Episode 105: five houseplants for beginners

Starter plants: (left to right): pothos, ZZ plant, jade plant, dragon tree and aspidistra are all great plants to try growing when you’re new to raising plants indoors. Photographs from Flickr (left to right) by Carl Lewis, Nelson Pavlovsky, jjacek, Bryan Chan, and NC State Extension Garden.


Episode 105


Jane: Hello and welcome to episode 105 of On the Ledge Podcast, bringing you houseplant tips, chat, and general fun since February 2017!


Jane: In this week's show, I'm going back to basics, picking five houseplants that anybody should be able to grow. And I'm answering a question about strange growths on forest cacti.


Jane: Many of the listeners to this show are extremely knowledgeable about their plants and have already amassed an enormous amount of knowledge, but this week I thought we'd go right back to the start of the houseplant journey that many of us have been on and take a look at five houseplants that should be easy enough for any beginner to grow. Now of course there are caveats here. If you put it in a cupboard or you drown it in water every single day, of course you can kill any plant. But these are tough customers who should be able to put up with that kind of mistakes that we all make when we're newbies.

And joining me to pick and describe those plants today is Judy Feldstein, who has been in the plant care business since 1975. Judy currently runs a houseplant advice website called www.houseplant411.com, but before that she ran her own plant-care business for many years, designing plantscapes for house, offices, restaurants, and other businesses in the state of Arizona in the US. She's the author of two books, Don't Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants, andDon't Talk to Me I'll Grow Better: A Guide to Easy Care Houseplants.I'll put the details for those in the show notes. So, there's not a lot that Judy does not know about houseplants. This week, we'll be discussing our top 5 easy care houseplants and next week Judy will be bringing us her 10 commandants for newbie plant keepers. Well I guess you're itching to know what's made the top 5 are completely unscientifically decided by Judy and myself and I'm sure some of you will be howling in disagreement at our choices, but I hope you'll enjoy hearing about these plants anyway.

First up, is one of my favourites, Crassula ovata, the Jade plant, the money tree, it has many common names. The RHS website gives it the common name 'the friendship tree,' although I've never heard anybody else use that one. If you're struggling to recall this one, if you've ever been into a Chinese takeaway and looked in the window, there will be -- I'm going to bet on it -- one of these plants sitting there because it is an extremely popular plant in Asia and amongst Asian ex-pats, despite the fact it's actually from southern Africa. In Asia, this plant is really seen as something that brings good luck and prosperity. One of the theories is the leaves look a bit like coins of jade, hence the name Jade plant, which again symbolizes money, and that's why you often see businesses owned by Chinese people sporting these plants in the window as a magnet for wealth and prosperity for the owner of that business. But you've got to get the location right. Under Feng Shui the plant needs to be placed in a southeast window or near the entrance. Whether you believe that the Jade plant will be bringing you money or not doesn't really matter because this plant is just a wonderful addition to your home. Here's Judy.

Judy: Well a Jade plant has thick, succulent leaves and stems. That tells you right away that it does not need to be watered very often. You should wait to water a Jade plant until the thick leaves get a little flat and a little flexible; that tells you when it is time to water. Really the only way to kill a Jade plant is by overwatering it. It likes very bright indirect light. If they get too much sun, the leaves burn and fall off, but interestingly enough, they're replaced by new leaves that are more sun tolerant. So, this is a plant that, you know, gradually can be introduced to full sun if you have that area in your home. They also produce very tiny, but very pretty, little flowers. They like a fertilizer that's low in nitrogen, but you need to dilute the fertilizer to one fourth the recommended strength and only feed when the plant is actively growing. Like many other plants, too much plant food is really, really bad for a Jade plant.

Jane: One of the lovely things about Jade plants is there are some really cool cultivars out there. I love Hummel's Sunset, which is a variegated Jade plant, which in strong light will develop a really reddish tinge, pale to yellow when there's less light available and it's really very beautiful. Also, extremely popular are the cultivars Hobbit and Gollum, which are fairly similar looking, but they look like something out of a Doctor Seuss book with this incredible twisted foliage, which makes them look like a piece of coral rather than a plant. If you like variegation, there is inevitably a Crassula Lemon and Lime, which has lovely cream-streaked leaves, but the shape is much more like the normal Crassula ovata. And if you are a fan of the flowers of the Jade plant, you might want to try the cultivar Pink Beauty which has, no surprises here, pink flowers. One I've seen online but never seen in the flesh is called Ogre's Ears. I don't really need to tell you what that looks like, just imagine Shrek's ears with a tinge of red on the end and you've pretty much got it!


