“I have so many houseplants,” said Rachel Gottlieb of North Buffalo. “When I would divide and repot them, every year I had a bunch of plants without homes.”
Gottlieb would try to give them to people she knew, but she wasn’t always successful. She wanted to find people who would be excited to get her leftover houseplants, so she went online to find a group.
“That kind of group should have already existed, but it didn’t, so I made a group,” she said.
Called the Buffalo Houseplant Swap, the Facebook group has gathered almost 200 members since Gottlieb founded it in November.
Members offer cuttings that they have. They also tell the membership what plants they are looking for, and Gottlieb would like to see more of that.
“I see people ordering specialty houseplants from so far away for exorbitant prices when there are people who want to share what they already have,” she said.
The group members also discuss pests, diseases, lighting issue and how to improve houseplant care.
“It’s great that we can give each other access to that kind of information,” Gottlieb said.
The first plant that Gottlieb bought was a peace lily. She wanted to give her room a more tropical feeling when she was in college. She thought she wasn’t a good gardener, but she still has that plant 15 years later.
Now she has 70 plants in her home.
Tip: If you have trouble growing houseplants, you’re probably overwatering them, Gottlieb said.
If their plants aren’t doing well, people think they are neglecting them, so they try to baby the plants and water them a lot.
“In the winter, because the air is so dry, people think they need to water their plants more,” Gottlieb said. “But houseplants actually need less water in the winter because they go dormant and slow down their growth.”
Don’t overcompensate by watering your plants too much.
And if you need more advice from other local folks about growing houseplants, go to Buffalo Houseplant Swap.