266 episodes

The answer to a happier, more connected life could be simpler than you think: learning to care for plants and connect with nature. Houseplants and gardening do more than beautify our homes and lawns - the act of caring for them helps us reduce stress, increase joy and cultivate connections with ourselves, others and the earth. Deep, right? On the Growing Joy Podcast, learn alongside host and author Maria Failla to not only care for plants, but how to simply and affordably use plants to manage your overwhelm, anxiety and stress and live a happier, more connected and calm life. Plant care is self care. Come grow some joy with us. Follow along on socials @bloomandgrowmaria

Growing Joy with Plants - Wellness Rooted in Nature Maria Failla- Happy Plant Lady and Author of Growing Joy: The Plant Lover's Guide to Cultivating Happiness

    • Leisure
    • 4.8 • 77 Ratings

The answer to a happier, more connected life could be simpler than you think: learning to care for plants and connect with nature. Houseplants and gardening do more than beautify our homes and lawns - the act of caring for them helps us reduce stress, increase joy and cultivate connections with ourselves, others and the earth. Deep, right? On the Growing Joy Podcast, learn alongside host and author Maria Failla to not only care for plants, but how to simply and affordably use plants to manage your overwhelm, anxiety and stress and live a happier, more connected and calm life. Plant care is self care. Come grow some joy with us. Follow along on socials @bloomandgrowmaria

    Hydrangea Care

    Hydrangea Care

    Hydrangeas are beautiful flowers, and they represent a wide range of emotions in different cultures. Yes, they can be tricky to grow, but they are relatively low-maintenance with the right care! In this episode, you will learn everything you need to know about hydrangeas from Ryan McEnaney aka @ryanplantsplants, your new best plant friend. I bumped into him in Seattle during the Northwestern Flower Show a few weeks back. We grabbed dinner and it was crazy how much we clicked!
    Ryan is a fifth-generation member of Bailey Nurseries, which is known for their Endless Summer hydrangeas, Easy Elegance Roses, and First Edition shrubs. His lifetime spent with hydrangeas has given him a strong grasp on their care, and he’s willing to share these tips with us!

    In this episode, we learn:[06:13] What has Ryan’s plant parent journey looked like?[09:54] What are the 4 main species of hydrangea?[13:42] Understanding bloom cycles for pruning[16:56] Say goodbye to balcony watering stress this summer with self-watering planters![17:23] Learn how to create the perfect cutting garden for bouquets with The Cut Flower Handbook[18:25] What is the blooming cycle of hydrangeas?[20:09] When should you prune hydrangeas?[22:40] How does soil affect the color of Hydrangea macrophylla blooms?[28:58] What should you know about planting hydrangeas in the ground?[30:12] What’s the general light guideline?[30:42] Common mistakes people make with planting hydrangea[31:23] Get everything you need, from containers to raised beds, with Gardener's Supply Company[32:40] Check your hydrangeas’ soil acidity with Espoma Organics[34:30] Why is it important to choose hydrangeas with flower buds?[42:42] How to extend the length of hydrangea blooms[48:26] Where can you find Ryan on social media?[48:43] Where can you get Ryan’s book ‘Field Guide to Outside Style’?
    Mentioned in our conversation:Northwest Flower and Garden ShowBailey NurseriesFirst EditionsYoutube: 210 How to Grow Citrus IndoorsPop Star® Reblooming HydrangeaEndless Summer HydrangeasEspoma Organic Soil AcidifierEspoma Organic Garden LimeEspoma Organic Holly-tone Organic FertilizerEspoma Organic Rose-tone Organic Fertilizer'Limelight' - Panicle Hydrangea - Hydrangea paniculataVanilla Strawberry™ Panicle Hydrangea
    For Ryan's professional and proven hydrangea-growing tips,check out the full show notes here!

