Meet the Mystical Richelle Trujillo
For our first ever local plant owner feature, we present Richelle Trujillo from Littleton CO! Richelle loves plants, crystals, everything Mystic, and being a stay at home mom/teacher to 3 little girls and 2 fur babies. Her nails are *almost* always on point, but her organizational skills are NOT. Her favorite plant is anything, which is nearly everything, that makes life interesting and her wallet perpetually empty.
Check out her Instagram after reading her interview.
How did you get into plants?
Growing up my dad always had houseplants and did a lot of outdoor gardening. I think he influenced my love for plants subconsciously when I was a child. But I didn't get HEAVILY into plants until about 2015 or 2016 when I discovered rare succulents.
What was your first plant?
My first plant was one of those Purple Passion plants! I got it from this little plant shop on 38th and Wadsworth that unfortunately doesn't exist anymore. I was probably 9 years old.
What makes plants so special?
Gosh where do I begin?! I think what makes them special is the connection they give us to nature. We can cultivate something and help it thrive with just the basic materials given by the earth. The ability to connect with what is innate to humans. I love nurturing something (other than my children) and watching them grow and change and feeling that accomplishment. I also struggle some with anxiety and my plants really help to calm my soul and center my thoughts.
How many plants do you have?
Oh geez. I try not to keep count but I'd say in the 400's. Maybe? They are in every room and on every surface.
Which plant in your collection would you save from a fire?
I've actually thought about this many times. I used to say I would save my Albo Monstera. But now I think it's my 'Strawberry Shake' Philodendron, mainly because of what I've been through with it.
On the flip side, do you have a plant that you kind of wish would just die? (Real talk.)
A plant I wish would just die would have to be my husband's money tree 🤣. We've had it for so long. It's growing gangly and hanging on by a thread. It takes up space I could use for other stuff.
Are there any underrated plants? How about overrated?
I don't believe there is such thing as an overrated plant. Truthfully! If something speaks to the soul, more power to you! Although if I had to pick something, I'd say Fiddle Leaf Fig. As for an underrated plant, I would say all succulents in general. I've found that a lot of people find them underwhelming or boring. But they are really so beautiful and diverse! Especially the Korean imports.
What is your advice for someone starting their plant journey?
My advice would be to take it easy, find what works for you and roll with it. Take the advice on plant tags with a grain of salt. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Watch the leaves; They will tell you everything you need to know about how your plant is doing. Don't be discouraged by losses. Everyone kills plants, it's just part of the learning process.
What is your biggest plant fail or greatest accomplishment?
My biggest plant fail happened this last week actually. I ran out of space under my lights for my propagation bin so I was taking all of my propagations outside in the evening for some light. Well, we forgot them outside over night ... and the next day ... during a 99 degree day. A whole bin full of queen Anthurium, Philodendron verrucosum, various Piper (pepper) plants, and some new imports. Just totally cooked to a crisp! It was painful.
What plant tip do you swear by?
I SWEAR by perlite for propagation. Moist perlite and high humidity/light and you've got yourself set up for some great roots!
Is there a plant myth that drives you nuts?
A myth I don't favor would be that you cannot grow/propagate succulents in pure water. A lot of people think it facilitates rot when in fact the rot comes from what's in the soil itself and not necessarily the water/moisture. Water propagating succulents has saved so many of my plants!
Do you have any wishlist plants?
Definitely a King Clarinervium Anthurium. That's up there. I also would really love a Philodendron 'Majesty' and 'Caramel Marble' but it has to have really nice variegation.
What plant describes you best?
I think I'm like the fancy Anthurium. Kinda high maintenance but not too much. I need just enough love and attention to survive but I want to be left alone too. I'm very aloof. Ha!