SEATTLE — Summer Rayne Oakes is an environmental scientist, sustainability strategist, and entrepreneur whose work focuses on health, wellness and sustainability. She founded Homestead Brooklyn, a website and YouTube channel, to help people become more attuned to nature in the city.
Summer has grown over 1,000 houseplants in her Brooklyn, NY apartment. She approaches her relationships with plants intentionally as if they were people. Her new book "How to Make a Plant Love You: Cultivate Green Space in Your Home and Heart" dives into her approach, encouraging readers to reap the benefits of taking care of greenery -- cleaner air, a beautiful home, and the strong psychological benefits.
Just watering the plants and keeping them alive would be a long chore, but Summer has developed some watering hacks like installing a 150 foot expandable watering hose in her house. She also has a green wall attached to her sink that is sub-irrigated and takes care of 80 percent of her plants.
Plants are smart and will grow towards light, so to achieve a more symmetrical plant, rotate it every once in a while.
Leaves can sometimes turn brown and it's okay to snip the brown off. If the leaf is yellow, Summer recommends just leaving it.
"If it's yellow, let it mellow. It it's brown, flush it down," said Summer.
While all plants like to utilize light, some plants can survive the Seattle grey. These are understory plants, typically found in the understory of a forest. Plants that fall into this category include the prayer, aglaonema, and silver pothos plant.
"These will do fine in a northern exposure, however if you give them a little bit more eastern exposure, they might love you a little bit more," said Summer.
If you live in a basement apartment or somewhere without a lot of light, you can invest in a grow light to help your plants out.
Author Event: How to Make a Plant Love You
Wed, Sep 11 at 6:30 PM at Homestead Seattle, 501 East Pine StreetSeattle, WA, 98122
"Stop by to hang out with fellow plant lovers at Plant Shop Seattle’s sister store—Homestead Seattle! Summer Rayne will be giving a short talk about her latest book, How to Make a Plant Love You, and if you bring your copy, she’ll sign it!"