You may know Bree Clarke as the always-cheery face of lifestyle brand The Iman Project (theimanproject.com), which promotes inclusion, diversity and creativity through workshops and community events. In line with that mission, Clarke’s newest concept, The Plant Project, is bringing people together through the healing power of houseplants. Here, the shop owner gives us her top five plant pointers.
Bree Clarke’s plant emporium is housed in a historic bungalow in Uptown’s State Thomas neighborhood. 2310 Routh St., Ste. B, @ theplantproject__ PHOTO BY ANGELICA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY
1. Plants need love and human touch too.
Talk to them. Sing to them. See them. I’m big on intentional connections—raw and real connections that bring us closer to one another and enable growth. The same goes for plants. When we nurture them and treat them as a living thing, we are cultivating something beautiful.
2. Less is more.
When it comes to dead houseplants, the most common cause we see is overwatering. Watering every day is probably too much, and it’s better to underwater than overwater. Too much water can lead to root rot. Before watering, check the soil first to make sure it’s dry at least 2 inches below the surface. I like to use warm water because it absorbs best.
3. Keep your leaves in tip-top shape.
When dust accumulates on plants, it can block the light from penetrating the leaves, which will make it difficult for the plants to photosynthesize. Dusting is easy peasy— simply wipe the leaves with a clean, damp cloth. This is also a good time to trim any dead leaves, as pruning will prepare your plants for new growth.
4. Decorating with plants will bring you joy, no matter how you do it.
Plants not only freshen up the room, but also improve air quality and reduce stress levels, which can in turn help you be more productive and live a healthier life. Remember that it’s OK to start off small. You can start out with one or two houseplants on the nightstand in your bedroom to get a feel for it. Or you can go all out and start with 20 plants. There’s no wrong answer to how many plants you should have in your home.
5. Plant compatibility is important.
Plant parenthood is a cool ’hood, but just like any kind of parenting it takes some time. We’ve all got different schedules and priorities, so make sure to choose a plant that works with your lifestyle. For example, if you’re always on the go or you travel often, choose a low-maintenance plant that works with your busy schedule.