This NYC Plant Mom Has Over 200 Plants in Her Small Apartment

Alessia Resta for In the Weeds With Plant People

The Spruce / Meghal Janardan

“It’s like asking to choose like a sense. Would you rather have taste or sight? This is a deep question! I would probably sleep better anyway, so I choose plants.” Welcome to Alessia Resta’s New York City apartment where she’s kicking off her plant tour by answering the hardest question we’ve ever asked of a plant collector: “Would you rather live without plants or without coffee?” We can already tell we’re in for a treat and that this peek inside of Alessia’s home will be a good one. And it is. 

In This Episode

Alessia has some really cool varieties in her collection of over 200 plants. And you can tell she loves them. She loves them so much that when they’re not doing well she yells at them to do better. “I’m having an argument with myself and the plants but I guess it’s just myself," she quips. She’s got a great sense of humor and shared an amazing story about her Thai Constellation. When she went to repot the plant, she found a lizard living in the soil! She named it Harry and we’re dying to know what happened to him!


Inside This 200+ Manhattan Plant Collection

Most Expensive Plant

Alessia’s most expensive plant is a Philodendron Patricia which she bought when it was tiny for $250. It’s now nearly hitting her ceiling!

The Plant That Stands Out the Most

When we asked her what her favorite plant was she told us, “It’s always hard to choose favorites because technically they’re all my favorite. But there’s always one that stands out from the pack. For me it’s the Philodendron Ring of Fire. I just had a really big journey trying to get this plant to grow. When it arrived it was covered in mites. I thought we were going to lose it, but we actually ended up getting it on the mend and it grew and it has not stopped growing since.”

And the Most... Uncooperative Plant

Her trickiest plant is her Anthurium Crystallinum. She loves the Anthurium even though they’re difficult because of how pretty they are. 

Other Plant Highlights

As we move through her apartment we get to see some other plants like her oldest, a cactus called Mammillaria Gracilis Fragilis; her rarest, a Begonia Darth Vader; and Cheerio, a snake plant that she named because it was delivered to her in a Cheerios box.

How She Tends to Her Plants—and Makes Room for More

Alessia gives some great advice about creating a care routine for your plants during her tour, “As time passes and as you get used to the plants you have you really start to become in sync with your plants.” She says she has a daily, weekly, and monthly routine that she likes to follow. As you watch her show off her plants, it becomes clear that Alessia loves going vertical with her collection. She utilizes a lot of shelves to help create more room for more plants

A Smart Tip for Plants That Are Struggling

We also get to see her healing box. It’s a plastic container that she uses to create a humid environment for any plants that may be struggling and need a little extra care. Brilliant!