying that they were hard and I needed to have all these requirements. If I had to tell anyone about this plant, I would tell them that it’s so amazing. Truly, it has done nothing but impress me each and every day. At one time last month it gave me 5 baby mature leaves and 2 smaller leaves, at one time. It has become such a huge part of my life that I dedicated the leaf as the main logo on my apparel! My Monstera means so much to me.
Inspiring New Plant Parents
Kayla’s website and brand, Genre Green, seeks to inspire new plant parents and help everyone grow their green thumb.
When I created Genre Green I did it with intent of helping and learning. I want to learn from others and I want to share the things that I’ve learned. I hope that I’ve inspired those around me. That is my goal. This community is so much bigger than most realize and I want the world to know about it. I want to share what this community has to give!
Get to know Kayla and her plants when you follow @_genregreen on Instagram!