Live Encore: Caring for Your Houseplants | Spencer Falls | Skillshare

Live Encore: Caring for Your Houseplants

Spencer Falls, The Unlikely Florist

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8 Lessons (55m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:03
    • 2. Houseplant Care 101

      8:28
    • 3. Helping a Struggling Plant

      7:15
    • 4. Repotting Plants

      10:15
    • 5. Routine Plant Maintenance

      6:05
    • 6. Learning as You Go

      7:54
    • 7. Q&A

      10:12
    • 8. Final Thoughts

      2:43
20 students are watching this class

About This Class

Plant care doesn’t have to be hard or confusing, and Spencer Falls is here to show you how to approach it in a more confident way.

Spencer Falls is generally known as The Unlikely Florist, but he’s developed a deep love for houseplants, too. In this class—recorded using Zoom and featuring participation from the Skillshare community—he shares how he’s translated his organic, creative approach to arranging flowers into his plant care. 

You’ll get to work right alongside Spencer as he shows you how he repots plants when he gets them home from the nursery or when they’ve outgrown their current container, troubleshoots and cares for plants that are struggling, and keeps up the love for happy plants to keep them going strong. On top of that, you’ll get to see how Spencer takes risks, experiments, and learns as he goes in his plant care—giving you the confidence to be a little more playful and bold with your houseplants. So grab a plant to work along, or just watch to learn some new tips for your plant parent journey. 

Along the way, students who participated in the live class were able to ask questions—and a few were even able to bring their plants on-screen to get Spencer’s advice—so you’ll get even more insights into his process.

