Episode 21: Alys Fowler


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Alys Fowler is a gardener and garden writer who I first met when she became the gardening columnist at the Guardian, and I was gardening editor. Her new book on houseplants, Plant Love, is out now - I visited her at home to talk about why top-selling houseplants are like tights, how Instagram has made variegated leaves popular and why propagating cuttings in water works (despite my doubts). You can follow Alys on Twitter as @alysfowler.


Alys and I talk about these plants:

  • Pelargonium (scented leaf geranium) 'Attar of Roses'

  • Pilea peperomioides

  • Peperomia polybotrya 'Raindrop'

  • Begonia luxurians

  • Epiphyllum anguliger (fishbone cactus)

  • Coleus

  • Nepenthes (tropical pitcher plants)

  • Barrel cactus (Echinocactus and Ferocactus)

  • Hoya carnosa (wax plant)

  • Hoya kerrii (sweetheart plant)

  • Gloxinia

  • Achimines (hot water plant)

  • Calathea

  • Croton aka codiaeum

  • Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant).

Want to hear more from me and Alys? Have a listen to Sow, Grow, Repeat, the podcast we made for the Guardian. You can also read more from Alys on houseplants here, here and here

Question of the week

Guzmania lingulata.  Photograph :  Dick Culbert  on Flickr.

Guzmania lingulata. Photograph: Dick Culbert on Flickr.

Have you ever wondered what to do with your bromeliad once it has flowered? This week's episode deals with a plant that's probably reaching the end of its life, but I explain how to pot on the "pup" (baby plant) that grows off a mature rosette once the parent plant starts to think about throwing in the towel.

For more on how to look after bromeliads such as Vriesias and Guzmanias, check out bromeliads.info. The RHS also has a good page on bromeliads here.

Want to ask me a question? Tweet @janeperrone, leave a message on my Facebook page or email ontheledgepodcast@gmail.com.

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This week's show featured the tracks Hot Lips by Bill Brown and His Brownies, as well as An Instrument the Boy Called Happy Day, Gokarna from Samuel Corwin's Selected Field Recordings from India and Nepal, Volume I (Folk Songs) and Government Funded Weed by Black Ant, both licensed under Creative Commons. 

Jane Perrone