    Follow Ryan:
    Website
    Instagram
    Book

    Thank you to our episode sponsors:Gardener's SupplyDiscover your garden favorites and exclusive innovations at gardeners.com and use code GROWINGJOY for free shipping.
    Quarto: The Cut Flower Handbook by Lisa M ZieglerPick up The Cut Flower Handbook at your favorite local bookstore, quarto.com, bookshop.org, Barnes & Noble or amazon.com.
    Crescent GardenFor a limited time only, head to growingjoywithmaria.com/crescentgarden and use code GROWJOY15 to curate your dream garden today.
    Espoma OrganicVisit espoma.com to find your local Espoma dealer or check my Amazon storefront.

    Follow Maria and Growing Joy:
    Order my book: Growing Joy: The Plant Lover's Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla, Illustrated by Samantha Leung
    Join the Bloom and Grow Garden Party Community Platform & App AKA the plantiest and kindest corner of the internet! Get your FREE 2-week trial here!
    Take the Plant Parent Personality Quiz (Get the perfect plants, projects and educational resources for YOUR Lifestyle)
    Support Bloom and Grow Radio by becoming a Plant Friend on Patreon!
    Instagram: @growingjoywithmaria
    Tiktok: @growingjoywithmaria
    Subscribe to the Growing Joy Youtube channel! /growingjoywithmaria
    Website: www.growingjoywithmaria.com
    Pinterest: @growingjoywithmaria


    Our Sponsors:
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    • 54 min
    How to Water Your Houseplants: Everything You Need to Know About Watering

    How to Water Your Houseplants: Everything You Need to Know About Watering

    Did you know that watering is one of the most common causes of houseplant death? You saw a gorgeous new plant baby from a store, and then you brought it home full of excitement and good intentions. In fact, you wanted to do your best, so you read the watering instructions in the packet and tried to follow them as closely as possible… And then tragedy happens. The once vibrant leaves start to wilt, turn yellow, or fall off entirely.
    It’s a rookie mistake! But I’m here to share my hard-earned watering technique so you can keep your plants happy (and your plant parent pride intact). We’ve all been there, plant friends.

    In this episode, we learn:[02:27] Why, when, and how of watering houseplants[04:12] Why do our houseplants need water?[06:04] How do houseplants absorb water?[09:04] When should we water our houseplants?[10:54] Frequency errors in watering[15:00] How to determine soil moisture[16:00] What is top watering?[20:20] Grow your garden with the highest quality houseplants from Proven Winners leafjoy™[21:52] What is bottom watering?[24:08] What are self-watering pots?[25:29] Why you shouldn’t use freezing water[26:18] Knowing when your plant needs water by weight[29:45] Why is drainage important in houseplant care?
    Mentioned in our conversation:Soil Moisture MeterModern Sprout Watering CanPlant MisterPump SprayerSoil ProbeWallyGrow Loop Hanging Wall PlanterTERRAPOT TRCOT 10Growing Joy Ep 219: How to Care for AlocasiasGrowing Joy Ep 228: Everything You Need to Know About CalatheaGrowing Joy Ep 232: Everything You Need to Know About PhilodendronWhat's Your Plant Parent Personality?
    For my foolproof watering tips,check out the full show notes and blog here!

    Thank you to our episode sponsor:Proven WinnersIf you want to have success with houseplants, you’ve got to have two things: the knowledge to care for them successfully and healthy plants. Meet my new favorite houseplant grower: Proven Winner’s leafjoy™. With only the best plant genetics grown in a state-of-the-art, European greenhouse, you will not be disappointed in the variety and quality of your favorite plants from Proven Winner’s leafjoy™. This company has taken the guesswork out of plant shopping with plant tags that include scientific names and care guides, as well as color-coded collections for the different areas of your home that you want plants in!
    Find plant joy in leafjoy™. Head to provenwinners.com to find your local leafjoy™ dealer and let me know which plant you take home on socials!