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While we couldn't respond to every question during the session, we'd love to hear from you—please use the class Discussion board to share your questions and feedback.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: At the end of the day, I just hope that you don't feel like plant care is such a laborious issue, that it can be a really joyful experience and something that you don't have to feel that you're not good at, but it's a work in progress and that you will find a rhythm with your plants. Hi, my name is Spencer and I'm a florist here in Venice Beach, California. I go by the name of The Unlikely Florist. As a florist, I work on everything from weddings to events to gift deliveries and subscriptions. We do, however, live in a new day where gatherings aren't really happening, so each day brings new opportunity and I'm not sure where this new journey will lead us. I think that my approach to plant care and just caring and working with the natural world is very organic and creative. I like to take a lot of lessons from the plants and the flowers that I'm working with in the moment. I don't like to perceive that I have all the answers prior to that experience. Today's Skillshare live class is going to be about plant care. It's going to be about the process of bringing a plant home from the nursery, re-potting it into a pot that speaks to you in your home, and then creating that dynamic and that relationship between you and your house plant. It's going to be about identifying any problems you have or troubleshooting where you might be going wrong with your plant care. Feel free to follow along. Feel free to grab your own plant or even check this thing out and then go out and buy a plant and bring it back and get your hands dirty. I hope that taking this class will set you up to have much more confidence in your plant care, to come away with a few tips and a few tricks and making sure that your plants stay healthy. This class was recorded live, so if I stumbled a little bit, apologies in advance. Please note that, also, I answered some live questions here with some of the viewers here on the Zoom class, so it'll be interesting to see what they had to say. Let's get started, shall we? Action. 2. Houseplant Care 101: Welcome. My name is Opriana, I'm on the classes and content team, it's skillshare. Spencer, welcome, we're so excited to have you here today. I feel like we've all really gained to new appreciation and built a new relationship with our house plants over the last month. Absolutely. I know I have, honestly I've learned so much about plants in this last few months. This has really been a learning experience for me. Just as I've got my hands on different varieties and seeing them and how they respond to different environments within the indoors in my home, or in my studio here which has a lot of open air and natural light. Yes, I'm curious. I mean, when we dig your class, it was all about flowers, which are obviously this flashy, colorful, sexy beautiful thing. But how do you use plants in your home? It's this other at home part of your life? I think that what we talked a lot about in the skillshare class that was using flowers and cut stems was really creativity. It was an opportunity to be creative in a medium that was fresh flowers. I don't see any dissimilarity to being at home and having fresh plants in your home to help make this space more creative and have creative choice. I'm going to choose that plant, I'm going to choose that all kit or this one flowers, this one doesn't, this one cascades down this part. We can really start to look at your home like a canvas or an arrangement. Then the plants that you put into it, like the flowers you might put into a bouquet, can become the characters that make it the space in the art that you perceive it to be. Great. I think we're ready to dive into plant things. Will you just set up for us quickly, a little bit of overview of what students can expect to learn and how they can follow along over the course of the session? Yes, sure. I think that we're trying to emulate is the idea that you've just been to a plant store nursery. You bought a plant, you're bringing it home, and you're trying to place it in your house and you're trying to put it into the part that maybe you love for it and just trying to give it the opportunity to flourish in your space. Everyone has to acclimatize to the new environment we do as humans when we move from New Zealand to America. Our plants do too, as they go from a nursery where they've been cared for by a professional and to your home, where they've gone from being next to that other plant in the shade of that other plant with the air going past it and suddenly they sit on your window so and they get hit by the sun or whatever. I think we are going to be just talking about how best to acclimatize your plant. Given the best opportunity to thrive and then keep an eye on it and listen to it as it experience its new life with you and how you can affect it in a positive way. I love that. Then it can be affect you in a positive way, right back? Absolutely yes. It's a mutual relationship. Great. Students can follow along like probably scissors, plants, water? Yes. Whatever you have at home?. Yes, feel free to get in there. I have a bunch of tones and a bunch of plants and all stuff here. Just to, I don't know, I give myself all the tools and all the ideas and opportunity to touch on different issues, different changes, different things. I mean, tools, scissors, for sure. We're definitely going to prune back some of these plants and take off some of the leaves that might have been damaged and burnt by the sun. I do get a bit of direct sunlight here in Southern California. That's pretty strong, which isn't dissimilar to anywhere really. Some of the leaves have got a little bit burnt, I'm not concerned about it, but they do need to be pruned and that'll just promote growth in another place in the plant. Scissors is great for that. A little watering bottle is also good because some of these leaves have gotten pretty dusty and pretty dirty. Maybe some of the plants, the orchids don't love to be just doused with water. Giving them the spritz in