Episode 83: Scott Cain of @BoysWithPlants and @Tropicaloco
Scott Cain and I have a lot in common: we both got into houseplants as children, and we both wrecked floors with spilled compost, and as adults, our love for plants has only grown deeper.
The difference is that he lives in Perth, Australia, a climate very suited to growing the tropical plants he loves, whereas I have to struggle along in the more temperate climate of the UK! (I am not bitter, honest!)
When Scott moved into his apartment 11 years ago, he began filling it with tropical plants of every shape, size and texture. That spawned the Instagram account @tropicaloco, where he documents his progress and shares gorgeous images of Monsteras, ferns, Agaves and more.
That account has been eclipsed (in sheer numbers of followers anyway) by @boyswithplants, Scott’s other account that profiles, you guessed it, boys with plants. 107,000 followers is no mean feat, and not surprisingly, a website and a book has followed. Boys With Plants celebrates men and the plants they love: you’ll find chaps of every type here, all united in their love for leafy things.
Scroll down for some images from the book, and a list of links to peruse as you listen.
Among the 50 boys featured in Scott’s book are @homebyfousna who hails from from the Czech Republic but now lives in Colombia; London-based Jamie Song, of @jamiesjungle (who I wrote about for Gardenista, here); and former guest of On The Ledge Muhammed Osman of @behind_the_scenes.
Other former guests of this podcast such as @illustratingbotanist Chris Thorogood (hear his episode here) and @mrplantgeek (here his episodes here and here) also feature on the @boyswithplants Insta feed.
I reference back to my interview with Dan Torre where we talked about cactus bans in Australia - you can listen to that episode here.
Scott would still love to get his hands on a Zamioculcas zamiifolia ‘Raven’ but they don’t seem to be available in Australia - yet!
Scott’s Agave I was referencing is this one (in the foreground): if anyone knows the full name let me know!
Zamia furfuracea or the cardboard palm is my first sowing for this year’s On The Ledge sowalong: I got the seeds from Chiltern Seeds. Scott says it’s very slow-growing so we’ll have to see how I get on (no signs of germination yet!)
Staghorn ferns are gorgeous plants to grow hung against a wall… just don’t let yours freeze like I did!
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Harry got in touch to ask why his Monstera deliciosa leaves are developing brown patches and new leaves take ages to unfurl. On the brown patches, having looked at a picture of Harry’s leaves I suspect the plant is getting too much water for the time of year. I suggest checking the rootball for rot damage, repotting if necessary and easing back on the watering can over the cooler, darker months. I also explain that Monstera leaves do take a looong time to unfurl: that’s fairly normal especially in winter. You can watch a timelapse of a Monstera leaf unfurling here.
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This week's show featured Roll Jordan Roll by the Joy Drops, An Instrument the Boy Called Happy Day Gorkana by Samuel Corwin and Plantation by Jason Shaw. Ad music is Dill Pickles by the Heftone Banjo Orchestra. All tracks licensed under Creative Commons. Logo design by Jacqueline Colley. Podcast editing by Joff Elphick.