Episode 51: Matthew Biggs

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May I start with a side note? This week's episode sounds a little bit different - as it's half term and I have a relative staying who is sleeping in my office where I usually record the podcast, I headed out to the potting shed for the intro and Q&A. I hope you enjoy the early morning background noise of birds singing! 

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Matthew Biggs (@plantmadman on Twitter) is a legendary British gardener, writer and broadcaster, and delightfully for On The Ledge, he's also a big fan of indoor gardening too: he even wrote a book called What Houseplant Where with another legendary plantsman, Roy Lancaster. I ordered a copy which arrived a couple of days back after my interview with Matt, and having flicked through I'd say it's a useful addition to anyone's houseplant book collection.

I talk to Matt about finding the right spot for your houseplant, why Gloxinias are the Barbara Cartland of the houseplant world, and what we'll be getting up to on the Blooming Interiors stage at Gardeners' World Live on June 14 (scroll down for full details).  

Here's a list of a few of the plants and people we mention, in case you didn't catch them:

Question of the week

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Listener Mary Beaton is worried that her Phalaenopsis orchid has red edges to the leaves: I suspect that this is due to the plant getting a bit too much light, and suggest moving it to a north or east-facing window. 

Moth orchids can also show leaf stress from too much light by turning yellow, although this can also be an indicator of overwatering, too. The rule with Phalaenopsis is - if in doubt, don't water! And don't fall for the old saw about watering with ice cubes as this can shock the plant. Room temperature water is far better. 

Jane Perrone