like spraying them down is a good way to manage how much water you're putting into them. I have a little dustpan and little broom to keep things clean. I've got some soils, some options there, some moss, I've got a bunch of stuff. If you have all of this or some of this, I think that you'll still have plenty of things to work with. There'll be lessons for everyone, no matter what tools and what issues you're having or what questions you have. Plant kit can be like intimidating. We all feel like we can't kill on the orchids. We can't get our plants to grow, etc. The reality is plants is just a living thing like any one or anything, and we all need attention and love and care and consideration in all of these elements. Plants are no different whatsoever. If you plan flicking a little side, it's probably because you neglected it. That's okay because all you have to do to fix it is give it some love and some energy and some time. You can also be okay and also hard on yourself, but they gets a little neglected it's because you're busy taking care of something else that was really important to you. Now that you've realized you've neglected it, it's the time to take care of it and fix it. There's different techniques to do so. I'll just even bring up. These are two syngoniums, so you have one that's in this pot right here. As you can see, it's big, it's lush. You have this other one, it's in this pot and it's all, we can use that. Steamy and dry and you can see a lot of these brown pieces here on the inside. I'll probably show you, nicely here. I wouldn't even know that was the same plant necessarily. Well, now you do Opriana. Nevertheless, that is it, one is having a tough time, the other is loving life. I can honestly even almost feel it just by lifting it. There's a lot of moisture in this, a lot of wetness and this and this one is a bit dry. We may pretend like this is our plant that we bring home from the nursery. Partly because one of the great ways to give this plant an opportunity to find itself and new life and become flourishing again, is simply to report it and something a little bit bigger. Give it some fresh soil, give it some love like that. I also have this plant over here which I believe is called bucket spider plant. This may be the plant that I've neglected the most and all of my time with plants. I've never even potted it out of this. You'll often get your plants from a nursery and a pot like this. You can see, I mean, it's all dry, and it's got this one little guy right here, which is why it's called a spider plant because if it's healthy, it's got these lens coming off in all direction and a lot of these guys. If it were healthy, they'd be dozens of these coming off. It's not so health. We will get into that. I think we also want to talk about pruning and cutting bad plants which is going to promote growth and to other parts of the plant. That's how you start to shape a plant. You may have a great plant that you love that you've been working on for a while or caring for a while. But it hasn't really changed too much, or you just want to re-pot it and give it another opportunity to grow. I do that often where I'm just like, "Well this plant has just blown up in this pot and it's time to switch the pots so that it can keep growing, keep living." We'll touch on that too. 3. Helping a Struggling Plant: First I'd love to talk to you about how to help a struggling plant. I think I'm going to clean up this guy just so we can see how we might go about cleaning this up and giving it an opportunity to get healthy again. Often you may need to give this plastic right here a bit of a squeeze to loosen up the roots from it. Then you'll find that it will come out open like this. This guy, is pretty well, like he's filled out that part entirely. You're not seeing a whole lot of room. It's just absolutely filled with roots. We are going to get into him. We can get our hands in there and pull out all this old growth that has just dried and come right off of it. Wow, and you're like not even using scissors there, but you're taking off all those obviously dead leaves. Yeah. I like to think of these right here. Well, this and this is my tools, and then these things right here as my toys. I often find that there's no better thing to do than just to get your hands in on it. Plus you also feel the plant. These things are living, these things are alive. I don't like synthetic things, I don't like anything to be as a barrier between myself, and the plant, and that goes for flowers to, I love to have my hands on the flowers, and feel them because that's the best way to really understand what they need, and what they're about. As you can see, I cleaned that up a lot and now it has none the old dead growth on it that was strangling it and no good. Like I said, this part right here is actually honestly a little too small, a little too shallow for it. You can see that it's wants to sit up tall like that. I'm not going to put this one in there, but that's a great way to clean up your plant so that it has an opportunity to come back. We will get that into a pot or I will get in into a pot in a later date. Yeah. I'm curious with the plant like that, I feel like I've had some where the leaves look really obviously dead but they don't pull out totally easily. How do you tell if it wants you to take that dead leaf off or if it's not ready to let it go? I don't have like an answer that I can tell you that it's effects. I think at the end of the day it comes down to judgment. That's often how I've learned a lot of what I know is really just through trial and error, and experience. Listening to the plant, acknowledging that you are human and it is a living organism too, and just being like, what do you need buddy? What are we doing here? You're [inaudible] is doing your best. That is why we have tools as well. If it is hard to pull something out, but you believe that it shouldn't be there, it's like then you get your toys, and you start trimming it back. We'll do a quick before we re-plant this. We will do the same clean up on this if anything that we can. There's some dried sections in here, on this particular plant. It's true of most plants that it's going to have some dead growth if you cut back or