Hi Plant  Friend!

I'm Maria.

I'm a self-proclaimed “Plant Killer Turned Plant Lady” on a mission to make the world a kinder and greener place by helping everyone successfully care for houseplants.

Learning to care for my houseplants in my 500 sq ft apt and growing an herb garden on my small balcony changed my life.

Plants made my tiny apartment feel like a home and a safe haven amidst the hustle and bustle of NYC.

Plants helped me learn how to disconnect from screens, reconnect with myself and nature, and find moments of joy, stillness and awe in my life that I had never experienced before.

But more importantly...

But I wasn’t always the Crazy Plant Lady you’re looking at right now...

I used to be a serious plant killer. Like... embarrassingly so. After my 20th plant joined my "houseplant graveyard",  I decided to just accept my inability to care for plants and stick with fresh cut flowers (which I still love).

Then... things changed. I moved in with my boyfriend (now Fiance!) and decided to give plants one last try in an effort to nest in our new home. We set up a small herb garden on our balcony and this time, I actually applied myself and researched the plants I was caring for. With that newfound knowledge... came success.

That's when things escalated.  With the herb garden thriving, I decided to bring a few houseplants indoors.  3 turned into 10, which then quickly turned to 20.  In 3 months, we had 60 houseplants and a growing indoor jungle.

When I started caring for plants, in the mornings, I found myself turning away from my cell phone and towards my herb garden. That’s when the magic started.

In those delicious morning moments away from screens, I found myself again.

But our new house plants ended up being so much more than just interior decor...

I perched on my tiny balcony (seriously tiny… literally 9 sq feet) and allowed myself some quiet moments to naturally wake up - screen and distraction free. I’d let the scents of the herbs tickle my brain, watch drops of dew drip from a strawberry leaf, or write a gratitude list in my journal.

It was the first time in a long time (maybe ever) that I was actually still with myself and my thoughts.

And what I found was that caring for plants brought me joy 24/7!  Having living, growing things in our home was a beautiful reminder that growth is always happening, dormancy is sometimes necessary, and to remember to water (yourself)! 

Once the “Crazy Plant Lady switch” turned on in me, there was no going back.

After being unable to find a podcast about houseplant care geared for people like me: novices with a little understanding about plant care but a BIG passion and curiosity for it, I decided to make one!

I taught myself how to podcast from free Youtube videos and borrowed a microphone from a friend, and Bloom and Grow Radio was born!

What I thought would initially be a small passion project of 10 episodes max has grown into 100+ episodes, 1 million+ downloads, and cultivated a BEAUTIFUL community of listeners around the WORLD.  The Podcast has now become a multi-media company with a Youtube Channel, Instagram, Pinterest, and even TikTok.

I feel honored to help people in their Plant Parenthood Journeys, and am excited to help YOu...

Bloom and Grow!

What gets me up in the morning...

I believe the basic skills required for plant care, beyond understanding light and drainage, are patience, empathy, and kindness.

If we practice these skills on plants, we can bring those skills into the world and make it a kinder and greener place.

Wanna help me make the world kinder and greener?  Join our Community!

Curious how Bloom and Grow Radio really grew its roots?

Here's a glimpse into our story up until now...

2017

• Book my first Broadway Show (Cats), and move into a tiny 500 Sq Ft NYC apartment with Billy. 
• Want to nest in my new home so I give plants one more try.
• Fall in love with the experience of caring successfully for plants and decide I want to share this experience with others like me.
• Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast is launched!

2018

• This passion project slowly goes from 10 episodes to way more as I continue to connect with listeners and plant people around the world on Instagram.
• I create #plantfriendsIRL to encourage listeners to take their virtual friendships into the real world by meeting at plant shops or doing plant swaps, and tracking these friendships with the hashtag to inspire others.
• Launch the Plant Side Chat series of Bloom and Grow Radio, where I share personal life lessons learned in the garden.
• Featured on Refinery 29 and Apartment Therapy.
• I realize if I continue to produce the podcast, that it’s time to start turning it into side hustle!  
• Onboard our first sponsor partners.

2019

• Book the National Tour of Cats, and travel the country doing Listener Meet Ups and Live Tapings in many of the cities the show is performing in
• Spoke at Cultivate ‘19 about Plant Parenthood and Social Media.
• Hit 1 Million Downloads!
• Launch the Bloom and Grow Youtube Show.
• GOT ENGAGED!

2020

• Come home from a year on tour away from my plant collection.
• Partner with NYBG to take their educational courses and share what I learn with their teachers on the podcast.
• Launch the Plant Parent Personality Test.

Stay tuned to see where we grow from here...

Our Bloom and Grow “Root” Principles

Our Purpose:  To educate, empower and inspire Plant People around the world to grow their plant collections and cultivate more joy in their lives.

Authenticity

We are committed to always “asking the question for the least educated person in the room”, meeting listeners on their level, and learning alongside them.

Integrity

We exist to empower and inspire our audience to strengthen their indoor gardens and souls. Everything we do always relates back to serving our audience of plant friends. We also take enormous pride in helping our sponsors grow their reach and businesses by introducing them to our community. We are transparent with sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and never choose money over authenticity or quality content.

Fun

Gardening is fun, not brain surgery. Plants are a beautiful way to increase more whimsy and joy in your life. We commit to never taking ourselves too seriously, and creating fun, welcoming experiences for our community to encourage mutual growth. Most importantly, we commit to staying curious and primed for growth, always.

Curiosity

As content creators, we are never scared to “ask the dumb question.” We believe our journey to learn will never be over. There is always a new episode topic, plant, or person to learn more about.

Quality

We will never compromise the quality of our content for any reason. Every piece of content should educate or inspire our community. We also vet our sponsored products to make sure they are a quality purchase for our community.

Community

We work to foster a community of Plant People who can lift each other up, connect meaningfully, support one another, and keep blooming and keep growing.

Check out my favorite Planty Products!

Check out the Bloom and Grow Shop for all of my favorite planty merch, books, plants, pots, educational resources, accessories, and more!  Can't wait to hear what you snag!

Visit the Bloom and Grow Shop

Don't  go home empty handed!

Snag some freebies to help you Bloom & Grow!

9 TIPS for GREEning UP YOUR WFH OFFICE SPACE

Forget the cobbled together WFH set ups from 2020 and transform your work from 2021 home set up into a restorative oasis that you actually look forward to going to everyday.

Snag the guide

Understanding Natural Light

Take the guesswork out of figuring out what the heck "bright indirect light" actually means and snag the Understanding Natural Light worksheet to measure and understand YOUR specific light availability in your home.

Snag the guide

Plant Parent Personality™ Quiz

Unlock your Plant Parent Potential by taking the Plant Parent Personality™ Test and get curated recommendations for plants, projects, and podcast episodes inspired by your lifestyle.

Take the Quiz

Garden Club Art Print Download

Join the Bloom and Grow Garden Club, and receive a free and exclusive Molly Mansfield “Keep Blooming” Print download. Let me know how you use it on Instagram!

Join the club

So glad you're here,  plant friend!

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