Jane: And now to number 2. If your light levels are a little bit lower then Dracaena Marginata, or the Dragon Tree, is a fantastic choice. Even if the name doesn't ring a bell, you'll recognize this plant, I'm sure, because it's a popular denizen of offices, cafes, and other places where plants often get a little bit neglected and need to be super tough. And one of the reasons for that is that if you get the odd leaf that's damaged, you don't have to put up with it for very long. This palm like tree puts out lots of strappy leaves and as the top grows, the bottom tends to lose its leaves, leaving a bare trunk. If your plants getting a bit leggy however, here's a great tip from Judy.

Judy: The first interesting fact about a Dracaena Marginata,you know, it loses its bottom leaves but gets leaves at the top. And sometimes people have, you know, a six, seven-foot Marginata, with a totally bare stem for four feet, and a cluster of leaves up at the top and they don't like the way it looks. If you cut anywhere along the stem line, say you cut that stem in half, directly below the cut in the stem, new growth will appear. So, you'll get two or three new what are called heads, developing there, and as they grow, your plants will look much bushier and be much sturdier. And, you can take the section that you cut off and plant it directly back into the pot of the Dracaena and then you'll have a much bushier plant.

Jane: So, if you've got a rather lanky looking Dracaena, then Judy's technique is a brilliant way to make your plant look bushy and full once more. Looking after Dracaena's, well there's not much of a secret to it. They'll do very well in most light conditions, but if you put them in a blazing sunny spot, they probably will complain to you. And Dracaena Marginata is probably the most tolerate Dracaena when it comes to shade. So, if you do have a really dark corner, then this is the plant to try.

As I've said in the show before, if you're watering with water that is fluoridated you may find you get brown tips, equally if you over-fertilize, but any errors that you make won't last that long as the new growth continues, and the old leaves drop off. This plant likes to be reasonably moist during the growing season but hold back on the water in the winter when the plant isn't really in active growth. To be honest, my plants gone for weeks, if not months, without much water at all. That cane stem does have the ability to hold quite a lot of water, which helps it to deal with drought situations. You're much more likely to kill this plant by over watering then you are by underwatering.

And if you're looking for interesting cultivars of Dracaena Marginata,well I would say first of all that the species with its red margined leaf and dark green centre stripe is rather striking if you look at it with fresh eyes. But there are a few interesting cultivars. Tricolour, which has got a red margin then a yellow stripe inside that with a green strip at the centre, has been around for donkey's years. In fact, a family joke in my family was the fact that I knew at a young name the Latin name for Dracaena Marginata tricolour. Oh yes it was fun in the Perrone household in those days. But there are a couple of newer cultivars available. Colorama, c-o-l-o-r-a-m-a, is vibrant. It's like a very vibrant version of tricolour, with the pink tinges in there, and there's also sunshine, I've also seen it called Ray of Sunshine, which has green margins and a yellow strip down the middle which is very nice.


Jane: Right, onto number 3. If you're looking for a really easy training plant, then Pothos is ubiquitous and very easy to grow, but it does come with a health warning. Back to Judy to explain.

Judy: The one thing people have to really remember that a Pothos plant is very, very poisonous. So, if you have these long runners down where a cat can run at it or a kid can munch on the leaf, move it. Because people don't realize that because they're all over the place all of the time.

Jane: Yes, like a surprising number of houseplants, Pothos is poisonous.

Judy: The thing that makes it and so many other plants poisonous is they have what's called calcium oxalate in them and it's these oxalates that are very, very poisonous. And as soon as a child or an animal takes a bite, it will cause terrible digestive problems, you know they could have a seizure. So, you know, they really need to be careful of it and especially because you know it hangs down so much, and it's within easy reach often.