you trim. I've given this a trim. That's why it's so naked, and then the leaves that at the point where I cut the leaves is where we have these dried section, so you can use techniques such as grabbing at here and then pulling it back down the shaft of the plant to get rid of some of that dried stuff. I can already see some little growths coming in, hard to show on this camera. But this is all going to propagate new growth by taking it away. It's really logical, if there's all these leaves that all need this energy to grow, and then all of a sudden you take a bunch of these leaves away. Obviously, there's all this energy that's coming up through the roots that's going to now need somewhere to go, and that promotes that new growth. It's not a crazy concept, but obviously, you understand it more and more, you practice it. In contrary to that or contradictory to that, the other thing is sunlight is the food for the plants. You do have to sometimes walk the line of, do I want to cut this leaf off? Because it's actually providing more food and more energy for the plant that you're working on. Oh, interesting, yeah. It's honestly, is often a question of that too. But trial and error again, maybe taking a look at the specific plant that you're working on, seeing if there's any notes about it online so that you can understand the way that it grows or the time of the year as well. I just planted an apricot tree in my backyard at home. So nice. Yeah. For those who don't know and I didn't really give too much, I'm going to enjoy myself. If you guys don't know me, I grew up on an orchard in New Zealand. My dad grows apples and pears and all sorts of stone fruit. Is a bit of a mind of knowledge when it comes to growing plants. I think that's part of where I get my green thumb from. I must have gotten this plant mid spring. I dropped it into the ground that had all this growth on it. Of course, I want this thing to grow. I want it to get big. The last thing I want to do is cut it back because obviously that just makes it smaller. However, again, applying logic, I drop it into the ground, my dad says to cut it right back. What that's going to allow for the roots to settle, find a new place, take in, get established. They don't have to worry about all those leaves and all those limbs that they once had before and they're going to just worry about getting stable, and steady in this pot. Then once they are feeling good and well-established, then they're going to go sit. Now it's time to grow and it's just exploded, like limbs coming off in every direction, in three months later, I swear it's much bigger than it was before. It promoted that growth by cutting it back, getting it settled, then was able to go, yeah, now we're ready to grow, and it went crazy. 4. Repotting Plants: Coming out of a Terracotta pot is a little different kind of plastic pot because you can't squeeze it and loosen up the stems. I'm going to make a bit of a mess here and look this guy is so dry. oh, yeah. Look like he's just like fully opened up. You can see that there's a bunch of dirt in there which it didn't even take to the bottom of this new soil that I put in here when I planted this. Part of that is due to under-watering. This plant has had a pretty tough time and I've been learning about it. We are going to do just as we said, we're going to repot it into here. You can see here how much lower this guy sits in the pot. That gives us the opportunity to get some fresh soil in there so that he can sit up tall and then also have some space for him to grow up and he can become quite a big old part eventually. Yeah. What sort of the sweet spot for a pot size when you're choosing a new pot and also like the hole in the bottom or not, is that something that you pay attention to? Absolutely. Always a hole in the bottom. The point of the holes in the bottom and not to mention always a hole in the bottom, but also always something that sits the bottom of the pot off the ground. Because the concept or the idea of the hole on the bottom is so that the water can drain out. You don't want to get your roots to get root rot. You don't want them to have wet feet and therefore they can't grow and they can get all rotten and therefore it can kill the plant. Having it raised up even. You can often find these dishes. Yeah the little like saucer. Yeah. Exactly, the saucers. I don't have any right here, I'm sorry. But yes, saucers underneath it so that the water can drain through the bottom, knock it out onto your wooden floor and rot that out. The water can drain out of the bottom of the plant and not get the roots all rotten and then therefore it can breathe. So yeah, very important to do that. I'm going to bail on this soil because obviously it wasn't done with pet. Then soil is important as well. I mean soil is super important because obviously it's what your plant is going to use to grow. Now I have a clean pot here. The soil that I'm choosing is not the plugged the brand or anything, but they do make great soil. This company called FoxFarm Ocean Forests, it's just a mixture of soil and fertilizer. It seems pretty rich and really healthy and I use it for all my plants. If I have another soil here too, it's a little more arid it's not so nutrient filled, that can be great for cactuses and citrus and plants like that. Not to top too much. This is the soil right here. I'll also suggests like getting a compost. What is it like, a liquid compost. It's plant food. You can get it also from FoxFarms they sell different versions. But again, it's like a concentrate of compost and just like nutrient food liquid. Just a little goes a long way with that and it can help promote growth. I've just created a little like diamond here, it's really hard to see because of the light but I've tried to push the soil up on the sides a little bit, creating space for this root ball to drop into. Placing the plant in the depth in the pot is also important because you want the plant to come up high, but not so high that it's above the lip line. If it's above the lip line and when you water it, all the water runs out. So keeping it beneath that. I'm going to even lose a little bit of this soil that I have around here. How tightly should you pack the initial