Q&A: Keeping Plants High & Healthy with @cyrilcybernated

Q&A: Keeping Plants High & Healthy with @cyrilcybernated

Cyril (@cyrilcybernated) is a plant collector and DIY powerhouse based out of Monterey in a condo full of plants, crafts & cats. He combines artistic aesthetics with a passion for plant care to create a unique brand all his own! In our latest Q&A, Cyril gives us plant care tips and insight into his green beginnings. Read on to see how he finds a plant's 'happy place', installing wall planters on wooden shingles (no holes required!), and even how he trains his cats to avoid eating plants! 
Many thanks to our interviewer, Elise!
You're a self-described 'Creative Plant Daddy' - what's the origin of that phrase?
A: I think everyone can relate that it’s hard to come up with adjectives that would briefly describe you. So when I started getting comments from people saying how I was creative with my DIYs and my plant aesthetics, I thought that Creative Plant Daddy would be an accurate and concise description for myself. My DIYs and crafts are usually influenced by plants and nature, and that’s where I take most of my inspiration from.

What made you get into plants?A: I’ve always been appreciative of plants and nature. I grew up with my grandmothers tending to their gardens and I grew up with my mom loving gardening and crafting. We would always visit plant nurseries in our area, and she would also trade cuttings with friends in our neighborhood. My classmates would always say that I live in the “house with many plants” because we had gigantic Bird's Nest ferns and Maidenhair ferns in our front yard. 



We love your living room plant wall! What was your creative process, and how did you install the planters to the shingles?
A: I always wanted to have trailing plants on the shingle wall to complement it. When I won a set of Wally Eco planters last year, I was so excited when I figured out it would be possible for me to mount them on the walls without poking holes using nails, because my contract includes not poking holes at my condo rental. The planters are very sturdy and lightweight, and two push pins with a jute string keeps it in place. I’ve had the planters on my wall for a year and they never fell or came off. I like to switch plants around; I keep them in plastic nursery pots and I even managed to fit two six-inch pots in one planter.
You keep plants very high up! How far up are the highest, and what’s the benefit of keeping them so high?
A: I think they’re at least 8 feet high. The main reason I keep them this high is to keep them safe from the cats, to give them the optimal light that is available in that empty space, and also to keep them away from my overwatering tendencies. I try to maximize every inch of this condo, and that includes maximizing the vertical space with the high ceilings. 


  What is your secret for keeping your many trailing plants so healthy & long?A: I honestly don’t do much. Once I find the happy place for my plants, I keep them there. My trailing plants on the ledge were an experiment that I started last year, and when they started flourishing, I kept them there. The ones that did not do well I have to shuffle and find a happy place for. The secret is finding the best light, watering right and giving them time to do their thing.


What are your general tips and tricks for plant care?

A: I’d say start with knowing what your watering habits are, the plants you gravitate to, and knowing their requirements. When I started collecting plants last year, I just dived into the hobby and learned as I go. Educating yourself and doing your research really helps on giving you an edge on plant care and helping them thrive in your home. If you have pets and kids, knowing their behavior will also give you a thorough understanding of how they all can co-exist peacefully in your home.



How do your cats behave around plants? Do you ever have an issue with them wanting to take a bite?A: My two older cats named @stormsuperstar (13 years old) and @tsunabulous (1 year 2 months) don’t really like nibbling on plants. They would occasionally be enticed to smack a dangling trailing stem, but that would be it. The newest baby kitty @mesmerizingmonsoon (10 months old) just joined the family over a month ago and she has a different liking to plants. I caught her nibbling on some leaves already, and part of the training is exposing them to plants and giving them their own catnip to nibble on. Most of the tips would be about keeping plants away from them by putting those on shelves or hanging on walls. Through time, the cats can be trained. 



Thanks to Creative Plant Daddy Cyril for sharing his story and his methods with us! See his work on social media:

Instagram: @cyrilcybernated