Meet the ‘Maker: Simply Chi
Chi is proof that you don’t have to have a big outdoor space to get growing… and that you can take the girl out of the garden, but you can’t take the garden out of the girl. She got her love of gardening from her mother, whose gardening passion was growing food and herbs for medicine. But in college, Chi found her own garden path, growing flowers and tropical indoor plants. She says it’s hard to dwell on your life problems when you have plants that need love and attention! Seeing her plants thrive brings her joy and keeps her motivated to keep on growing and sharing on her website and Instagram page, Simply Chi. We caught up with this busy mom of 4 for a quick Q&A.
What are the biggest challenges you have with growing plants indoors?
The biggest challenges I have (besides that I have more plants than the usual person) is providing them with enough sunlight and opportunity for watering. Some of my plants are fairly large, so it can get difficult moving them around, especially if I have to take the whole plant outside for watering. Also, providing these potted plants with the best soil and nutrients possible can be a lot of work in terms of repotting, fertilizing, and watering. Unlike my plants outside, my indoor plants need more of my attention.
What are your favorite indoor plants to grow, and why?
My favorite indoor plants are my monsteras and birds of paradise plants because they’re larger size plants and they make me feel like I am living in a paradise except for it’s just my living room.
You use a lot of unexpected items as growing vessels – what do gardeners need to consider when choosing an “alternative pot” for a plant?
Choosing the right container involves a number of decisions. You have to ask yourself if the pot will be good for the plant in terms of size, material, shape, and personal aesthetic preferences. For most of my hanging house plants with long foliage I’ll keep them in a plastic container, but will place the plastic pots in pretty baskets and hang them. For plants that need more well drained soil, I keep them in terra cotta or clay pots.
What design tips do you have for growing lots of indoor plants without making the space look too cluttered?
I’d recommend looking around your home and really using your floor and wall space, with larger plants on the floor and smaller hanging houseplants in wall planters or on woven macramé pot holders. Because I have limited space, I will also move plants around depending on how much sunshine they need. If you have high ceilings, I love placing larger plants with long foliage or leaves on high shelving to keep them away from menacing pets or crazy kids. Lately, my rule of thumb has been to give each plant enough space so that they’re not touching. I feel like this also helps with less pest issues spreading.