Jungalow founder Justina Blakeney gives off the exact same vibes as do the photos for which she is famous: bright, cheerful, warm, and full of life. When I sit down to chat with her at the Create+Cultivate conference in Los Angeles, I expect to talk a lot about plants (because, duh). What I don’t expect, however, is the revelation that she’s actually supercharging her signature greenery.
Yes, she tells me, she pairs her plants with crystals. “Sometimes, it’s an aesthetic thing,” she explains. “If there’s a plant with purple undertones, I might think an amethyst will look beautiful with it.” Other times, however, she says she gets a little more “woo-woo.” “I use pyrite as my power stone, and so I’ll put that with a plant which brings me a similar kind of feeling, like a rubber plant,” she explains. “[Then] you walk by, acknowledge [the vibe], and it gives you a little extra something, a spring in your step.”
And the gadgets that she brings into her home are meant to do the same thing for her plants. For instance, she keeps a humidifier running in one potentially unorthodox location: her dining room. “That’s where we have most of our tropical plants,” she says. “They dig on humidity, but I do feel also that it’s just the air in LA is very, very dry.” This is especially important, she says, in the winter. “[The plants] do not like those heat vents,” she explains….or dust, which can lurk on leaves and irritate allergies (she even splurges to have someone come dust her plants to keep the sniffles at bay).
The final “extra” act of kindness Blakeney shows to her plants is good for the environment, generally. She composts to create soil out of what would otherwise become trash. “We just have a Tupperware thing in our kitchen, and whatever we’re cooking, or if we eat an apple, or whatever, you put the core in the Tupperware and keep it in the fridge and then once a week we just go out and put it in the compost.” Worms then turn the discarded foodstuff into dirt. “We use for all of our plants.”
She’s trying to pass this plant love onto the next generation, too, in the form of added decor. “To have little pots around helps to teach my daughter about caring for living beings,” she says. “I really feel like I have a symbiotic relationship with my plants—we care for each other.” Based on Blakeney’s vibrant disposition, it’s crystal clear that her hydrated, super-clean, and organically-fed plant babies are holding up their end of the bargain, too.
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