Ridgewood resident starts plant club to connect with green-thumb New Yorkers

Founder of the Ridgewood Plant Club, Shona Keenoy. (Photo by Hollis Monk Thayer)

Ridgewood resident Shona Keenoy has always had a passion for nature and plants growing up. When she moved to Ridgewood, she was finally able to not only grow a flourishing houseplant collection, but a booming plant club to connect with others who have the same interests.

(Photo courtesy of the Ridgewood Plant Club)
(Photo courtesy of the Ridgewood Plant Club)

“I always love nature and plants, but growing up, I didn’t have windows in my room,” said Keenoy, 23. “So it wasn’t until I moved into an apartment with my boyfriend where I could finally get plants.”

Her love for plants would lead her to start the Ridgewood Plant Club Facebook group back in 2021 as a way to connect with others over a common love of plants. In a short time, the Facebook group gained 700 members, connecting plant lovers from all over New York City.

“It was really surprising to me. I wasn’t expecting it to be more than maybe 15 members, and it would be inactive within a week,” Keenoy said.

Along with the Facebook page, the group holds plant swap meets where members can meet up, trade plant clippings and connect with other plant enthusiasts throughout the city.

“I just think it’s cool how plants can bring people who have nothing else in common besides the love for plants together,” Keenoy said. “At our swaps, you see all kinds of people that maybe you wouldn’t come across in your day-to-day life.”

She also said that the group encourages members to not give up, whether their plants are thriving or aren’t growing how they should be.

“A plant clipping [will] live [or] die. Don’t feel bad either way, come next time and try again,” Keenoy said.

Keenoy hopes to continue to hold more swap meets and connect with more plant lovers throughout the community. She also hopes to start a nonprofit to help bring gardening material to the communty.