dirt that you put in the pot? Are you like pushing that down or is it pretty loose? No, we're going get it really tight. I'm loosening up the roots here so that they're not all rigid and that's going to just loosen up all this stuff here, giving it the opportunity to rip out and into the new fresh soil. I'm going to place it down and on top of this other fresh soil that we have, I'm going to I grab a bit more from here and just come around the sides, the syngonium. I love that you got a whole pots on pots, that up going. You got to have the pots on the pots. Okay, we're probably going to need a bit more soil, but for now, we've got a bunch of soil in around here. We've got the fresh soil beneath it. We want to make sure is what Riana was just asking earlier that's it packed in nice and tight. You want to make sure that there's no like pockets of air in around there. I'm going in and around the root ball of this plant and just like shoving it right down into the sides, even taking the plant and pushing it down. Making sure that I don't break on any of the plant cell. That's feeling good and then I'm going to get a bit more soil around here and again, trying to keep it below the lip line so that when I do fill it with water in a moment to give it its first good drink of water in its new pot, that water stays in there. If you're planting outdoors, it's also a great idea to create a little bit of a well around your plant. Sinking it into the ground, doing that same technique. You can use the shovel that you've dug the hole with or something to shovel around it and just pack that soil in around it and then put some more soil in. Then if you make a doughnut of soil around the plant so that when you water into the plant, it doesn't come out and just like all over the ground. It stays in there and then it wells down and it drops down in and around the plant. Another technique, if x is the lip of the plant really, excuse me, the lip of the pot. That right there is a pretty well potted syngonium and hopefully it takes and becomes a lot more healthier than it was just a moment ago. Then I'll grab my water right here and just give it a good of watering. How do you know how much to put in there? I've certainly accidentally filled the pot and then it overflows. oh, no. Yeah, that will happen. You'll overflow it and then it'll drain out through the hole and out the sides, sit it out in the sun or something and let it all dry up and it'll work out in a way. That's about as much as I'm going to do of that. It's got a good drink. It's not spilling out down the bottom. Not that I'd expect it to. There's a lot of dry soil in here for it to suckle that water up. But ultimately, I'm looking at, lets see, how does that look? It sits under the lip line, everything is well packed in and we're stuck. I'm going to just quickly do another little trim on this just to propagate it more. It is again tough, it's like, oh, do I want to cut this? But honestly, growth can be difficult, especially during these times, right? Yeah. You have to lose a little of something here and there that you love in order to ultimately be stronger and better. Are those dead leaves or how are you knowing where you're cutting? Yeah, they kind of dead, they're little like yellow dots, it's hard to make out. I feel like for you guys on the screen. Maybe this will show you. Yeah. Can you see the way this leaf is yellowing out on it's tip? Yeah. It's just malnourished. It's got like a yellow tinge to it in a way that the other ones, like a more flourished in green. That's the vibe. Look, we're starting to get a little bit of water out of the bottom of this, so we're stuck and we're going to just sit this in the sun. Excuse me for exiting for second. Do you always repot when you bring something home from the nursery or are there times where it's like happy in that pot and that'll just like disrupted? Like I say, often you'll buy it from the nursery the plant in a plastic pot. I feel like I'm like I hate plastic, I fucking hate it, so excuse my language. Its so that you're in California of you. I appreciate that. I just can't stand it, it doesn't do well with me. So yes, I repot as soon as I can. That is that. That is like repotting a plant making sure that the root ball is nicely packed into the new pot, that the pot has a bit more spaced than maybe the last so that it can propagate that growth and promote their growth. 5. Routine Plant Maintenance: Now let's talk a little bit about routine prompt maintenance. We're going to work a little bit on this [inaudible] and just select, clean it up. Again, this plant is actually kind of loving life. It's in a small pot, but it's a small plant. It's got some new flowers coming in. Maybe you can see this little guy coming in here. You see that? Yeah, wow. It's obviously like loving life. This is a brand new leaf right here. You can see that the different color in it, It's like ultra violet, just beautiful. But it's also been hit by the sun. It's got some of these like browned out pieces. Yeah. Is that from normally, like just it's sort of like sunburn or something? Yeah, I think so. This is a pretty tropical plant and you can tell it is, but you can also tell that by just looking at the leaves, the color of it, you can feel it as well. You can tell that a few have it out in the sun and it's too dry, it's going to get hit and it's going to get burnt like that. I have another one back here. The rubber plants get that going too. These rubber plants, what are they called, ficus elastica, I believe they are super resilient in the sun, even though they are like a kind of tropical plant but on this particular plant, this really fresh and beautiful new leaf got hit by the sun, and if you can imagine like a little kid getting something for the first time, he's going get pretty grid. It's the same kind of idea that he wasn't quite ready to handle the sun. We're going to cut this back a little bit. One of the other things that I've struggled with this plant was, and it wanted to fall over a lot, just because as you can see, it's pretty top-heavy. What I did was I just took a stem from, I wonder what that was. It looks like some sage from my backyard. The stem is and you can barely even see it because it's