First Houseplant Swap Grows Interest in Landis

By Morgan McClary

A house­plant swap allows peo­ple to diver­si­fy their col­lec­tion in a cost-effec­tive way, or get rid of plants they no longer need; and some­times a pet or space issue is an incen­tive to cull. It’s also a social gath­er­ing where peo­ple can dis­cuss grow­ing tech­niques and favorite vari­eties among fel­low hobbyists.

Kay­la Mitchell and her boyfriend were only two of near­ly 50 peo­ple who attend­ed the Arb’s first swap — many of whom were first-time vis­i­tors of Landis. 

On a map, Kayla’s apart­ment is tech­ni­cal­ly in the city of Troy, NY. But inside, the near­ly 100 house­plants make her space feel more like a jun­gle. I love that each plant is dif­fer­ent and has its own unique char­ac­ter­is­tics –even among the same species,” Kay­la said, men­tion­ing how much she enjoys car­ing for her plants and see­ing the results of the work she puts into them. 

Although Kay­la and her boyfriend con­sid­er them­selves col­lec­tors,” they had nev­er been to a plant swap until the one held at Lan­dis Arbore­tum on April 15. I thought it would be a fun way to get new plants, explore a new place and meet new peo­ple,” Kay­la said, after see­ing the event on the Upstate NY Plant Swap Face­book group.

Of those who attend­ed, some stayed for the entire event, which ran from 11 AM to 1 PM, while oth­ers drift­ed into the Meet­ing House through­out the swap. Entry was a $5 dona­tion. Par­tic­i­pants dis­played their plants or cut­tings on tables. A match­ing nametag and index card allowed swap­pers to min­gle through­out the room and locate the indi­vid­u­als they were inter­est­ed in swap­ping with. 

Caryn Ledi­uzet, of Schoharie, was also brows­ing a plant group on Face­book when she scrolled past the swap’s event fly­er. I hadn’t been here before, but I love gar­den­ing, plants and nature,” Caryn said. 

Eri­ca Hayes, from Cana­jo­harie, just start­ed get­ting into house­plants. My hus­band and I attend­ed and were floored with the abun­dance of plants peo­ple were exchang­ing, and the range from clip­pings to full plants.” she said. Being first time swap­pers we weren’t sure what to do, but a love­ly atten­dant gave us the run­down.”

Not only had Eri­ca nev­er been to a plant swap, she also had nev­er vis­it­ed the Arboretum.

Try­ing to be mod­est, we only took three plants home with us, but man, were they beau­ti­ful! I can’t wait to attend the next swap, now that I know what to expect,” Eri­ca said.

Keara Mac­in­tire and Ken Stevens, also from Cana­jo­harie, had vis­it­ed Lan­dis pre­vi­ous­ly, but only made it as far as the barn. They were impressed by the beau­ti­ful view of the rolling hills vis­i­ble from the Meet­ing House. The duo attend­ed the swap hop­ing to find a vari­ety of plants and to trade cut­tings inexpensively.

Kay­la, who brought home a beau­ti­ful var­ie­gat­ed philo­den­dron Birkin’ and a fid­dle leaf fig she referred to as a hid­den gem,” also remarked on the scenery. I would love to go to more plant events at the Arbore­tum and meet oth­er plant lovers,” she said. We also def­i­nite­ly plan on com­ing back to explore the grounds more and go on the trails and have pic­nics. It’s so beau­ti­ful there.”

Fol­low Lan­dis on Face­book and Insta­gram to stay updat­ed on events, class­es — and poten­tial­ly a fall House­plant Swap! 

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Summer 2023

Volume 41 , Number 2

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