Welcome to Plantgasm!
Hi, my name is Derek. I live in San Francisco with my wife, two little dogs, one grumpy cat, and an ever-increasing mob of plants.
I’ve always grown plants, but my plant lust really took off when we bought a house in 2009. Suddenly I had roots, in both a literal and figurative sense. My collection of plants has been growing ever since.
This site is to document my various adventures with home gardening. Once, when I was looking for just the right word to describe a perfect day of gardening, I came up with “Plantgasm.” It was silly. It stuck.
I’d like you to know a few things about me.
- I’m not a professional botanist. I have no formal training. Everything I know about plants comes from firsthand experience, and I wasn’t really paying attention for most of it. So if you’re looking for an expert, keep looking. I’m just a guy who loves plants, even when they don’t love me back.
- I live in San Francisco, which is a very strange place for many reasons, including our weird microclimates. When the rest of the world goes brown for winter, we go green. We have no winter freeze, just a whole lot of cold and rain. And when summertime comes, we’ve got billowing fog. Seriously, this place is odd. That means the stuff I can grow in my yard is a bizarre mix of California natives, tropicals, and Mediterranean stuff. What works for me may not work for you, even if you’re also in San Francisco.
- I really like succulents and tropicals. About half of my plants are succulents (especially Aeoniums, Echeverias, Sempervivums) and the other half are tropicals (Philodendron and Orchids). I like extremes. My favorite plant is the Elephant Ear, meaning Alocasias and Colocasias. I have way too many around the house.
- The majority of my experience is with houseplants. I didn’t have an outside yard until recently. So I’d say I’m vaguely competent indoors, and mostly incompetent outdoors. This past season, finally a homeowner with a yard, I was able to grow vegetables for the first time! The artichoke mostly became ornamental, the tomatoes were hit-or-miss, the peas were awesome. It was a joy to get out in the yard an simply make it happen.
- I’m not a plant snob. All plants are cool to me. Some of my most long-lived plants were liberated from offices (Pothos, Dracena, Philodendron). I like pretty much everything.
- Anyone can grow plants. There is no such thing as a black thumb or a green thumb. There are just people and plants and we usually get along just fine.
- Plants make me happy. I grow plants because I enjoy the process. This site is here to remind me of that. If it inspires you to go get a plant and try it, too, that’s cool with me.
Thanks for reading. Now go outside and plant.