Black w/ Plants: Horticulture Q&A with Wambui Ippolito

January 2019–January 2020, Black with Plants will publish q and a on mental health + community building with botanists, college dropouts, horticulturalists, plant care specialists, natural hair experts, social justice advocates, sound therapists, etc. across the thirteen hardiness zones in the United States and African diaspora.

What do you want readers to know about horticulture? ecology? Or a creative project that you are working on? and the role of community building, and its impact on mental health?
Being near, learning about and working with plants heals. Mother Nature is the greatest healer. There is nothing as mind purifying as spending time with plants in the open air.
What about the opportunity to display foliage, etc. online (specifically via IG) first interested you in committing your time and energy to plant care-taking?
I was in horticulture school when I started posting on Instagram. I did it first to share photographs with my close friends about different plant cultivars and varieties.
What do you think are the five key characteristics of a successful place?


  1. Love,
  2. right intentions,
  3. a good vibe,
  4. happy folks and
  5. cleanliness

Would you be willing to share a memorable moment from 2018?
I graduated from Horticulture school in early 2018 and was very proud of myself. I immediately began working in a very special place.
Your perspective is invaluable. Thank you for distilling your talents, sharing your time, and a contributing to the local economy. Can you tell readers a little bit about your perspective on securing space for psychological healing and/or wellness?
If you can’t afford a therapist, go out to Nature. Spend a lot of time walking in the woods, sitting in parks, planting herbs on your balcony. That practice will heal you quickly.

Final thoughts from Wambui Loves Plants (@wambuilovesplants):

Always have the right intentions. Don’t be jealous. Wish others well and work towards your goals. Don’t give up.

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