A Growing Obsession

A Growing Obsession

Meet a houseplant lover whose collection has grown to nearly 200 plants.
What happens when you start a hobby and it becomes an obsession? That’s what happened to Samantha Hermann who now has (in her recent estimation) more than 151 plant varieties. “That doesn’t count propagations or duplicate plants – so maybe I have 180 plants,” she says, doing some quick plant math in her head.

Samantha hasn’t always had a houseful of houseplants, but she grew up around houseplants and gardens. “All of my relatives had plants,” she says. “My first plant was a cutting from my Mom’s golden pothos. She sent it with me to college,” says Samantha. “Now, it’s going all around my sunroom,” she laughs. “It’s been in the same soil. 15 years,” she says. “My mom still has cuttings from the original plant.”

Samantha’s current plant collection is wide and varied. It features the pothos (from college!) that crawl across her walls, ficus and monstera plants that are taller than she is, and a wide variety of big-leafed and variegated species. Although she has 151 different plant types, “my favorites are ficus and hoyas,” she admits.

Her obsession/collection has opened up some new doors – she’s a social media influencer and creator of House + Plant. (Follow her @houseplusplant.) “Instagram was big for me,” says Samantha. On her personal account she started posting photos of her favorite plants. “My grandma said, ‘I want to see the kids. Stop posting about plants.’” (Sam has 4 adorable kids). ”So, I started a plant page,” she says.

Her love of plants continues to grow (like her collection). “It’s gotten more intense in the last 5 years,” she says, thanks in part to the windfall of good lighting which happened when she moved into her family’s new house. “I have an all-season room with windows that face east, west, and north. I have some good south-facing windows too.”

Raising plants is nurturing and creative work. “When you see things grow, it gives you a kinda rush,” she says. “Everyone has that nurturing bone in them; you just have to find what to nurture,”

Written by Karen Weir-Jimerson