Welcome to The Plant Care Chronicles — a monthly series where we break down individual plant care routines and explore plant care as a form of self-care. We truly believe in the healing powers of plants and want to shed a light on their many mental, physical, and spiritual health benefits. First up is Ricky Dorn of @blackplanted!
Article by Kelsey Clark, all images by Ricky Dorn of Blackplanted
For Ricky Dorn, a California-based content producer, a typical Saturday consists of roughly an hour and a half of plant care. “I have about 30 plants in my apartment, but at one point, I had close to 70,” he tells Bloomscape. “I have a mix of Monsteras, Rubber Tree plants, ZZ Plants, Peperomias, Calathea Orbifolias, String of Hearts, Strings of Pearls, a Lipstick Plant, a Variegated Elephant Ear, a Bamboo plant, and a Fiddle Leaf Fig.”
While he’s long harbored an interest in plant life, Ricky’s plant story began when he, his wife, and their Goldendoodle dog Millie moved into a new apartment with high ceilings and great natural lighting. “The designer in me wanted to fill it with plants,” he muses. “I started researching plants that are easy to care for, but I also wanted to take on the challenge of caring for a notoriously sensitive Fiddle Leaf Fig.” A Rubber Tree plant named Jenny and a Fiddle Leaf named Barry ultimately started his plant parenthood journey. “Caring for them became fun and relaxing, so naturally, I wanted more.”
As his indoor garden expanded, so did his plant care routine. “I have two days for plant care: Wednesdays and Saturdays. Wednesday mainly consists of watering and misting, and Saturday is the day I show more love,” he explains. For Dorn, this includes pruning, wiping down leaves with a microfiber cloth, checking roots, re-potting if necessary, and rotating the plants that need it, in addition to watering and misting. “As for tools, I have a mister, humidifier, pruner, and moisture meter,” he adds. “The latter helped me understand my plants’ schedules when I first started.”
While he often shares his greenery on his Instagram account @blackplanted, aesthetics are just a fringe benefit for Dorn. “Plants have become a creative outlet for me,” he explains. “I work in a creative field, and sometimes it’s hard to get my mind off of work and the hustle of living that ‘create-on-demand’ life. When I started taking care of plants, it became a place where I could just let go of everything and focus on my little ones.”
Dorn also looks to his plant care routine as a welcome — if not necessary — opportunity to slow down. “Plant care is a way to pause from my hurried life. Our culture is all about hustle, hustle, hustle: ‘How can I make more money?’ ‘How can I get to the top?’ ‘How can I prove I’m the best?’ This is where we’re at right now,” he reflects. “On Saturdays, I like to get off all social media, spend time in meditation, take my time caring for my plants, and spend the day with my family and sometimes friends. I don’t think about work, what’s going on in the world, or how many missed calls I have.”
Shop plants in Ricky’s collection in the Bloomscape plant shop.