Feb 23, 2021
we’ve all been in a garden center and picked up a plant, or had a
friend give us a cutting and look at the plant in our hands and
think “ummm what is this thing?” Today’s episode is all about
learning some basic skills for identifying houseplants and how to
observe our plants in order to get to know them better. We are
joined by Derek of The Crazy Botanist for a higher level
conversation about basic houseplant identification, and how to
change our thinking around plants to see them for their leaf
shapes, flowers and other identifying factors instead of just a
name. This episode is a nice palate cleanser that encourages us to
zoom out in our relationship to plants, in addition to the intense
nerdy specifics we always like to deep dive on. I hope you enjoy
In this episode we learn:
- [02:05] Introducing Derek and episode key
- [04:17] How Derek got into the plant parent
life, where his obsession with plants started, and how he uses his
degree in Botany!
- [06:23] How are plants classified? What is
binomial nomenclature and how is it used to classify any living
- [09:32] Derek breaks down the hierarchy of
binomial nomenclature and the questions related to each
- [12:54] What should we be looking for when
identifying houseplants? What should we keep in mind when
describing plants for identification?
- [15:33] What is the best—and
easiest!—way to identify leaves?
- [17:39] Derek emphasizes the importance of
proper communication in plant identification
- [18:26] Why Maria recommends having screen-free
time with your plants
- [19:06] Derek shares his method of
identification when going plant shopping—which you can also
- [21:07] A short history of plant identification
methods and how the internet has made plant identification easier
- [23:24] Where to get the most amazing indoor
and outdoor gardening products and the best potting
- [24:24] The best resource for your seed
starting this season
- [26:30] How do you identify the flowers in your
houseplants? Derek enumerates some factors that will help you with
- [33:10] What identifying factors should you
look for in stems? Do snake plants even have stems?
- [35:06] What are some houseplants that don’t
look alike but are actually closely related?
- [37:03] Are there plants that look alike but
are not related? Of course!
- [38:52] How do you tell maranta, calathea,
ctenanthe, and stromanthe apart?
- [42:59] Where does The Crazy Botanist go for
plant identification resources?
- [46:26] Derek reiterates the importance of
accessible and understandable scientific communication
- [48:00] A little begonia identification lesson
with help from the American Begonia Society!
- [51:20] Maria reflects on plant identification
and how it helps us become better plant parents and better members
of the plant community
Mentioned in our conversation:
Thank you to our episode
Territorial Seed Company
Thank you Territorial Seed Co for
sponsoring today's episode! Territorial Seed Co provides high
quality seeds and plants (over 2000 varieties) that are tried and
tested on their 75 acre farm and have a ton of fall varieties for
us to try! It's already time to start planning your 2021 garden!
For seeds, plants, online garden planner, how to videos and more
visit TerritorialSeed.com and use code BLOOM10
for 10% off.
Espoma Organics: for responsibly made, fabulous indoor and
outdoor organic soils, fertilizers, pest control sprays and more
visit espoma.com to find your local dealer
or check out my amazon storefront of my favorite Espoma products here.
The Crazy Botanist
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