5 Days Of Indoor Gardening | Try Living With Lucie | Refinery29

I’m Lucie Fink, and this week is five days
of indoor gardening. Hey guys, what’s up? Welcome back to Try Living With Lucie, give this episode a thumbs up and subscribe right here. And speaking of thumbs, this week’s video is all about turning our
brown thumbs green. Indoor gardening has always been something that I’ve found inspiring and aspirational. Not only do plants improve our air quality
and teach us to be better caretakers, but pretty much every single inspiring apartment photo on the internet has some form of greenery in it. And sadly I’ve tried and tried to keep plants
indoors but without fail they always seem to die. Rest in peace. So when I started planning for this episode,
I knew just the right person to reach out to. Hello future plant lady! Maria Failla and I went to high school together. She’s a Broadway star here in New York City. At her side hustle is hosting and producing
the Bloom and Grow radio podcast. My first five years in the city, I was a succulent killer. I killed every plant I ever brought into my
apartment. I literally and figuratively went from zero
to 60 plants and now I’m living in a small one bedroom apartment with about 60 houseplants. So, if she can do it then I can do it. And if I can do it then you can do it. Before I started putting some greenery in
here I needed to dedicate the first day of this week to some field research. I went over to Maria’s cute little apartment
today and I took a tour of her setup. She has an herb garden in her kitchen inside of a grow house, she has plants scattered all around the living room, she’s growing a lime tree in her corner, tomato seedlings are growing inside of her bookshelf in her bedroom, and so much more. That’s the funnest part about having plants,
the more plants you have the more you can spread the planting love. So after seeing her situation and taking a
few mental notes for myself, the two of us took a trip back to my apartment so that we could evaluate my space. I have such window envy for you. This is incredible. Western facing windows are the second best type you can have, because the sun starts in the east and it’s
burning hotter in the West. So you’re getting stronger light than if it
was an Eastern facing window. Afternoon sun. Nailing it. The next thing you’re going to want to ask
yourself is, what type of plant parent are you going to be? The question is, do you want plants that you’re going to have to water every single day? Or would you prefer a more low maintenance option that can thrive even if you’re not home every day, or if you have a very busy schedule. For me it’s the latter. And then we just did a walk through of my
living room space and we talked through some general ideas. I can even grow some food in the kitchen with a grow light. Many of you have sent me messages already saying that you’ve killed every single plant you’ve touched. And that’s why it’s so important to do this
evaluation ahead of time so that you’re already set up for success before you buy the plants. Today is the day when we really start going
green. I took Maria along with me and we went to
the plant district to do a little bit of plant shopping. Yesterday Maria taught me a few different
potting and watering techniques. So when it comes to potting you can either
keep a plant inside of its nursery planter, which already has drainage, or you can repot it yourself. If you decide to repot it, you’ll either need
to make sure that it’s in a pot with drainage holes at the bottom or if you put it in a
pot without drainage you’ll have to make your own drainage system by adding stones or rocks to the bottom underneath the soil. You just have to be careful about overwatering and root rot, which happens when the roots sit in too much water. But if the pot does have drainage you can
either pour water right over the soil until it drips out the bottom holes or you can just sit the plant into a shallow bowl of water and let the roots suck the water up from the bottom until the top of the soil gets moist. Because I’m a total plant newbie, I wanted
to give myself the biggest possible challenge today. So after going to the plant district and buying our selections I decided to repot almost everything. I got a snake plant, a money tree, a parlor palm, and a sago palm. The money tree was in a nursery pot that fit
really nicely into my container so I left that one as it is. But for the others I lined the bottom of the
pot with lava rocks to make my own drainage. I took them out of their nursery pots. I gently massaged the roots to loosen up any packed soil around them and then I repotted them in their new homes. I also got three smaller plants: haworthia, rhipsalis, and a yellow moon cactus. And repotted each of these in a smaller pot
that had existing drainage. Air plants were some of my favorites from
Maria’s apartment and they’re also very easy to take care of. So I got six of those to line up in cute little
holders above my TV. And a couple of extras that were actually
growing flowers to display around the apartment. These plants don’t need direct sunlight and
to water them, Maria told me that you just soak them in water for one hour once a week, and then you let them dry upside down. By the end of the day my comfort level with
these plants had noticeably shifted. I started off pretty unsure of myself. I was scooping the potting mix with a spoon. I was very timid while I was touching the
plants, but by the end I was digging the mix out with my bare hands and I was packing the soil in very confidently. I totally got the hang of it and knew what
I was doing. And just one day later I have 15 houseplants. The ability to grow your own food and to snip some chives in the morning and put them in your eggs is the best feeling. It’s one thing to own plants and take care
