Western Living Magazine
This Calgary Spec Home Is an Ode to Colour
Great Spaces: Inside a Buzzy and Beautiful West Vancouver Coffee Shop
6 Beautiful Black and White Kitchens to Inspire Your Next Renovation
Recipe: Pineapple-Stuffed Gougères Are Perfect For The Super Bowl
Recipe: 4 Ingredient Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookie Truffles
The Prettiest Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day
Editors’ Picks: The Best Trips We Took in 2022
Victoria Might Just Be the Perfect Pre-New Year’s Getaway
Discover the Perfect Winter Getaway in Penticton
Hot List: The Best New Furniture and Homewares of February 2023
I Tried It: What It’s Like to Sleep On a Wall Bed
Protected: The Endy Hybrid: The Best of Both Worlds
Submissions Now Open! Enter Western Living’s 2023 Designers of the Year Awards
Introducing Western Living’s 2022 Designers of the Year Award Winners
WL Architects of the Year 2022: Measured Architecture
It's like your plants are texting you! You'll never be lonely again!
There’s a Demetri Martin joke that runs through my head whenever I look at my sad windowsill of browning, bloated succulents.
“About a month ago I got a cactus. A week later, it died. I was really depressed because I was like ‘Damn! I am less nurturing than a desert.'”
As a millennial I am legally required to have at least six cactuses in my residence at all times, but I haven’t ever gotten the hang of “caring for them.” My plants are technically alive, but more in the “surviving” than the “thriving” sense. It’s like the root rot ward of a plant hospital over here.
I want my apartment to look like the lush set of a Kinfolk photo shoot! I really do! I’ve got a plant-a-month habit, shopping for greenery as an aspirational activity! There’s no surface area that I haven’t covered with aloe vera plants that will, over the course of the next 12 months, shrivel in on themselves because I have simultaneously under and over watered them.
As it turns out, much like children, raising plants takes a village. And when I turned to my plant-loving pal Kerri (who just released a very funnyand very NSFWDr. Bonnie spoofing video, by the by) for help, she delivered, with a recommendation for an app that will help me be the cactus parent I’ve always dreamed of being.
It’s called Planta, and it’s already helped me step up my indoor-gardening game. You log the light exposure in the the different areas of your home, and add the variety of plants you’re keeping there and in what kind of container, and then app will helpfully tell you that you’re killing them because you don’t live in a south-facing condo unit and also because you forgot that “drainage” was a “thing.”
Once you adjust the abysmal living conditions of your plants by repotting them and/or moving to a building that gets more sun, Planta will ping you when each plant needs to be watered or tended to, taking into account the light, the local temperature, the last watering date and the needs of the plant. Apparently my watering schedule of “whenever I’m procrastinating on an article” was a little much! Who knew!
You can name each plant and take a picture, so whenever you get a notification to soak that soil, it’s like your Weeping Fig is texting you. Fun! Kerri’s collection of plants, for example, are all named after famous divasMariah the Fern is apparently very demanding.
I’m only a week in but already it feels like I’ve levelled up this black thumb to at least an off-colour-sage thumb. If we’ve learned anything from being house-bound in this pandemic, it’s that communication is what every relationship needs to thrive… and apparently that goes for plants too.
Planta, free for iPhone; additional features with a premium subscription available
Are you over 18 years of age?