Daily Life

Life with plants

Posted by Cat Ramos

So it finally happened. After 4 years, I finally moved to a new flat. Of course, I enjoyed my life in my previous place but it’s big enough for only me; G and I needed a bigger space together so we had to find a flat that will be more comfortable.

One of the very first things I thought of about the new flat: PLANTS. Now I am no longer living in a ground floor space, and I actually have sunlight coming through my windows. Don’t want to waste all that lovely light, right? The sunlight conundrum was the only reason why I couldn’t start with plants as a quarantine hobby, unlike so many people.

Prior to moving, and since the move, I have amassed quite a lot of plants already. Then I started a Facebook group for plant hobbyists called “House Plants Hungary“, where people can share their love of plants. I’ve never seen a similar English group for people in Hungary, and based on the feedback I received, the members are actually happy someone started the group 🙂

As G mentioned to his friend, the flat is starting to look like a jungle now. Below are my main sources that got me from zero to jungle!

1. IKEA – they have a lot of snake plants and cacti plus different planters. All the snake plants I got from IKEA 4 years ago are still thriving today.

Plants from IKEA: autograph plant and snake plant.

2. OBI – wide selection of plants, soil, fertilizers, pots and tools. They even have unique ones like Venus flytraps and pitcher plants. This is my favorite for plants. My advice is to save pictures of the plants/things you need on your phone (if you don’t know the Hungarian names for them) to show to the staff. In my experience, I have not met a staffer who could help me in English. Also, it is worth checking the OBI website for item availability as not all the stores will carry a particular item. For example, the plant I wanted was not available in the Soroksari OBI, but available in the Fogarasi ut OBI. It can save you the trip and frustration!

Some plants from OBI: heartleaf Philodendron, tradescantia zebrina, dwarf snake plant and assorted airplants.
This was the plant family that I moved from my previous flat. Not a lot!

3. Fitoland – I bought from them several times now. The first one was online and the delivery cost more than the plant itself. But my tradescantia nanouk was well packaged and they even texted me beforehand (in English and Hungarian) to ask if the delivery date is fine with me. The subsequent times, I went there personally and it was wonderland! It was awesome! So many different plants, arranged by type. Also lots of garden paraphernalia. Slightly more expensive than OBI but bigger selection. Tied for number 1 with OBI. I love that it is so close to me. I can go anytime I want.

My first Fitoland purchase is my most favorite plant – tradescantia nanouk!
Fitoland purchases: Polka dot plant and Tradescantia fluminensis tricolor

4. Tropical Home – owned by a friendly Hungarian lady who also speaks English and Spanish. She carries a lot of the trendy plants you see on Instagram plus some nice pots too. You can have the plants delivered (for a fee) or you can pick them up personally with prior appointment.

From Tropical Home – Monstera adansonii, cthenanthe burle-marxii Amabilis, pilea peperomioides. This is my cover picture for the House Plants Hungary group!

5. The neighborhood virágbolt/flower shop – my go-to place for different kinds of soil, perlite and nursery pots. 

6. Facebook Marketplace – you can buy established plants, cuttings or seeds and bulbs. I have had meetups or delivery by post depending on the seller’s location. There are sellers who even have great after-sales service, they tell you to contact them in case you have questions about your plants etc.

7. Selling groups on FB – like EladĂł SzobanövĂ©ny. Even English ones like “Used Stuff for Sale in Budapest” also have some plants every now and then. Like FB marketplace, it is like a leap of faith because you don’t know the condition of the plants you are buying (it can be different from the pictures). But so far, I’ve had great success with all my purchases.

From a Facebook group – Philodendron Birkin and Philodendron Malay Gold, both wishlist plants!

8. Etsy – the seller is based in Hungary and when I received my cuttings, they looked beat up as the envelope they came in was just shoved through my mailbox. There was no note on the envelope saying “Fragile” or whatever. Will not order from that store again. This is just one store; I am sure there are lots who actually care about the plants’ condition as they travel and are quite meticulous in the packaging.

Tradescantia mini lilac from a Hungarian seller on Etsy

9. Dabriplants.com – Speaking of meticulous…Dabri Plants! This is succulent wonderland! Owned by a nice lady named Sabrina. You can see how much she cares for her succulents – each one is packaged with lots of care so as not to harm the little plants and cuttings. She also helped me when I had questions about the post office delivery. She answers emails very fast. If you are into succulents, I highly recommend Dabriplants.

Succulent propagation pack from DabriPlants

I know that Lidl, Penny, Aldi and Spar also sells plants but I never really bought from them because I mostly see orchids and i cannot take care of orchids for some reason.

My no-plant November turned to “whatever” but I am happy that I am surrounded with these beauties. I am happy with this newfound hobby, and I swear to take care of my plant family the best that I could!

My Christmas setup featuring philodendron Brasil, heartleaf Philodendron and my airplants on a repurposed candle stand!

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