of them, but it’s entirely different to grow living greens that you’re then going to eat and nourish your body with. There are so many fun ways that you can do this. So today I wanted to show you two different methods to give you some options. First I bought three grown herbs. Basil, chives, and rosemary, and I replanted them from their nursery pots into a white rectangular planter box. Smells like pizza. I had to create my own drainage with stones on the bottom and then after planting them all together I placed the box inside of a
grow house from a company called Modern Sprout. This is basically a glass, and brass antique
case with a strip of LED lights along the top. So you set the lights on an automatic timer
and then they mimic that gradual fade from dawn to dusk, so that your plants get that
perfect spectrum of light. Another amazing low maintenance alternative, is just get the Back to the Roots water tank. So next I took the plunge — literally — and experimented with some aquaponics. I went out and bought out a blue female beta fish, to put in my Back to the Roots water garden. I followed all the steps for assembly and
then chose to grow wheat grass, pea shoots, and sunflower microgreens. The plant bed sits on top of the fish tank. So basically you feed your fish and then the
fish waste fertilizes your plants and the plants clean the water. So this is a self cleaning fish tank that’s
going to grow really, really healthy nutrient dense microgreens on top that I’m going to
be able to put in my salads, smoothies, and juices. And apparently it’s only going to take two
weeks to grow. So if you want to track the progress of my
water garden check out my Instagram stories @lucybfink. I also took a poll on my Instagram stories
to help me name my fish, and a majority of you guys voted for the name Buttercup. So guess what? I now have a fish named Buttercup. She’s just getting acquainted with her new
tank but I’m going to go to the pet store soon and I’m going to buy her some colorful plants and some structures that she can hide in. Buttercup is going to have the best fish life. My home is looking great, but almost every
single day when I’ve left my apartment and headed off to work I felt a little bit sad
leaving my plants behind. And now I have a fish! I’m a busy mom. And now that I’m getting used to having them around, when I get to my office and I see my lack of greenery situation, it’s a little sad. You’re at your office five to eight hours
a day. You’re around a ton of synthetic material
photocopy machines, your computer, all of these things are emitting these volatile organic compounds, otherwise known as VOCs. And these VOCs are just swimming around in the air, and they’re really bad for you and we’re breathing them in. What plants do is through their natural
everyday processes, they actually absorb these VOCs and neutralize them for us. Refinery29 does a great job of this already and there’s actually a lot of greenery all around our office. But I myself don’t have any plants on my desk. So today was about adding that greenery into my personal breathable air space. I went onto The Sill’s website and ordered a
few plants. A Haworthia zebra plant, a Hoya heart plant, and a parlor palm. They all come prepotted it. It’s nice and easy and you just remove them from their packaging and set them up wherever you want. I intentionally chose these plants because
full sun is ideal for them and my window at work is southern facing and gets great light. And also because they’re super low maintenance and they only need to be watered once every couple of weeks or so. I set up one final succulent on my desk from Lula’s garden and this one wanted indirect sunlight, so I placed it a little further
from the window. And four days later I have 25 plants. I have to say I’m feeling pretty great. For my final challenge this week, I wanted
to take on a bit of a longer term project. Maria inspired me to grow my very own lime tree. I figured it was easier to start by buying
a prepotted tree so I got one from Via Citrus. It came in the mail nice and easy. And then knowing that my western facing windows might not do the trick, I decided to set it up in the corner on a
stool beneath a Soltech Solutions 40 watt LED grow light. It comes with a timer, so I set it for 10
hours of light a day. I made sure the light was close enough to
the top of the citrus and then I turned it on. This week has really changed my life more
than most Try living With Lucie episodes do, and unlike most challenges, where I kind of
just go back to the way I was living before, I brought so many new things into my world now that are going to be such a huge part of my day to day life. We live in this crazy overpopulated polluted
city and as millennials it’s really hard for us to unplug. Bringing plants into your home is such a great way to stay grounded and remember that everything is blooming and growing at
its own rate. I have 26 plants and a pet fish. And something tells me that this is just the
beginning for me. I really hope this episode inspires you to
bring some green into your space. I’m adding links in the description box below for some of the products I used this week like my grow house, my grow light, my water garden, and more. And if you’re looking for more tips on how
you could try this for yourself don’t forget to listen to the Bloom and Grow radio podcast where Maria interviews tons of experts and learns along the way. Comment below and let me know what you want to see me try next. And in the meantime keep on blooming and growing. Hey YouTube, thanks for watching. Click here for another video on Refinery29,
here to subscribe to our YouTube channel and right here for my personal YouTube channel. See ya!