a natural stem, but it's sort of acting as a brace. If anyone's having any problems with their plants is falling over, they are in the pot but they just like wanting to stand like this. There's nothing wrong with getting a stick, you get them at the gardens shop. You can find them on the side of the road and you can find them anywhere. Just like prompt the front backup, stick that stem in and give it some structure. Even just a little bit of time like has given the sky a lot more strength. Do you attach that stick in there sort of like to hold it up or just sort of even brace it against there? It's really just a brace. It depends on the size of the plant and it depends on the type of the plant, and how bad that lean is. I have one that's leaning hard. It has got a good lean. I just took off all of five or so leaves, none of them were the end of the world. They are all okay but by cutting them back, it's going to give this guy an opportunity to really get this new flower coming through. These flowers, they're good. I'm not going to cut them just yet. Where do you cut like really close to the base, and is there any sort of special technique? Absolutely. I always try to keep it very like natural cut or a natural look to the prime. The last thing I want to do, I don't have anymore I want to cut, is just like cut it right here and then you've just got this width sticks stem coming up. I'm cutting it at the base is close to the base of the plant as I can, and I'm cutting it on an angle that seems natural as well. I'm going to read just this stick. It's not like the sky is falling, but I just, I know that he has enjoyed a bit of help in the past. I'm going to continue to provide them with that. I can even cut this stem down because it's really holding it down, but so you can barely even see it now. That's my little trim on this guy. Another thing that is nice to do and I don't do it enough, is to clean off the leaves a little bit. Having a little spray bottle is great for this, where you can just wet these guys down. I also do a terrible job at keeping rags in my studio. I've got a piece of bale at that. I'm just going to also suck. Interesting. You actually maybe I've been doing this all wrong. I spray and leave it but you wipe it down. Yeah, you want to wipe it down. You don't just spray a car down with some water and say it's cleaned, soak it up and you drive it to the car wash in, and take it to the guys to help out. It's the details, it's said that it's the extra step that makes the difference I think. That's that guy. I think he's going to be pretty stoked with his new haircut. That's like it's a hiccup. Like I know I need a haircut but we need to take care of extra growth that's unnecessary at times. 6. Learning as You Go: Okay, now I'm going to work a little bit on a trickier plant. You guys can watch how I experiment and just learn as I go. I think I'm going to bring in orchids real quick because I know you mentioned something about orchids. Yeah. Someone had a question about orchids. Totally. I thought I'd bring this in. I'm learning about orchids and I have to say, full disclosure, my main experience really is in cut stems. I'm learning a lot about plants as I go. I learn things all the time. I have an orchid at home that was potted into soil. I'm surprised by the fact that it's grown and it was living as well as it is because I've always been told to never pot your orchids. You buy them from the nursery or the grower and they come in these little plastic sheets because it keeps the moisture in. But what the roots of the orchids are in, is actually a lot of moss and a lot of it, it's not so much soil. If I was to show you that. But it's very moist. I was surprised that potting an orchid into soil went so well. Because I've only really ever seen them potted with bark and moss, very airy substances because these orchids are actually air plants. They like to live in tropical climates, in trees, etc. That's why they lived in more airy environments. I'm interested to know and I want to pot this orchid. See what happens? I don't know how it will go, but I'm going to tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to do a marriage of what I've been told and what I've experienced. I've got a bit of moss over here that I grabbed and I've got my soil and I'm going to do a mixture. I'm going to pot this guy into here and we'll see how it goes. I'll keep you guys posted. How are we going to do this? Set this guy right here. There is definitely some admiration in the chat for just the confidence to be like, okay we're going to go with this. That's the only way. It's the only I know how to do it. Just trial and error. But it's not the end of the day if this orchid doesn't love life. It's the end of the day. Maybe I'm spoiled, but these are all orchids that had a life and sort of passed it. Hopefully, will have another opportunity. No, they definitely will have another opportunity. Trial and error is just part of the process. Yeah. The idea I think that I'm running with here, is that having some of this moss in with the soil is going to keep it pretty airy, right? Not so dense. Therefore, we'll be sitting scratching that itch on the idea that these orchids like to be in a more airy environment. But also, the soil is going to help make this plant stay in here well. If it was just completely filled with moss, it wouldn't maybe be ideal. I'm giving it a little bit of a forceful push now. Nothing too crazy. Again, using my bare hands and feeling it. You can hear the roots as they creek. You can hear them as they snap and you're like, "Oh, sorry mate." But giving it a little press down like that in order to give it some opportunity to see if it find its roots, if you will. Then just a touch of soil. We'll have to have a follow-up to see how these orchids doing. Fully. Let's do it. You got to come back and post on the discussion board to let us know. I'll do it, for sure. With this one honestly, full disclosure, this is absolutely trial and error. I'm not going so packed down. I'm not way too much about it being so packed the same way that we approach the last potting of the Syngonium. I'm just going to make sure that it's well and truly sitting there, that it's comfortable and we'll