    Follow Maria and Growing Joy:
    Order my book: Growing Joy: The Plant Lover's Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla, Illustrated by Samantha Leung
    Join the Bloom and Grow Garden Party Community Platform & App AKA the plantiest and kindest corner of the internet! Get your FREE 2-week trial here!
    Take the Plant Parent Personality Quiz (Get the perfect plants, projects and educational resources for YOUR Lifestyle)
    Support Bloom and Grow Radio by becoming a Plant Friend on Patreon!
    Instagram: @growingjoywithmaria
    Tiktok: @growingjoywithmaria
    Subscribe to the Growing Joy Youtube channel! /growingjoywithmaria
    Website: www.growingjoywithmaria.com
    Pinterest: @growingjoywithmaria
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    • 34 min
    How to Use Nature to Improve Your Mindset

    How to Use Nature to Improve Your Mindset

    How can you use plants to promote more mindful thinking? In this episode, I had the most amazing chat with my longtime plant friend Brittany Gowan (@brittanygowan). Brittany and I go way back to our NYC plant mom days when we used to have plant swaps and brunches together. It is pretty wild how plants can bring people together like that.
    Brittany is one of a kind—she blends her skills in psychology and coaching with her deep love of nature. On the show, we discussed how plants can reduce stress, foster compassion, and increase joy.

    In this episode, we learn:[03:06] Who is Brittany Gowan? (one of my OG plant friends!)[06:16] Finding peace in a stressful job[10:12] What are some ways that city people can connect with nature?[12:59] Importance of noticing and appreciating “little things” in urban areas[16:03] Celebrate special moments and create lasting memories with Wind River Chimes[17:51] Discover fun, plant-filled projects that add joy to your life with '¡Verdura! – Living a Garden Life' by Perla Sofía Curbelo Santiago[19:07] How has our ability to focus changed in a multitasking-driven society?[21:53] What are the metaphorical ways light/darkness can be interpreted?[28:20] How to develop compassion through plant care[30:09] Add a touch of spring to your home with Soltech's stylish grow lights[33:42] Finding joy in unexpected, small moments[39:32] How can plants and nature help with anxiety?[43:38] Returning to the wild and reconnecting with our roots[47:06] Meditation and mindfulness
    Mentioned in our conversation:Pause With Plants PodcastBrittany’s book: Turn to the Sun: Your Guide to Release Stress and Cultivate Better Health Through NatureSeattle Spheres
    For Brittany's mindful tips on growing joy through nature,check out the full show notes and blog here!

    Follow Brittany:
    Website
    Instagram
    LinkedIn
    1-on-1 Coaching

    Thank you to our episode sponsors:Wind River ChimesVisit windriverchimes.com and use code GROWINGJOY to receive free engraving on all engraveable wind chimes.
    Quarto: ¡Verdura! – Living a Garden Life by Perla Sofía Curbelo-SantiagoGrab ¡Verdura! at your favorite local bookstore, quarto.com, bookshop.org, Barnes and Noble or amazon.com.
    Soltech SolutionsCheck them out at soltechsolutions.com and get 15% off with code "bloom15". 

    Follow Maria and Growing Joy:
    Order my book: Growing Joy: The Plant Lover's Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla, Illustrated by Samantha Leung
    Join the Bloom and Grow Garden Party Community Platform & App AKA the plantiest and kindest corner of the internet! Get your FREE 2-week trial here!
    Take the Plant Parent Personality Quiz (Get the perfect plants, projects and educational resources for YOUR Lifestyle)
    Support Bloom and Grow Radio by becoming a Plant Friend on Patreon!
    Instagram: @growingjoywithmaria
    Tiktok: @growingjoywithmaria
    Subscribe to the Growing Joy Youtube channel! /growingjoywithmaria
    Website: www.growingjoywithmaria.com
    Pinterest: @growingjoywithmaria


    Our Sponsors:
    * Check out undefined and use my code BLOOM for a great deal: undefined
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    Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