  1. So this video totally turned me into a plant person!!! I now have around 50 plants! A video update would be much appreciated!

  2. I am totally inspired by this Lucie. Finally able to convince my Mom to buy it but I am not able to use the code at the Back to Roots to buy this fish tank. Can anyone help me?

  3. I would love to have plants like this, but I travel every four or so months so everytime I come back they are all dead :(. Do you have any tips for me? Thank you 🙂

  4. How about 5 days of assisting in animal shelters and sanctuarys ! <3 that would be awsome 🙂
    (for example : https://www.farmsanctuary.org/the-sanctuaries/watkins-glen-ny/ )

  5. I loved your video, but can you please buy a friend for buttercup? Because even fishes dont like living alone 🙂

  6. i'm always worried about getting plants because my cats would definitely take a bite out of them and i know a lot of plants are not safe for cats! would be cool to know some recommendations for air filtering cat safe ones : D

  7. loved this video! starting to care for plants myself and i love love love your ideas! i will adapt a couple:) can you try another 5 day video. you always look so put together! hair, clothing, etc. can you do a maybe "get yourself together in 5 days"? great videos i look forward to seeing a new one every time i log onto yt ♥

  8. Got my green thumb from my momma=) I was NEVER into gardening but when I moved out at 19yo my mom was like "here you mija" *hands me a huge Jade Pothos & 2 Amaryllis plants* & all I did was water them & they just never died lol a decade later I have a jungle in & outside of my apartment lolol Thanks for sharing!

  9. Working over 15hrs a day, gardening is such an addiction.. I killed a lot of plants and when one stood strong, that made me a garden mom.. now starting indoor plants 🙂 … coz there's no more space outside. LOL

  10. I really enjoyed this video. I'm a big indoor plant person. I've slowly been collecting mine over time though and currently have 28, but am going plant shopping this week so will have to get more.

  11. Im a gardener and im working with indoor plants, this makes me so happy to see! I myself have 36 plants in my 32m2 apartment, and its amazing. It was a lot of fun to see you enter the world of plants, and I hope you've inspired some new people to join as well 🙂

  12. You can't just buy a fish and put it straight into the tank the first day you set it up. You should cycle your tank for at least a month before adding a fish unless you have good bacteria that you can use from an aquarium that's already established. I can almost guarantee you that your betta will get fin rot.

  13. I was skeptical about indoor growing or L.E.D bulbs until i found a cheap route and i figured id share. best deal under $100 period heres the link! https://amzn.to/2xuTJDd thank me later…happy growing!

  14. I want to try this so bad now. I've never been good at maintaining house plants before. I'm super inspired now that you've given me so many tips!

  15. A followup video after a month and then maybe six months would be great! Especially saying what was easy/hard, which plants survived, which didn't and so on so people like me, who constantly buy new plants hoping This One will survive and my kill streak will end, can get some inspo! Love this video and the one on ayurveda especially too!

