A House of Plants
When did you first start taking care of house plants? Do you remember what kind of plant your first one was?
I first started looking after house plants a couple of years ago before I moved to Melbourne, and was still living in Brisbane, Queensland. My housemate (a great friend of mine) had a small collection and got me into it. We kept adding to the collection and ended up with well over one hundred individual plants in our apartment. When I moved to Melbourne I started my first ever solo collection. I think the first plant I owned was a Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)! The first plant I bought when I moved to Melbourne was a fairly big Monstera Deliciosa.
What draws you to filling your home with so much greenery? Are there certain reasons why you find yourself drawn to taking care of plants?
I love having plants in my home for a few different reasons. I love the visual of having plants in my home, particularly in my lounge room. It’s a room where I spend a lot of time, and I find it a really comforting place to sit when I’m surrounded my all my plants. I definitely love the aesthetic of plants in the home. I also find that tending to my plants for a few hours a week really calms me. I am definitely prone to being an anxious person, and those few hours a week where I’m unplugged (I have a no devices rule when I’m watering, repotting and maintaining them) really helps. It’s a win/win having plants at home.
Have you done research and read up on how to take care of different varieties, or have you learned to care for your collection through more of trial and error?
A little of both. There have been plants that I’ve bought with a specific place at home in mind and so I’ve bought them for the conditions of that particular space. Others I’ve bought just because I loved them and have worked out a place for them through a little trial and error. I’ve definitely lost a couple along the way, but that’s part of learning. I also find plenty of information online.
Do you have a favorite kind of plant? Do certain varieties appeal to you more so than others, and if so, why?
I hate to play favorites! I do have a couple of Monstera Deliciosas that I love maybe a little more than the others though. I don’t have any particular families/species that appeal to me more than others, but I do love plants with interesting foliage or colorings.
Why do you think house plants are seemingly becoming so popular again, especially with young people?
I think it’s a combination of a few different things. Younger people seem to be living in smaller living spaces, often without outdoor gardens, meaning people are trying to connect with nature in other ways and indoor plants are a great way to do this. I definitely think online media is another reason; every time you open Instagram or Pinterest you’re likely to come across some well placed indoor plants, and they look so great in the home. The fiddle leaf fig trend from a few years ago seems to have opened the door to other indoor plants for some, whilst for others I think tending to indoor plants is an outlet of stress relief (as I mentioned, looking after mine certainly calms me). I also think there’s a real sense of community for many plant owners that’s a really great thing to be a part of.
Your Instagram account is full of gorgeous shots of your plants at home and people really seem to enjoy your images. Did you set out to make this account focus solely on plants, or did it just kind of happen that way?
Thanks so much! I certainly didn’t intend on becoming an indoor plant account at first (if you scroll back far enough there’s some older content, and some awful selfies that I’ve yet to get around to deleting), it just seemed to really take off after I moved to Melbourne and started posting photos of my plants more frequently and found an online community to share them with.
And finally, what advice would you give to someone who wants to start a menagerie of house plants in their home?
My best advice is to have fun with it! Be prepared for some failings, and start small. Find somewhere bright at home and go get yourself a couple of small plants - get advice on growing conditions and watering from the person you’re buying from. Pay attention to the needs of your plants, and don’t overwater!
To see more of Nick's fantastic plant images, follow him on Instagram.
Nick Simonyi is an avid plant collector from Melbourne, Australia. He is a barista by day, and spends most of his spare time in plants stores, drinking coffee, and caring for his plants at home.