Meet Jonathan Strickland


We’ve always said, “NoHo is only as great as its people.” This mantra will never change.

We love it when Instagram gives us glimpses into some awesome NoHo folks who do interesting things. So we’ve decided to feature these amazingly creative North Hollywood residents and business owners. The neighborhood has worked hard for 20 years to build and maintain a strong creative, arts community and appreciate local residents who add a unique touch. Afterall, it’s our job as a the NoHo Arts District nieghborhood to #KeepNoHoArtsy!

Let’s give a huge NoHo hello to Jonathan Strickland. He turned his love of something into an art form…and business.  We like to call him Jonathan the NoHo Plant Whisperer, and we’re glad he’s in the neighborhood.

You’re a sound engineer. Tell us more about that. (Do plants really like music?)

I am a freelance sound engineer that works from my small home studio in NoHo and also out of different recording studios around town. I mostly work on post sound for TV and film and with music producers and singer songwriters. For the last few months or so I’ve been playing music for my plants in the mornings. I was playing them Bach, Beethoven and other classical music and I didn’t really notice a difference until last month I switched things up and started playing them Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire and Bill Withers. My plants love them! They’ve all been growing and thriving ever since I made the switch to soul music. 

You have other projects in the works. Want to highlight them?

Yes I’m currently working on an EP for Caleb Wilson, a producer, singer/songwriter and also a documentary that will be available on HBO later this fall. I can’t say what the doc is until it’s out unfortunately but I’m still excited none the less.

Jonathan cropped goregoussmile withplants
Jonathan Strickland aka plant whisperer. Photo Credits: Alex Woods @dictures.

How did you get started with plants?

I first got started with plants when I saw and Dragon Ball Z movie in theaters and the preview was a PSA about food deserts and learning to garden. I knew from that moment I wanted to help end them, especially in black communities where they are needed most. So I bought a bunch of plants and herbs and tried to start growing with no actual know how.

What was your first plant?

I didn’t buy just one plant when I started, I bought about 10 or 15 of them. I bought some herbs, a majesty palm, a monstera, tradescantia, snake plant, asparagus fern, dracaena marginata and compacta, a cabbage palm, a peace lily and a pothos… I killed ALL of them except the monstera and the pothos, which I still have today.

Do you have a favorite type of plant?

My current favorites are the Calathea Warscewiczii, Silver Pothos and Dumb Cane.

What’s the easiest to grow? The hardest?

Pothos and snake plants are probably the easiest to grow and can take the most neglect so I usually suggest those to any of my friends just starting out. I have major struggles with all my Calatheas and Cissus Discolor. It’s mostly because they are tropical plants they need a moist environment and Los Angeles is a desert so they need a lot of extra care and attention.

Jonathan Strickland aka plant whisperer Photo Credits: Alex Woods @dictures via
Jonathan Strickland aka plant whisperer. Photo Credits: Alex Woods @dictures

Tips for growing plants successfully in an apartment?

My number one tip for growing plants in your apartment is to make sure that you are not over watering your them. Overwatering is the number one mistake that most new plant parents make. I ended up buying a pH,light and moisture meter to determine when a plant needs water or anything else. By using this it allowed me to gain a better understanding of all my plants and their watering cycles. The other thing is light. A lot of plants require different amounts of light. Some can take full sunlight and others only need partial or low light. Group the ones that have similar needs together, for instance I’ll keep my tropicals in my mini greenhouse because it keeps the moisture that they need in.

Will you grow your own food? If yes, what are some of the hardships of doing that in an apartment?

I first started with basil, ginger, thyme, rosemary, cilantro and a couple others. I am looking to grow a bunch of different types of leafy greens as well as herbs and tomatoes. The thing I’ve found most challenging growing in my apartment is controlling the climate. I live in an older building with no insulation or central air so if it’s 90° outside, my apartment is 100°. Also the weather fluctuations can be frustrating. It’s easier to heat the place in the winter than cool it in summer.

What’s your favorite part about living here?

My favorite thing about living in North Hollywood is being so close to the action. I enjoy being around other creatives. There are a bunch of shops and restaurants and other cool things that pop up here too.

What would you like to see in NoHo?

I would like to see a community garden started out here. The closet one I know of is the Sepulveda Garden Center and getting over there can be a chore. We need one for the local community who actually live and work here.

Jonathan has taken his love (and gift) for plants and will launch Du Jardin Noir, his online boutique store that sells plant accessories and decor, at the end of the month.  Remember, it all starts with an idea. Thanks for doing your part to #KeepNoHoArtsy (and green).

Are you an awesome North Hollywood resident/business incorporating art into your life or pursuing your passion to make NoHo a better community? Let us know! We’d like to feature you too.

**** For information on Los Angeles theatre, tickets to theatre in North Hollywood’s NoHo Arts District, theatre reviews, the NoHo Event Calendar, restaurants, news and local businesses in NoHo, or anything and everything about the NoHo Arts Community, bookmark Follow us on Twitter @OfficialNoHo. On Instagram @NoHoArtsDistrict and Facebook @NoHoArtsDistrict.

Lisa Bianconi
Author: Lisa Bianconi

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