  16. That heart hoya is gonna die so quickly. Those things are such a con. Its a single unrooted leaf cut from a vine and stuck in a pot

  17. I have lots of plants. Some I lost while learning, others survived and are looking beautiful. U never know unless u try. I like to buy small plants and learn how to take care of them. Keeps the cost down if I lose it. ☺

  18. Might try this. I’m a forester; so you think I would be really with plants…but I don’t do well with plants that don’t live in a forest…

  19. I'm looking at plants right now! Can't believe I've been in my office for over two years and never thought about getting plants

  20. I’m growing avocados from the beginning. By an avocado, and put the seed in water 🥑🥑 Also sometimes i try out with pumpkins, but my old one drowned while i was at v-cation

  21. Most bagged soils from the store can carry a lot of fungus and bacteria that can make plants sick and die unless they live outside where the natural UV rays from the sun can kill that bacteria. You have to sterilize your soil first so your plant doesn't get infected, especially in the warm months where soil bags sit out in the summer heat and bacteria THRIVE. Yet none of these Kawaii Plant Mom videos explain this because most of them replace their plants when they die in a couple months. I had two gorgeous peace lilies that I struggled with keeping alive. They're normally low-maintenance and I was wondering what I was doing wrong. I planted according to all the rules and did everything by the book. But they were chronically sick from infected potting soil, so please sterilize your soil before planting. It'll save you so much heartache and your plants will live much longer.

  22. I like your clips! it's very interesting. I am also a youtuber working on life and garden. Hope you support my channel!

  23. I really loved the modern brass growhouse! I have been trying to grow herbs inside my apartment for awhile but they always die(I assume not enough light). I looked to buy one and it was $150?! And all the other products you got were expensive…

  24. I'm so happy for you try it again now you successful with growing plants and caring for a fish I have a few of those fish myself just love fish and plants.

  25. start with snake plant, mothers in-law tongue, aloe, rubber plant, water those only every 14 days and keep on window sill. spider plant , bamboo only need water in vase.

  26. noooooooo… adding 'drainage layers' to your pots doesn't work. There will always be a perched water table within the pot that is keeping the soil too moist. Your plants will for sure die if you leave them in these pots. Even with adding your nursery pots into decorative pots there is a real chance of mould growth within your nursery pot (this has happened to me).
    The BEST thing you can do is just buy terra cotta pots. They help dry out the soil because they're porous and help air out the soil.

  27. The thought that one can "make one's own drainage" by added stones to the bottom is just…. That's not how this works. And Betta fish need more space and some interior to their tank to be happy – after! Cycling the tank with a filter for weeks. This is such a short sighted video. Everything will be unhappy. O-O

  28. Aquaponic systems are so hard to be successful with. I remember doing a project back in high school biology and only one group out of 30 had success (for 2 weeks). I left so bad for the little fishies!

  29. A layer of rocks in the bottom of a closed pot doesn't "create drainage." It creates a catch for extra water. If you water too much over time the water will build up, become stagnant, and eventually seep into the soil creating root rot.

  30. Glow light: $199.99
    Growhouse: $179.99
    Heart Hoya: $26
    Haworthia Zebra Plant: $31

    Parlor Palm: $40.50
    Lime Tree: $70
    Back to the roots tank: $99.99
    Total: $647.47

    And that's just the stuff that's in the description box. I better get saving I guess.

  31. Your bloody fish is a TROPICAL FISH!!! Please give it places to HIDE AND MAKE SURE THE TANK IS HEATED!!! You are STRESSING BUTTERCUP OUT !

  32. Oh good god please don't water your air plants for an hour once a week. Thats how ALL of mine rotted. Try 5-10 minutes biweekly! Less likely to rot and mist lightly, bi-daily!

  33. Everthing good but "the best fishlive" isnt true . The tank is too small u should have for the betta 54l +. In a 54l tank u can also put some colorful shrimps

  34. the plants in the aquarium will only take out the nitrite, you still need a filter because there aren't enough plants to fully clean the water, and you need a heater

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