Mysteries of the Common Houseplant - Atlas Obscura Experiences

Mysteries of the Common Houseplant

1 hour
$15 per device
See Dates
$15 per device
$15 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

In this monthly series, presented by Atlas Obscura and Bloomscape, we’ll dig into the mysterious world of house plants! Why’d we bring them inside? Where did ferns come from? What’s the deal with monsteras? Why do cacti exist?

From care and culture, to the surprising role plants have played in history, we’ll feature guest experts, artists, and hands-on plant interaction. Focusing in on a specific type of plant each month, we’ll sow the seeds of wonder, learning how to care for our green friends and shedding a little light on the rare and under-appreciated botanical wonders that surround us all. Appropriate for all levels of plant lover, from the “oh my god why can't I keep anything alive?” type, to the “do you want these rare orchids I’m propagating?” kind, there’s plant-spiration for all.

This month we'll be exploring houseplant diseases and pests, and how we can help our houseplants defend against them. We'll be joined by biologist Dr. Morgan Halane to talk all things plant immunity! 

So grab a plant and join us as we reveal the mysteries of the common houseplant. 

This month's guest: Dr. Morgan Halane is a New York City-based biologist with a focus on plant immunity, specifically plant pathogen effectors (small molecules which manipulate host cells to benefit the pathogen yet can betray it to the host’s immune surveillance system). 

Morgan holds a PhD from the University of Missouri in Columbia and continued his training as a postdoctoral researcher first at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in South Korea and then at the University of California, Riverside. Outside of academia, Morgan’s expertise has been utilized in both the private and public sectors with roles at the Brooklyn-based startup company Aanika Biosciences and the National Park Service. With a commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Morgan has served as a mentor to students severely underrepresented in the life sciences. He is a co-founder of the 2020 #BlackBotanistsWeek social media initiative, a follow-up to Black Birders Week which was itself spurred by the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, in addition to the Central Park birdwatching incident recorded by Christian Cooper. You can follow him on Twitter (@themorgantrail). 

This experience is presented in partnership with Bloomscape. Bloomscape aims to strengthen your relationship with plants. They make buying plants easy by delivering healthy, ready-to-go plants to your door and setting you up with the tips and tricks you need to help your plants thrive. They offer indoor, outdoor, and edible plants, and ship them throughout the US. Their founder, Justin Mast, comes from five generations of greenhouse growers and floral industry pioneers. Both sides of Justin's family immigrated from the Netherlands, which is often considered the greenhouse and flower capital of the world. You could say green thumbs run in the Bloomscape family. Plants make life better. Bloomscape makes plants easy. Welcome to a real plant family.

Where We’ll Be


What Else You Should Know

Once registered, you can access the Zoom room for this experience through your confirmation email or Eventbrite account. Atlas Obscura online experiences are recommended for attendees age 13+.

This online experience will be recorded. A temporary link to the recording will be provided in a follow-up email to all ticket holders within 72 hours after the event. Access to this recording will be available for seven days.

This event is one of Atlas Obscura’s Online Experiences. At Atlas Obscura, our mission has always been to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. Now, more than ever, there’s a need to stay connected—not only to our sense of wonder, but to each other.

We encourage you to follow and share the hashtag #AOExperiences for more incredible online experiences and our newest addition of Online Courses with Atlas Obscura and our friends. And check out, the definitive guide to the world’s hidden wonders, to keep virtually exploring the world through the website’s atlas of amazing places, unique stories, and videos.

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