Meet Steve – The Studio Plant Man

Ever wonder how the Studios plants stay hydrated and oh so healthy?! Learn about the man behind the Studio plants… 
Where does your love for plants come from? 
When I was 13, living in Bracebridge, I went to Lake of Bays to my grandparents summer resort to work.  My responsibilities included helping my Uncle Ross. He had his own Green house and planted renowned flower gardens on the property of Point Ideal.  I developed an interest in flowers and tried to learn more from him although being a klutz wasn’t an asset!  After three summers at Point Ideal I went to work for my dad’s construction company in Bracebridge and helped around our family home with the flowers and vegetable gardens etc.  I was always fascinated in what could become of just a little cutting, seed or bulb.  
Then in University, our neighbour had a Hibiscus that she needed to part with and I took it to London in 1974.  It became fun to have “a plant” – not something most of my friends really cared about – and I was determined to keep it alive.  I was successful and in fact that original hibiscus is growing happily today in Forest hill although it has almost taken over 1/3 of the room that it is in.  
I found after seeing my hibiscus slowly loose leaves etc, that you have to repot these plants quite regularly.  To do that you remove about 1/3 of the root ball and about 1/2 – 2/3 of the foliage.  This made a tremendous difference and of course I had the material for more.  You normally have to soak 3 or 4 stems in water for a couple of months to get possibly one new plant.  I like the challenge! 
Tips from the Plant Man
If you really want to have plants I would always recommend that you learn about them and have a real interest in their survival.  I find plants soothing and invigorating at the same time.  Determine what kind of sunshine you have available in which windows in your home and decide what you will place plants on.  Be careful about staining or damaging hardwood floors or carpet.  
I find growing plants very rewarding and I can see them as a motivator to move and care for and keep happy as I “mature”.  It really is a great feeling to find that Christmas Cactus that you hauled into the basement after the last blooming and then brought out actually budding up and preparing to display once more.  Also to have an orchid that blooms and blooms on 3or 4 ice cubes a week, gives a sense of achieving artwork. (Although it is hard on the Scotch on the Rocks supply) 
I believe people have to like the plants they place in their homes and be motivated to keep them happy.  For first timers, go to nurseries and see what you like.  Then if you know anyone who has plants try and mooch.  Much better price point and the competitive “I made it grow bigger than yours” can add another element.  
Remember if a plant pot is light to pick up that is a good time to water.  

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