give it a chance to rip. So that's us there. This guy again is a great tool for watering when you are concerned about watering too much, right? Because there's a lot of discussion on how much should I water my orchid. I've heard of all these concepts from an ice cube, just sit on it once a week. What? Oh yeah. Wow. Because people don't know how much to water orchids, they feel like they don't need a lot of water. Again, I don't know. I'll only tell you what I do know, that is that stretching over this every once in awhile has worked out really well for me. Getting a little spray bottle and I'll also start selling these on my website. I don't know if you guys have been to my website, but that's been part of the whole COVID experience for me. It's really working hard at doing things like this and putting together a bit of online presence. I'll be helping you guys get your hands on all sorts of tools, whether it be little brooms or scissors etc. I'm giving this a good spray. Of course, we know that that soil was super dry. We're not going to be too concerned that we're going to all of a sudden flood this guy. But I think that that should be pretty sweet. I'll get that plastic out of here. I'll show you how things are looking over here. Looking good. You really just sprayed all around the base of it and it's moist now, but not dripping. Absolutely. This is natural moss. You can get all types of moss. People make synthetic mosses. I'm all about natural stuff like at all times. As far as I'm concerned, if it's more expensive, it's worth it, it's the quality. I go for it. Then I imagine that this is only going to help this plant. I can already see that the moss that I've just wet down is a lot healthier and a lot fresher than it was. I think that putting in natural material in there is also going to be helpful. If I had had some wood chips from a mulch that you might finish off a garden with, I feel like that would have been also a nice thing to add in there because again, it just creates another texture and another airy kind of texture to it. 7. Q&A: I'm going to keep working on these plants right here, but I would love to take some questions from you guys. Jade is asking if there are only certain plants where you would use moss or it's a natural material, probably good for everything? I honestly love to put moss on top of all plants. I honestly should have, and will put moss around the base of that Syngonium. I think it's just like a really nice finish. If you talk about creativity and specificity, of course you want your plant itself to look beautiful so you give it a tear cut and you clean off its leaves and everything. You want the pot to be beautiful that's why you take it out of the plastic pot that it comes from the nursery and you drop it into a nice pot that you selected or that you've had sitting around the yard or something for a while and you switch it up the soil and you get that all good and then lastly, you might put their detail of getting some moss around the base of the plant. I love it. I'm going to pull this out and we can keep going with questions while I play with it. This is some crazy Bonsai ficus. It has some moss in it which is actually a different type of moss. It comes in these sheets and it looks like it's been kept actually cut off the tree. So it has this bark underneath it. I'm going to pull this out. I have some moss over here, and it has these big ferns that grow out of it. This moss that I have comes from Oregon. That's beautiful. There's all sorts of options. I know that we do have a couple questions queued up from the audience of people who actually brought their plants to have you do a bit of a Dr. Spencer, the plant doctor. So up first we have Erin G. Hello. How are you? I'm good. Thank you. Thank you so much for doing this am learning so much. Actually my question hits on that I'm seeing a lot of people asking which is about those browning leaves. As soon as they start browning are they done for and you should trim them off or is there saving them? Also I think what could be causing that that's not direct sunlight. This is my angel wing begonia. Yeah. Cool. It's browning here and it's in direct light, so I'm not sure what's going. Yeah. It could be a lack of water. How much water have you got going on in there? I try to keep it pretty moist since that's what they like. Can you give us a look? Is that parted into soil into that pot right there? Can you grab some of the soil out and show us the texture of that soil? Yeah. I guess it's a little dry right now. Yeah. Is it also chunky? Is it like pretty thick chunks? The soil? I don't know. It looks like it's almost like a bit bulky, is it not? That's some bulk on it, yeah. Yes. It may be a matter of not such fertile soil. Yeah. Think of it also like, if the food of a plant is sunlight, we all know that, well, maybe we don't I don't know. The plants getting its nutrients from the sun, from the water and then from the soil. If you feel like the sun is cool and it's in it's right environment with regards to how much sun it's getting., then maybe that's not the issue. If you're watering it enough so you know that it's not actually for lack of water, then maybe you really just want to re-pot it and give it a new opportunity with some fresh soil, get some of that stuff that's got a little bit of fertilizer in it and that maybe it too. Also, let's not forget the plants outdoor creatures. If we have them indoors, that also may be effective. Just deciding that for a day or two each week, maybe you're just going to take that pot plant put it outside in a relatively nice environment for it. Whether that be a plant like yours that needs to be in a completely shaded area or just give it a kiss of sun for a couple of hours. If you get out there having your morning coffee in the sun, you want to put your plants out there to get some of that sunlight then you bring it back inside before the sun gets too hot and too heavy on it. Maybe that will also help with. It's really like trial and error and just considering the plant and playing with the different variables that make it happy or sad. Yeah, and then so should I trim off the leaves that have started to brown? Are they done for? I want to say no, I don't think