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Rising Stars: Meet Steven Thyken

Today we’d like to introduce you to Steven Thyken.

Hi Steven, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I got into house plant care almost by accident. I wasn’t a “green thumb” growing up, and it wasn’t until my husband brought home a few house plants that I dove into plants as a hobby. As my knowledge of plant care grew (pun intended), I started seeing more success and acquired more plants over time!

I started my Plant Instagram account to separate my plant photos from my personal social media, to spare all of my relatives and friends from all of the photos I was posting.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The first plants I tried to keep alive were succulents, because everything I read about them was that they were “easy” but I really didn’t understand their care needs at all. They all rotted within 3 weeks and it smelled so bad!

I don’t know if I would ever consider myself a natural green thumb. Keeping plants alive is a practice, and as you dive deeper into plant care, you realize that each individual plant has its own specific needs, from the type of soil to the frequency of watering. I consider myself a plant enthusiast; I’m not an expert. Its a constant journey, and I’m always learning new things, so of course, I’m stumbling along the way.

As far as my Instagram journey, the challenge I continually face is how much energy I can put into something that is truly a hobby. I enjoy my plants, and I love taking photos of their growth progress, but it’s so easy to feel pressure to put out certain types of photo & video content to promote engagement, or to keep up a content schedule. I went into this with the intention that it would be a fun thing for me to do outside of my full-time professional career. I don’t have the energy for a second job!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
@HausplantDaddy is all about the casual plant parent! I want to celebrate everyone and their plants, whether you have 100+ rare plants in your home, or you just picked up an orchid from the grocery store that you want to keep alive because you’ve never cared for a plant before. Everyone is welcome to learn and grow and celebrate their plants with me. I consider myself a “basic plant parent” and I am always learning, so that’s where my content has shifted in the last few years.

Social Media has glorified certain aspects of house plant culture that I don’t want to perpetuate. Instagram is a curated, visual medium, so what people see when they search “House Plants” are these vast collections of beautiful, perfectly manicured plants, or expensive plants that people show off because they’re artificially rare.

I am not against people doing what makes them happy, but I just want to create a space where your average person doesn’t feel pressured to accumulate large numbers of plants, or drop $300 on a Monstera Thai Constellation seedling.

I absolutely love when someone reaches out to me so excited that their Peace Lily is flowering, or that they want to propagate their Pothos to give a cutting to their friend, but don’t know where to start. I want to cultivate that joy within the Minneapolis plant community.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
Luck has played a large role in my life, but I would consider it more luck of circumstance, rather than a few moments of life-changing events.

I have been afforded many advantages in my life that I know have helped me get where I am today. As a gay man, while I have experienced discrimination and hate, I am lucky to have a loving and supporting husband, family, and community around me that genuinely wants me to succeed. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them, so for that, I consider myself incredibly lucky.

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