MissLeidy the Plant Lady's Guide to Houseplants

MissLeidy the Plant Lady's Guide to Houseplants

Photography by Leeor Wild / Styling and creative direction by Jimi Urquiaga / Hair by Evanie Frausto

When lockdown forced the country indoors, everyone became experts in fields they never had time to prioritize before, from the massive puzzle boom to baking bread.

For Brooklyn-based, Cuban drag performer MissLeidy, this free time offstage and out of temporarily closed gay bars allowed her to further hone an interest in plants. She began sharing guides, flash sales and house tours on Instagram and YouTube, "bringing you the tips, tricks and tea on all the plants you need."

Below, MissLeidy shares her top six favorite houseplants for PAPER, and details how to care for them and where to buy them.

1. Syngonium Podophyllum (Also Known as the Arrowhead Plant)

CARE: Easy care plant. Give her bright, indirect light and allow her to dry out a bit in-between waterings, and she will thrive in your environment.

SHOP: MissLeidy the Plant Lady (@missleidytheplantlady)

Location: MissLeidy's Plant Shop

Bodysuit, skirt and tights: Jimi Urquiaga, Shoes: Christian Louboutin

2. Monstera Adansonii (Also Known as the Swiss Cheese Plant)

CARE: This was actually my first ever plant! Give this babe a good amount of light. If you don't, it will revert in growth and stop putting out leaves with holes. So give this girl a gooooood amount of light and allow her to dry out in-between waterings. If you want to see these leaves double in size, try growing her on a moss pole and put her next to a humidifier. You'll be shocked in the change in growth.

SHOP: Tula Plants & Design (@tulahouse)

Location: Tula Plants & Design

Top, pants and belt: Jimi Urquiaga, Shoes: Steve Madden

3. The Snake Plant (Formerly Known as Sansevieria Trifasciata, Now Reclassified as Dracaena Trifasciata)

CARE: Honestly, one of the easiest and most forgiving plants! They can tolerate low light conditions, but do her a favor and give her a good amount of light and she will show you she appreciates it with new growth and more robust leaves. In regards to watering, treat this girl like a succulent. She has super thick leaves that hold in a bunch of water, so the death of her could be over watering. Let her dry out almost completely in-between waterings and if you can get that locked down, your Snake Plant will literally last forever.

SHOP: The Sill (@thesillbk)

Location: The Sill

Jacket: Gabriela Ostolaza, Shoes: Christian Louboutin, Fishnets: Capezio, Tights: Wolford

4. Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma (Also Known as the Mini Monstera)

CARE: This is honestly my new fav! Such an easy and fast grower! I think every person should own one! Give this babe a good amount of light. A couple hours of soft morning and evening sun will do the trick. If that's not an option, bright and indirect will do just fine. They like to dry out a bit in-between waterings, so don't over do it with this one. If anything, place her next to a humidifier and she will loooooove it! Also, give this girl a moss pole and you will see her leaves double and possible triple in size. Try it!

SHOP: Greenery Unlimited (@greeneryunlimited)

Location: Greenery Unlimited

Jacket: Eckhaus Latta, Hat: Eric Javits, Tights: Wolford, Shoes: Christian Louboutin

5. Platycerium Bifurcatum (Also Known as the Staghorn Fern)

CARE: One of my easiest plants. I have mine mounted on wood and hanging on my walls. I soak them in my bathtub for 5 minutes once every week. After soaking, I let them drip dry in my shower and once they're dry enough I hang them back on my wall. I make sure they are placed in a bright spot in my home and they are as happy as can be!

SHOP: Sprout Home (@sprouthomechicago)

Location: Sprout Home Chicago

Jacket: Noir Kei Ninomiya

6. Prayer Plants (Formerly Known as Calathea Orbifolia, Now Reclassified as Goeppertia Orbifolia)

CARE: A lot of people will tell you to stay away from these guys, but honestly once you know what they like they are easy as pie! First, make sure you are giving them distilled, bottled or rain water. The harsh metals and chemicals in tap water will burn the roots and you'll start to see brown edges on your leaves. They like a decent amount of light. Put them in a nice, bright spot with a humidifier and they are gonna take off!

SHOP: Foliage Garden (@foliagegardennyc)

Location: Foliage Garden NYC

Bodysuit: LaQuan Smith, Hat: Eric Javits, Shoes: Steve Madden

From the start, 2020 has felt like a pivotal turning point for America. Ahead of what could be the most consequential election in our lifetimes, many of us are starting to re-think our behaviors, question old assumptions and challenge longstanding institutions. Through it all, there are plenty of reasons to feel inspired.

Highlighting compelling people in pop culture, politics and the arts, PAPER will examine America in all of its splendor, grit and complexity, and search for the stories that give us hope, compel us to be better versions of ourselves and to understand America as the multi-faceted, dynamic place — and idea — that it is.

Photography: Leeor Wild
Styling and creative direction: Jimi Urquiaga
Hair: Evanie Frausto
Nails: Mar y Sol
Makeup: MissLeidy the Plant Lady (using MAC Cosmetics and Shiseido)
Skincare: Squish