Garden Photo of the Day

Collecting Plants in Southern California

Some favorite plants

Maranta leuconera in a hanging planter with ornaments

Today we’re visiting with Nez, a plant lover who is building her own backyard botanical garden in Los Angeles.

close up of the large foliage of Monstera pinnatipartita

I think of this Monstera pinnatipartita as my “soul plant.” My husband bought it for me in September 2021 as a congratulatory gift, because I was stagnant in my old position and chose to take a step back and make a lateral move career-wise in order to keep progressing. This plant was stagnant for the first eight months, then started growing with a vengeance. It has already needed to be repotted twice in order to keep growing.

Sometimes when it looks like you aren’t visibly growing, you’re actually growing on the inside and working on your “roots” (aka your mental and emotional health) and laying the foundation for your future self. Then when the right time comes, you’ll have stronger emotional and mental “roots” to support your new outward growth.

various tropical foliage plants in pots close togetherThese tropical plants are huddling together outside and trying to survive an unusual cold spell in Southern California—and they’re doing great. We really need to chill out with the helicopter–plant parenting because plants are SO much more resilient than we give them credit for.

Maranta leuconera in a hanging planter with ornamentsMaranta leuconera is an easygoing plant that just chugs along and never gives me problems.

Calathea with pink foliage in a pot on a tableI talk a lot of crap about calatheas, but this Calathea majestica “White Star” is a favorite plant in my collection. It is prone to spider mites, so I have to keep it far away from the rest of my plants. It’s worth it, though, because look at the foliage!

newly purchased Maranta leuconeura in a potI loved my Maranta leuconeura ‘Beauty Kim’ when I first got her, even during her ugly phase.

Maranta leuconeuraAnd look at her now!

woman in a greenhouseI am obsessed with this Anthurium vittarifolium at the San Diego Botanic Garden. It’s as long as I am tall!

small plant with unique foliage in a white potI got this Florida Beauty philodendron as a lightly rooted cutting, and it’s been quite the lesson in patience! We’re well on our way to a big beautiful plant someday.

Hoya Rangsan SplashBeautiful variegated leaves of Hoya ‘Rangsan Splash’

Hoya multiflora in flowerMy variegated Hoya multiflora in flower

If you want to see more from Nez, check out her Instagram: @staythirstymyfronds


Have a garden you’d like to share?

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View Comments


  1. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 01/19/2023

    Incredible collection and a treat for the eyes. Well done!

  2. sheila_schultz 01/19/2023

    Nez, your houseplant collection is excellent. The Florida Beauty philodendron is quite the eye catcher as are your Hoyas. I've always filled my homes with houseplants, as far as I'm concerned they are as important to my well being as a good meal!

  3. btucker9675 01/19/2023

    I also have a large collection of house plants as well as my garden - love how they add such beauty to a home. That blooming hoya!!!

  4. User avater
    simplesue 01/20/2023

    I love your before and after photos of your Maranta leuconeura ‘Beauty Kim’ after you cared for it and it grew beautifully!

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