“Plant care as self-care” is more than a mantra to Christopher Griffin. It is a way of life. The plant influencer/expert goes by the name Plant Kween to their online community of 359K and counting. And now, they are taking their botanical obsession for all things lush to new heights with the release of a new book, YOU GROW GURL!: Plant Kween’s Lush Guide to Growing Your Garden. Empowering others to tap into the restorative magic of gardening for the soul, YOU GROW GURL! is a guide to taking care of yourself while taking care of your plants, something Christopher is all too familiar with.
“I've learned how to take better care of myself through caring for my plants,” Christopher tells xoNecole. “Am I drinking enough water? Is my body getting enough sunshine? Are my roots and foundation sturdy enough to support my new growth? What are the things I need in order to keep growing and thriving?” Taking care of their plants lends itself to how they take care of and pour into themselves, and thus Christoper has cultivated a built-in wellness routine in the name of self-care. By cultivating plant routines throughout the week, they are able to fill their cup by way of nature breaks sprinkled into their day.
Their favorite way to water their 'green gurls' includes turning on some music, wearing a great outfit, pouring a cocktail, and then tending to their plants. “Caring for plants can be tedious and seem like a chore if you treat it that way. Build a plant family that vibes with you. There is no ‘green thumb.' You simply have to match the plants to the level of care you can provide,” Christopher acknowledges. “Plants are like potential friends. You want to make sure you are both compatible.”
The viridescent journey to becoming a plant parent was a life-changing one for Christopher, who started their venture into plant parenthood six years ago with a single Marble Queen Pothos. Since then, the queer, non-binary, femme plant connoisseur has evolved into an expert of the industry, and their Brooklyn apartment is now home to 225 plants that they affectionately call “green gurls” and “kweens.”
While a parent rarely admits to picking favorites, Christopher doesn’t play coy about their current fave among the gurls being a nearly 30-year-old Monstera deliciosa, “as she is the newest and largest kween in my plant fam.” Below, the Plant Kween puts us on to their top three picks for the perfect house plant to usher in a spring awakening. (Bonus: The plants are all pet-friendly.)
The Rattlesnake Plant
"The Calathea Lancifolia (a.k.a. Ms. Rattlesnake Plant) is a green gurl I’ve had for quite some time, and I’ve found her to be quite easy to care for and quite resilient to my newbie plant parent mistakes back in the day! This kween is native to Brazil’s tropical climate, so she enjoys warm temperatures and humidity. I keep her away from cold drafts in the winter and I have her close to my humidifier.
"I’ve found that bright indirect light is best for her, as I’ve witnessed that too much direct sunlight will fade the beautiful green spots on her leaves. I have this kween in well-drained soil, with a once-a-week watering schedule in warmer months and once every two weeks in the colder months."
The Areca Palm
"The Areca Palm (a.k.a. the Butterfly Palm) is a kween native to Madagascar, and with her long, graceful feather-shaped fronds she serves that tropical feel, dahling! She may also trigger a cat's playful swatting and biting instincts, so it's comforting to know that this kween isn't toxic for cats or dogs. I’ve found that bright light is very important for this kween, so a spot where she receives lots of natural daylight will be the best place for her.
"If necessary, filter direct sunlight with sheer curtains. She is a green gurl that thrives in humid environments, but I have found that mine is adaptable and doing well with well-drained soil and a standard humidifier. She prefers her soil dry in between waterings, dahling."⠀⠀⠀⠀
The Spider Plant
"The Spider Plant (Ms. Chlorophytum Comosum, if you’re nasty, dahling) is a green gurl considered to be an adaptable and resilient kween. I’ve recently welcomed this kween into my plant fam and have found that with well-drained soil and bright indirect light, she will flourish. Her small spiderettes are quite easy to propagate, and fun fact, she is actually a green gurl that prefers a semi-potbound environment, so it is recommended to repot her only when she has visibly outgrown her planter!"
Featured image by Phoebe Cheong
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Watching Angela “Blac Chyna” White’s transformation in real-time has truly been a sight to see. It wasn’t that long ago that she announced that she was reversing her cosmetic surgeries in an effort to go back to who she was before the world came to know her as Blac Chyna. In previous interviews, she stated that she was dissolving her facial and lip fillers, removing her breast implants, and getting a butt reduction, as well as removing the dimple piercings that enhanced her fame and controversial tattoos.
In a recent Tamron Hall interview, the mother of two said that she has “fully recovered” from the procedures. She is also celebrating one year of sobriety and opened up about being worried about how her new journey would be received by others.
“I’ve been in the entertainment industry for so long, right, and of course, like, you know, coming out, I’m like young, I’m gonna do wild things as we all have,” she said.
“...I feel like by me being vocal and showing everybody you can change your life and things can get better, like through myself, that right there is an accomplishment, and that’s a part of freedom, too.”
But as she started on her journey, many people have shown her grace, which is something she’s grateful for. “And then the fact that people have been showing me grace, it’s like amazing,” she said. “And I feel like when I did it, I just did it. It was more so like spiritual thing and I feel like people see that, and I’ve always been like my authentic self, so what you see is kinda what you get with me, and that’s just kinda what it is.”
Chyna, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Sacramento Theology Seminary and Bible College, has also repaired her relationship with her mom, Tokyo Toni. The social media celebrity surprised her daughter on the Tamron Hall Show. Prior to the sentimental surprise, Chyna dished on the reconciliation and having a better understanding of her mom.
“I must say, some of the things I have to take accountability for because, like my actions. As a mother, you don’t want to see your daughter doing certain things ‘cause it’s like it doesn’t matter what my past was or what we’re going through, I didn’t raise you that way,” she admitted. “So, it’s like, okay, maybe I was a little bit wrong. Maybe I was acting out a little bit. But I feel like as we grow older, I kinda see more, and I understand more.”
Chyna will be starring in season two of Fox's reality competition show Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.
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Feature image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images