Raleigh Plant People: How A Facebook Group Became A Family

Raleigh Plant People: How A Facebook Group Became A Family

There are countless houseplant enthusiast groups on social media, and millions of members. A search on either Facebook or Instagram brings up never-ending lists of groups you can join. These groups not only provide detailed information, but they can also give you a sense of family and community.

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube have tons of plant enthusiast groups you can join, whether you want local or international groups. In these pages, you can establish relationships with other enthusiasts and buy, swap and trade rare plants. People happily share tips and personal stories on the care of or quest for their favorite houseplants.

Plant enthusiast
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A Sense of Family

The Facebook group Raleigh Plant People (RPP) is an excellent example of a local NC group that started as an online source for people to talk about plants. RPP started in the summer of 2019 and has already grown to around 6,000 members. Their quick expansion is a testament to how these platforms have allowed people to come together as a family.

Sam Arkey, the page administrator for Raleigh Plant People, recounts her personal story of meeting Jerome Pittman, owner of J&C Greenhouses in Raleigh. She said that Jerome found her on Facebook one day and invited her to come see his private greenhouses. He and his wife, Connie, ran a booth at the NC State Farmers Market, but their greenhouses weren’t open to the public.

Sam gladly accepted the invitation and spent four hours walking around with Jerome that day. Jerome has a wealth of plant knowledge and was more than willing to share. Sam visited a few more times, and each time she left with a car full of plants and enough knowledge to write a book.

This past September, however, Jerome and Connie were involved in a terrible car accident. Tragically, Connie passed away a few days later. This loss devastated the plant community, as they knew the couple as loving and kind to everyone they met. Like others, the Pittman family was already suffering financially because they couldn’t open their farmer’s market during the pandemic. Now they faced the added burden of paying for hospital bills and a funeral.

But RPP and other local plant groups came together to help raise funds to help the Pittman family through this difficult time. Members of the group donated plants, bought t-shirts, sent cards, and offered any help they could. Overall, the group raised over $4,500 to help with the family’s expenses.

Plant care
Image courtesy of cottonbro from Pexels.

Arkey said the group has grown into such a valuable community over the last 15 months. “It’s become a place to escape from the real world, make friends, find support, and show off beautiful plants.” There are now meet-ups, plant swaps and open houses. RPP genuinely provides a social connection for people that share plant enthusiasm, she explained.

Become a Part of your Internet Community

Whether you are a seasoned plant nerd or new to the hobby, be sure to check out plant groups online. They are not only fun, but they’re also a great resource for information. You may make a new friend or two.

Don’t forget, we have all the NC-based lifestyle coverage you’ll need for the rest of the year! Also check out our article on why we’ve become so obsessed with houseplants.

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