    • 52 min
    How to Care for A Lot of Plants (AKA Have a Large Plant Collection)

    How to Care for A Lot of Plants (AKA Have a Large Plant Collection)

    If you have 250 plants in your home, what would you do? That seems like WAY too many plants to care for, right? But for Samantha Hermann, better known as @houseplusplant on Instagram, this is her second nature. She’s my newest plant friend, and I’m so excited to have a casual conversation with her on this episode (let me know if you want more episodes like this). Samantha has been successfully keeping that many plants alive and happy for years, and I’m sure it’s a lot of work. But she’s here to share her best tips for managing a large indoor plant collection without stressing out!

    In this episode, we learn:[04:46] Meet Samantha, the houseplant expert with over 250+ plant babies[05:37] What happened at the recent Tropical Plant International Expo?[11:22] When did Samantha start collecting houseplants?[15:09] Grow healthy plants in any corner of your home with Soltech’s stylish grow lights[17:26] Make your houseplants happy with Espoma Organic's high-quality, premium potting mixes[21:39] Why you should try new methods/species to avoid boredom and burnout[25:30] How Samantha’s plant collection has evolved over the years[30:51] What does Samantha’s research process look like for a plant? [32:30] Why is trial and error in plant care important?[36:25] How does she take care of her plants every day?[39:24] What is her approach to controlling pests?[45:44] How does she care for her plants while she is away? (and smart home gadgets!)[51:25] Tips for maximizing your plant space through styling and organization[57:23] What are the challenges she faced having to take care of a large plant collection?[01:03:03] Why you shouldn’t let plant care become a source of stress (dark side of plant care)[01:03:59] Tips for moms on how to manage both children and plants[01:08:35] Starting her Instagram plant account[01:11:20] When did she realize that she wanted to be a full-time plant content creator?[01:14:37] Where can you find Samantha on social media?
    Mentioned in our conversation:Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE)Foliage FocusFoliage ProProp Drops | Market BotanyMarket Botany (@marketbotany) | TikTokMossify46th IAS Annual Show and Sale InformationCultivate'23Sol SoilsPocket Wall Planters | WallyGrowGrowing Joy Ep 219: How to Care for AlocasiasYouTube: Make Your Own Moss Pole for Indoor Climbing Plants
    For Samantha's simplified plant care routine,check out the full show notes and blog here! 

    Follow Samantha:
    Website
    Instagram
    YouTube
    TikTok
    Facebook

    Thank you to our episode sponsors:Soltech SolutionsCheck them out at soltechsolutions.com and get 15% off with code "bloom15".
    Espoma OrganicVisit espoma.com to find your local Espoma dealer or check my Amazon storefront.

    Follow Maria and Growing Joy:
    Order my book: Growing Joy: The Plant Lover's Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla, Illustrated by Samantha Leung
    Join the Bloom and Grow Garden Party Community Platform & App AKA the plantiest and kindest corner of the internet! Get your FREE 2-week trial here!
    Take the Plant Parent Personality Quiz (Get the perfect plants, projects and educational resources for YOUR Lifestyle)
    Support Bloom and Grow Radio by becoming a Plant Friend on Patreon!
    Instagram: @growingjoywithmaria
    Tiktok: @growingjoywithmaria
    Subscribe to the Growing Joy Youtube channel! /growingjoywithmaria
    Website: www.growingjoywithmaria.com
    Pinterest: @growingjoywithmaria


    Our Sponsors:
    * Check out undefined and use my code BLOOM for a great deal: undefined
    * Check out undefined and use my code TODAY for a great deal: undefined


    Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Eco Anxiety

    Eco Anxiety

    Have you ever felt a sense of worry, fear, or anger when you think about climate change and the state of our planet? If so, you may be experiencing what's called "eco-anxiety." As plant lovers who are so connected to nature through our gardens and houseplants, it makes total sense that eco-anxiety could affect us. We care deeply about the Earth because we are part of it. So, let us spend some time with my dearest friend and resident green witch, Rachael Cohen, to better understand this concept.