so. I think that before you go trimming a leaf and a big leaf on a plant that doesn't have too many leaves, you should try some of these other solutions first, because that leaf doesn't look exactly like unhealthy, but I do see that it is brown, just as like the leaves on this guy. That guy doesn't look too good, does he? The rest of him is pretty happy. Yeah. I mean, if you want, honestly, take that leaf. Take the good part in one hand and the other part in another hand and just break that brown and just cut off [inaudible] why not? Go for it. Be courageous. Yes. Support the rest of the leaf, exactly. Brown part gone. So brave. So brave. But I honestly, I would suggest a re-pot or just even switching out the soil in that pot and then finding an opportunity to find a new environment for it or just giving it a chance in another space or bringing it outside for a little bit where it can get some breeze and some air and and all that stuff. Awesome thank you. Helpful? I hope that was helpful. Yeah Thanks for your question Erin. We have one more plant diagnosis. Yeah. Annie See (phonetic) from Brooklyn has a question. We're going to switch on over to her. I think she has a bird of paradise. Cool. I got it before quarantine so early March, it was thriving, doing incredibly well. New leaves were growing all in [inaudible] , and then it's just paused. So I have this one that hasn't furled at all, and then this one that half unfurls and stopped in that way for like over a month, just no more growth. So why did it freeze? Let's see I'm going to do this and do this. Honestly, it looks really healthy you should be stocked. How about some of these leaves out to my right-hand side, your left-hand side? The 3D erupts off camera to your left, those three that are going [inaudible] , those guys. They are a little funky. Are they a little funky? Yeah they have a little brown spots on them. Those could be the guys to cut. Those could be the guys that are taking up the energy from the plant, from the soil, from its life. That is stopping those new growths and those new leaves from having the energy to open up or even the plants necessity to open up those leaves. It could be a matter of that. Always trimming from the older growth to the fresher growth. The last thing I want to do with this plant is take off this brand new, shiny, beautiful growth. There would just be a travesty. What I may want to cut instead is this old guy down here who's dark green and has a tiny little black tip on him who's obviously also right at the bottom of this plant. A plant's going to get bigger. As it gets bigger, it's going to put its fresh growth into the tips of it. The fresh growth is coming out of here and out here and out here. This is all growth right here. You can barely see it because it's got no leaves on it because it's dead. It is about identifying what is an old part of the plant, what needs to go to promote that new growth and keep the new leaves really fresh and really happy and excited about being a part of this plant that they've become a part of. Love that. For the one that's half open, should I just let it do its thing naturally or should I give it help to open? Let it do its thing. Let it do its thing. Perfect. I would say that sometimes I help flowers bloom when I'm making arrangements and I want the flower to be bigger. I want to just reflex a tulip or something like that. But with regards to plants it's living, if it's not open, it's not open because it doesn't want to be open yet. I learned a trick recently on how to bloom a bird of paradise slow because often when you buy them at the market, they're all closed up because they don't last actually all that long once they're open. But so as a florist, if you want to use the color and you want to use the actual flower of the bird of paradise, you have to pry it open gently but also forcefully. Hopefully you get a flower off that one day. 8. Final Thoughts: Well, I hope that you guys enjoyed this, and I hope your plants are looking a lot better. Before you go, I'll also just make a note that, looking into the plants that you're going to buy before you buy them, and understanding the environment that you're in, or the environment that you can create for them, is going to be really helpful in the success of having a plant that is healthy. Knowing your environment and buying plants that are going to thrive in that environment, is going to make your client happy and then turn you happier. [inaudible] For whatever reason, I'll leave you with this. I think everything is a work in progress. Everything is always changing, and there are always different factors as to why it's going this way or that way. With plants, if the plant is not healthy, if its not loving life, if it isn't working, this too shall pass as long as you put the effort and the energy into remedying the issues. I think that the concept that 'I killed my all kids' or 'more of my plants died.' It's you gave up on them. They weren't dead. I've got these plants right here. They're are in a dire situation. This guys who are friends of mine. We cleaned the leaves off this one. I haven't even watered it yet. We didn't clean the eaves off this one. I could imagine that many people would say this is dead. Many people would say, 'I killed my hanging plants, they're dead. I can't get it right.' But the reality is that is not dead. It needs a lot of love and it needs some support and it needs some maintenance, but it can be fixed. It can be okay. Understanding that it's a work in progress, understanding that if you identify the problem, then you can make the changes to make the problem go away. This is going to take that commitment and that priority. I want this plants to live, and I want these to be in my home, and have that effect on there. Please take some photos and post them in the project gallery, so we can see how your plants transition. If you guys have more plants that you're planning on applying these techniques to, during before and after, show the work you've done. Show the process, show us everything. We want to see it all. If you want to learn more about plants and my approach to working with plants, check out my Skillshare profile. Thank you. See you later. Thank you all very much.