There is an unimaginable number of resources one can use online for most any question about plants. However, the Kingwood Area Plant Nerds is a group of like-minded folks who love plants and love to share plant photos and information first hand.
Amber Smith and Amanda Williams are co-administrators for the Facebook group, Kingwood Area Plant Nerds.
“I started the group in December 2019,” said Smith. “I was hoping to connect with other local ‘planty’ people. Working with plants is my lifelong passion and I really wanted to meet other people who, like me, lost a ton of plants to [Hurricane] Harvey. I thought it would be great to have a group where we could share cuttings locally with people who lost their beloved green babies, too.”
“Being stuck at home, many people focused on home repairs, gardens and houseplants,” Smith said. “Houseplants became the new ‘It’ fad. I am hoping it sticks because plants and gardens are magic!”
Members of the club had their first “Meet ‘n Greet” at The Cove on Hamblen Road last month. “It was a smashing success and I can’t wait for the next one,” she said. “We are working on some plant trading events, as well as some smaller group events, where we can really get to know other members of our plant ‘tribe.’”
Smith said the group is fun. “Everyone is so kind, generous and enthusiastic to help. We are politics and drama free … and mostly everyone wants it that way. It’s a safe place to just escape into plants and leave all the other stuff behind for a bit. A lovely place to fellowship with our ‘tribe,’” she said.
The majority of the members are local to Kingwood and surrounding areas, with some located out of state.
“Our club is the coolest eclectic group of people around from moms, dads, couples, young, retirees, beginners, vegetable gardeners to bougie expensive houseplant enthusiasts,” Smith explained. “I believe we even have a master gardener or two. I have found plant people to have lovely spirits and we often say ‘Plant people are the best people.’”
Smith says the thing that draws people to this group is the need for knowledge and camaraderie. “When you are passionate about something, you want to share that with others who understand,” she said. “The lack of drama makes it a great place to spend some time and it’s local so they often have friends or neighbors in the group.”
The group has participated in a few small events at Rosemont Senior Living and is definitely interested in participating in future events in the community, according to Smith. “With our first Meet ‘n Greet having been a smashing success, I am diligently working on more events, small classes, larger gatherings and plant swaps for sure.”
Smith shared her passion as a plant nerd explaining that it goes way back. “My parents actually met at a nursery in the 70s, so I guess I was destined to love plants. I have loved them as long as I can remember and have always had at least a dozen to take care of,” Smith said. “That number has increased exponentially through the years. I was working on my bachelor’s degree in horticulture when I had to step away from my education to give my attention to my growing boys. But with the last one graduating this year, I am anxious and excited to return to college and get my degree. I would like to then attain my master gardener’s certificate. Plants, gardens, landscape, natural green areas, you name it … I am most at home in nature and with my hands in the dirt and hope to someday teach what I have learned and share this beautiful hobby that some refer to as therapy. It truly is therapy.”
Smith admitted that she had no idea when she started this group that it would become so important to her.
“I have met so many amazing people and formed beautiful friendships that I will forever cherish. I have seen the good side of humanity in the members and how respectful, funny, caring and generous they are. My inbox is full of lovely messages from group members telling me their plant stories and it just blesses me. Plant Nerds is a success because of the kind people who make it up as a whole. When the freeze stole so much from us, others stepped up and shared what they had, meager or not … they were willing and it was beautiful.”
Kingwood Area Plant Nerds is found happily exchanging photos, compliments, information and plant samples every day on Facebook.