    In this episode, we learn:[03:33] What is eco-anxiety?[07:14] Rachael’s personal story of identifying/managing eco-anxiety[09:45] Coping with eco-anxiety[11:21] How perspective affects happiness[12:16] What is the environmental impact of our actions, and how does it relate to our well-being?[15:21] Fill your homes with the most ethereal sounds with the new Wind River Eclipse Collection (use code GROWINGJOY)[17:26] Discover gardening tips, kitchen tricks, and family activities to reduce waste and save money with ‘Simple Country Living’ by Annette Thurmon[18:39] What is Rachael's book, Self-Care for Eco-Anxiety, all about?[20:01] Is corporate responsibility being misdirected, with consumers unfairly blamed?[22:30] How to shift from fight/flight to parasympathetic rest and digest mode[24:18] Somatic practices to release severe negative feelings associated with eco-anxiety[29:01] Finding neutrality and managing anxiety[30:10] What is the concept of “the mother tree” in Rachael’s book?[32:25] What is the mycelium network?[36:42] What are some ways we can give back to Mother Nature?[41:37] Rachael’s favorite strategy for bringing oneself back from an eco-anxiety spiral[43:23] How is the book constructed?[46:55] Where can you get the book?
    Mentioned in our conversation:Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, book by Suzanne SimardThe Overstory: A Novel, book by Richard PowersGrowing Joy Ep 229: Why You Should Care About the Spring EquinoxSelf-care for Eco-Anxiety: 52 Weekly Practices for Positive, Personal Change Through the Power of Nature, book by Rachael CohenGrowing Joy Ep 223: Cultivating Intuition with Nature with Rachael of Our Infinite NatureGrowing Joy Episode 209: Plant Magic: How to Be a Green Witch with Rachael from Infinite Succulent
    For a list of simple ways that you can give back to Mother Nature,check out the full show notes and blogs here!

    Follow Rachael:
    Website
    Instagram
    TikTok
    Facebook
    YouTube

    Thank you to our episode sponsors:Wind River ChimesVisit windriverchimes.com and use code GROWINGJOY to receive free engraving on all engraveable wind chimes.
    Quarto: Simple Country Living by Annette ThurmonGrab Simple Country Living: Techniques, Recipes, and Wisdom for the Garden, Kitchen, and Beyond by Annette Thurmon at your favorite local bookstore, bookshop.org, Barnes & Noble or amazon.com.

    Follow Maria and Growing Joy:
    Order my book: Growing Joy: The Plant Lover's Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla, Illustrated by Samantha Leung
    Join the Bloom and Grow Garden Party Community Platform & App AKA the plantiest and kindest corner of the internet! Get your FREE 2-week trial here!
    Take the Plant Parent Personality Quiz (Get the perfect plants, projects and educational resources for YOUR Lifestyle)
    Support Bloom and Grow Radio by becoming a Plant Friend on Patreon!
    Instagram: @growingjoywithmaria
    Tiktok: @growingjoywithmaria
    Subscribe to the Growing Joy Youtube channel! /growingjoywithmaria
    Website: www.growingjoywithmaria.com
    Pinterest: @growingjoywithmaria


    Our Sponsors:
    * Check out undefined and use my code BLOOM for a great deal: undefined
    * Check out undefined and use my code TODAY for a great deal: undefined


    Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

    • 50 min
    Composting Basics

    Composting Basics

    You may have heard that compost is the key to a healthy garden, and feeding the soil is more important than feeding your plants. And if you don't garden, you've probably heard about composting as an eco-friendly way to live more sustainably and support the planet. That is why I dedicate an entire episode explaining what composting is and how it works.
    My guest, Michelle Balz, is a true composting guru who has written, not one, but two incredible books solely focused on this amazing soil amendment. By the end of our conversation, you'll understand exactly what compost is made of, how it benefits your garden's soil, why it's so great for the environment, and best of all—how to successfully compost both indoors and out.

