Venus flytraps - Latin name Dionea muscipula - are fascinating, fun, but infuriating when they just won't stay alive for long. I turned to Tom Bennet of Tom's Carnivores for some excellent advice on the conditions they need.Read More
The Tradescantia group isn't some kind of sketchy set of illuminati figures worthy of a Dan Brown novel, it's a group of houseplants with a plethora of different names: inch plants, spiderworts, purple heart, teddy bear vine, and more*. Find out how to look after them, which ones to choose and what to do when things go wrong, from spider mite to spindly stems.Read More
What's on your houseplant wishlist for 2018? I share my plans for the coming year, and pass on plant-related resolutions from listeners and other gardening podcasters, including Ben Dark of the Garden Log podcast, Peter Donegan of the Sod Show, and Isabel Hardman of the Wild Flower Half Hour podcast.Read More
When days are short, gloomy and cold, there's a lot to be said for fixating on your indoor plants. And Christmas is a great excuse to treat yourself to some new plants: be it something traditional such as poinsettias and Christmas cactus, or something a bit more, well, trendy, like terrariums and succulents.
This week's show kicks off by considering the burning - or rather sparking - issue of whether it's acceptable to spray succulents with sparkly paint Christmas plant - like the Echeverias I spotted in Homebase recently (above), and these Sansevieria 'African Spear' (left) in Tesco. This has been going on for years - here's a post I republished from my old blog, dated December 2015 - but it seems to have reached a peak this year. What do you think? I'd love to know if you've bought one of these, and whether it survived for long? Below is a picture of a 'before' and 'after' from Barbara Hawkins of two Echeverias she bought a year ago, and how one of them looks now - there is hope!
And although I am pretty condemnatory about Poinsettias, I know a lot of people love them, and grow them - successfully or otherwise, so I share some care advice and find out from Graeme Edwards of Poinsettia growers Woodlark Nurseries about the incredible journey these plants go on from North Africa to your windowsill, via the Netherlands. Graeme also shares his tips for getting Poinsettias to bloom again next year (warning - it isn't easy!). A Christmas plant I can get behind is the ridiculously gaudy but dramatic Amaryllis aka Hippeastrum. Lisa Eldred Steinkopf offers advice on how to treat them after flowering.
And if you thought Christmas was all about Poinsettias, think again - I find out what's flying off the shelves at the excellent Perrywood Garden Centre in Essex.
Many thanks to my guests this week:
- Graeme Edwards, head grower at Woodlark Nurseries, Surrey
- Zoe Willis, houseplant team lead at Perrywood Garden Centre in Essex
- Lisa Eldred Steinkopf, the Houseplant Guru
More Christmas plant resources
Question of the week
@missybabz on Twitter wants to know how to look after her new Gardenia potted plant.
I try not to be a party pooper here, but acknowledge that this is a very tricky plant to keep alive indoors in the long term. It likes warm temperatures, moist air and lots of light. Here's the RHS page on gardenia care that I mention.
Want to ask me a question? Tweet @janeperrone, leave a message on my Facebook page or email email@example.com. There's another Q&A special coming soon, so get those plant problems logged now!
On The Ledge Houseplant Sowalong 2018...
If you want houseplants - LOTS of houseplants - in 2018, why not join our On The Ledge mission to grow houseplants from seed? I've just set up a Facebook group for you to join, and you can use #OTLsowalong for your posts on Instagram and Twitter.
... And I want your houseplant resolutions!
On January 5 I am going to be devoting a show to my - and your - houseplant new year's resolutions. Please drop me a line to tell me what yours are - it could be sourcing that special, rare plant you have been lusting after for years (Philodendron 'Pink Princess', anyone?), taking better care of your cacti or finally eradicating that mealy bug problem. It would be great if you could record your resolutions ... just record a voice memo on your phone and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Buy me a coffee!
If you like the show, please do go and rate and review On The Ledge on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you listen. It's lovely to read your kind comments, and it really helps new listeners to find the show.
You can also buy me a coffee! A donation of just £3 helps keep On The Ledge going: helping to pay for me to travel to interviews, and for expenses like website hosting and audio equipment. Don't forget to join the Facebook page for news of what's coming up on the show and bonus blogposts!
This week's show featured the tracks Whistling Rufus by the Hefting Banjo Orchestra and A Man Approaches With Bowed Sitar, Rishikesh from Samuel Corwin's Selected Field Recordings from India and Nepal, Volume I (Folk Songs), both licensed under Creative Commons, and Hot Lips by Bill Brown and His Brownies. Thanks also to Mark Hamilton for his voices: find out more at markhamilton.org.uk.
Lisa Eldred Steinkopf is the Houseplant Guru: she describes herself as being a little obsessed with houseplants although I know that she’s under-exaggerating for effect! I chatted to Lisa about her huge plant collection, why there’s no such thing as a black thumb, and why feeding sick plants is a bad idea.Read More
The thrill of buying new houseplants quickly turns to horror when the plant promptly drops all its leaves once you get it home. Jane Perrone gives her top tips for taking care of newly-bought houseplants, from the shop to your shelf. And a question about a floppy Aloe vera prompts a bit of a singalong...Read More