Nick Pileggi (@phillyfoliage) is a houseplant expert, curator and YouTuber living with over 350 plants in Philadelphia, PA. Nick creates videos all about houseplants, and nothing but: including houseplant tips, unboxings, tours, and much, much more! Read on for Nick's expert recommendations for low-maintenance, low-light, and trending plants.
Many thanks to our interviewer, Elise!
I am the head buyer at Urban Jungle, a plant shop located in South Philadelphia. My main purpose is to curate the selection of indoor plants at the store, which is a balance of carrying timeless plants such as Pothos and Spider Plants as well as stocking new, popular plants such as Philodendrons and Peperomias. On top of that, I am the "Houseplant Expert,” which of course coincides with the curating aspect, so I help clients and customers select their plants for their space - whether it is just a small plant for a bedroom, or a large array of plants for an office building or lobby. Basically, my job is all about plants, plants, and more plants!
Among a few other groups of plants, I tend to gravitate toward the genus Peperomia. It’s a genus that is very rich in diversity, currently with over 1500 species. My favorite thing about Peperomias as I collect them is the many differences and similarities I notice between the species, each with their own characteristics that may mimic the traits of another. They are considered "tropical succulents", meaning they require small amounts of water, so I find them to be very low maintenance as I don't have to watch over them as often as some of my others. There is so much to love about Peperomias!
Hoyas, Hoyas, Hoyas. I can't carry enough Hoyas. Hoyas are commonly referred to as Wax Plants and are typically grown for their blooms, but their succulent leaves have been found to be quite attractive to many, mainly due to how different they can appear. If you find an interesting Hoya, I definitely recommend scooping it up.
One of the most frequently asked questions at Urban Jungle is about low light plants - which are low light tolerant, and how to care for them. I usually remind the customers that low light is much different than no light, in which no plants (maybe with the exception of the ZZ plant) can adequately grow. Beyond that, the four I always recommend are Pothos, Snake Plants, Aglaonemas (Chinese Evergreens) and ZZ Plants. These seem to not only survive but thrive in lower light conditions. As with any plant, the less light it is given, the less often you are going to water it.
I got into the Wally Eco planters when I was looking for an easy option for a vertical garden in my home, and I loved how the Eco planters are made from recycled milk jugs! They seemed like the perfect option for what I was trying to accomplish in my space.
Thanks to Nick for sharing his story and his methods with us! See his work on social media:
YouTube: Nick Pileggi