    In this episode, we learn:[06:49] What has Michelle’s journey been in composting?[09:24] How many different composting systems does Michelle have in her home?[10:20] Compost vs soil vs potting mix[12:02] What makes compost so special?[13:53] How does composting benefit the environment, ourselves, and our gardens?[14:31] Carbon sequestration[15:40] Discover the secrets to attracting birds to your garden with 'Bird Friendly Gardening'![17:44] Skip the hassle of making your own compost with this organic Compost Blend![20:51] How does composting impact gardeners?[26:42] How does compost help support the mycorrhizae?[27:20] What can and cannot be composted?[29:52] Is the composting ratio important?[32:18] What do we need to know about anaerobic/aerobic composting?[34:17] Indoor composting[35:07] How does vermicomposting work?[36:55] How can compost be extracted without worms?[40:30] Bokashi composting[42:57] Terracotta pot composting[45:22] What are the best composting options for outdoor gardeners? (bin and in-garden systems)[49:27] How do you know when the compost is finished/ready?[50:13] What is the life cycle of composting, how long until the first batch, and how can you nurture it effectively?[01:01:23] What is Hügelkultur?[01:02:45] What is an African keyhole garden?[01:05:14] Where can you find Michelle's books and social media?
    Mentioned in our conversation:Lomi tabletop composterNo-Waste Composting: Small-Space Waste Recycling, Indoors and Out. Plus, 10 projects to repurpose household items into compost-making machines (No-Waste Gardening), book by Michelle BalzComposting for a New Generation: Latest Techniques for the Bin and Beyond, book by Michelle Balz
    For Michelle's recommended composting methods,check out the full show notes and blog here!

    Follow Michelle:
    LinkedIn
    Instagram
    X
    Amazon

    Thank you to our episode sponsors:Quarto: Bird-Friendly Gardening by Jen McGuinnessGrab the book at your favorite local bookstore, bookshop.org, Barnes & Noble or amazon.com.
    Espoma OrganicVisit espoma.com to find your local Espoma dealer or check my Amazon storefront.

    Follow Maria and Growing Joy:
    Order my book: Growing Joy: The Plant Lover's Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla, Illustrated by Samantha Leung
    Join the Bloom and Grow Garden Party Community Platform & App AKA the plantiest and kindest corner of the internet! Get your FREE 2-week trial here!
    Take the Plant Parent Personality Quiz (Get the perfect plants, projects and educational resources for YOUR Lifestyle)
    Support Bloom and Grow Radio by becoming a Plant Friend on Patreon!
    Instagram: @growingjoywithmaria
    Tiktok: @growingjoywithmaria
    Subscribe to the Growing Joy Youtube channel! /growingjoywithmaria
    Website: www.growingjoywithmaria.com
    Pinterest: @growingjoywithmaria


    Our Sponsors:
    * Check out undefined and use my code BLOOM for a great deal: undefined
    * Check out undefined and use my code TODAY for a great deal: undefined


    Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

    • 1 hr 9 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
77 Ratings

77 Ratings

LLRiem ,

Great podcast!

This podcast is a real gem. The episodes are very informative and are about everything you could ever imagine. Maria is an amazing podcast host, and I would definitely recommend Growing Joy!

Angiedee83 ,

Growing along with Maria

I found the podcast early in my plant parenthood and binged all episodes to date at the time while I painted our basement. I learnt so much about houseplants and their connection to self care. Now Maria has expanded her podcast horizons and I love the added content that includes out door garden and plant care, going beyond houseplants. Thanks Maria!

TemporaryUserName ,

Soul sister

Maria feels like a long lost soul sister to me!! Her story about mental health and cultivation of joy through plants is also my story. I’m a fairly new listener, introduced through the Potted Together podcast, and so far I am in love!! We need more planty mental health exposure 💙

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