Ving Faisal: Plantfluencer in Dubai

Ving Faisal

What keeps us alive? Perhaps it’s the water we consume, the food we eat and the people we enjoy spending time with. But ever noticed the flowers blooming in your garden? the sheer greenery of the leaves dangling from the tree? The joy it gives when we see the birth of a new veggie growing in a pot? Whether it’s water, air or fire, they all fall under nature. Nature is what keeps us all alive.

Let us unwind and inhale the beauty and well-being plants offer to us. Here are some very interesting insights from my friend, Faisal, a “plantfluencer” by heart.

For those who do not know, please introduce yourself.
I’m Ving Faisal Fortes, you can call me Faisal. Born in Saudi, grew up in the Philippines, and has been working in Dubai since 2005.

Can you tell us a little bit about your love for plants?
I love nature so much! Plants are one of the major elements of nature that refreshes my senses. I found solace in gardening and plants. There’s a real joy to be found in the new growth of leaves and flowers.

Taking care of plants must have started as a hobby, what made you decide to grow more plants?
My interest with plants started back home in the Philippines. I want to be surrounded with nature and thus, it made me want to collect and grow plants in my Dubai home too.

City living has led to a disconnection with nature and houseplants are a way to reconnect with it. After a busy day at work in the concrete jungle of Dubai, I find comfort and relaxation with my plants at home.

As a “plantfluencer”, I wanted to share this experience with others so I decided to create an Instagram account called Plant Therapy Dubai. Plants are therapeutic to our well-being.

Any advice to new plant mommies like me on how to take care of their plants.

Take it easy on watering! (laughs). My best advice is to understand the light condition of your space. Indoor plants thrive well under good lighting.

For beginners, what’s the easiest indoor plant to take care of?
There’s a lot! Start with the Money Plant or Pothos (Epipremnum aureum), ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia), Snake plants (Dracaena trifasciata) and Chinese Evergreens (Aglaonema). If you have pets, research pet-friendly plants.

Do you believe someone needs to have a green thumb to grow plants?
Green thumb is just a myth as I see it. Gardening, like many things in life, is merely a developed skill; and nearly everything I know about gardening, I taught myself. Growing plants and becoming successful at it, for me, came forth simply through the experience of trial and error, at times more error than anything else.

How do taking care of plants help your well-being?
Seeing plants around my home refreshes my senses. It makes me comfortable and relaxed. Plants do assist with our breathing because they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. With plants increasing the amount of oxygen it creates a healthier environment to be in.

I personally feel relaxed when I have to transfer my plants to a bigger pot, it’s like spending time with them. How about you, what’s your favorite bonding moment with them?
My favorite part of taking them to a shower is to literally take the plants to my bathtub and shower them when it’s water time! haha

Aside from being a “plantfluencer”, you also had a collaboration with an e-commerce company shoot. Please tell us about this experience.
Last July, I had an opportunity to collaborate with an e-commerce company as the concept is tropical. It was a great experience!

Do you see fashion, beauty and wellness in plants? Please explain why.
Absolutely! With all the wellness that plants bring, beauty absolutely comes next! We take beauty to the world, our best runway!

How do you see yourself in the next five years?
I look forward to learning new skills and improving my knowledge to advance my career. In five years, I see myself as a knowledgeable professional having an in-depth knowledge of the industry.

What can you advise people who desire to follow the same path as yours?
In doing what you are passionate about comes enthusiasm, zeal and resilience. Follow your passion and success will follow!

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