Jane: So, with that health warning out the way, what is there to say in defence of the Pothos or Epipremnum aureumas it is now known. The heart-shaped fleshy leaves of this vine will grow up, down, across, around. Its like the indoor equivalent of the Russian Vine or the Mile a Minute vine. It will cover any eyesore in your home within a very short period with its beautiful, fleshy heart-shaped leaves. If you've got the species,Epipremnum aureumthen the leaves will be mainly green with a splashing of yellowy gold. Yes, that ever popular variegation comes in again. You can also get varieties called Golden Queen and Marble Queen, which have variegation either of gold or kind of white marbley coloured, if you can imagine. And there's also some more recent cultivars including Enjoy, which is another white variegated plant, and Neon, which is popularized by Jamie's Jungle, the incredible Instagram account with the beautiful wall covered in this lime green vine.

One of the fascinating things about this plant is that the foliage we see in almost every home that has this plant is just the juvenile form. Now if you've ever been to a big botanical garden with a glasshouse like the one at RHS Wisley, you'll see what the leaves look like in their mature form and boy are they impressive. It's a bit like a Monstera, they get very fenestrated and split and fascinating looking as the plant gets enormous. And I'll post a picture, or possibly a video, on my show notes of this plant so you can see what it looks like, and I love the fact that we're growing this rather tame version in our homes and yet this monster can get enormous if it's given the right conditions. What are the right conditions? Well you don't really need to say much about this plant. Any normal room temperature will be fine. It doesn't want to be frosted but other than that I wouldn't alarm yourself by the temperature. If you put this plant in really deep shade, it's variegation will start to suffer and you'll get more green than you will paler colours, but that said it won't die, it'll just be rather more dull. If you put it into direct sunlight, the plant will probably begin to suffer too but other than that really it will suit itself in pretty much any location in your home. And what about water? Well as always, the enemy is the person who loves to kill their plant with kindness.

Judy: You know a Pothos plant will get black marks on their leaves when they're overwatered. Well a lot of people will look at that and say, 'Oh it's black it needs more water.' So, they give it more water, and that's what will kill the plant. If you wait until a Pothos plant droops a little, and the leaves are a little soft and a little flexible, and then water it well, so the water comes out the drip holes at the bottom of the pot, then don't water again, 'til probably at the least the top half of the soil has dried out, you'll be just fine. And even if you wait a little too long, and the plant really droops, and then you water it, it will come back perhaps with a few bright yellow leaves on it, but it will be just fine. You really, really cannot kill it by underwatering it.

Jane: One of the main things people do with this plant is letting it get spindly. Over to Judy to explain what to do about that.

Judy: You know pruning them is really important because you don't want them to get that long, bare, skinny, leggy look about them. You've got to keep cutting the ends to keep them bushy.

Jane: If you're one of those people that is terrified to cut your plants, this is Judy's advice on how to proceed.

Judy: You know I always recommend cutting right above a leaf node. So, if you cut above a leaf node, you can take that clipping and give it to someone to start a new plant, or you can start your own new plants. Because that's where the new roots will come out of, that little leaf node area.

Jane: And the easiest way to do that propagation is just to stick the cutting with the cut part downwards in a glass of water. Take off a few of the leaves in the bottom and let it root, and soon enough you'll have a rooted cutting that you can pot up and away it'll go.


Jane: And now, onto plant number 4, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, aka the Double Z plant, Zanzibar Gem, and a number of other rather exotic-sounding common names. Although the Double Z plant has only been marketed as a houseplant for about the last couple of decades, this isn't a new discovery to the world of plants. In her book Potted History, Catherine Horwood, who's been a guest on this show, talks about this plant and tells that there was a picture of this species in Loddiges Botanical Cabinet of 1828. Now if you remember my episode with Ruth Kassinger, you'll remember that Loddiges was a famous nursery in London in the 19^th^century. So, this plant has been known about for a while, but I guess we just didn't figure out that it made a good houseplant for an awfully long time. This is a member of the Araceae family, it's an aroid, it's poisonous like the Pothos, and the issue is the same, these calcium oxalate crystals, which means it's not something to have if you've got nibbling pets or children in the vicinity.

The great thing about this plant is it will just sit bare and wait if conditions aren't great. So, if you stick it in a dark cupboard for a couple of months and look at it, it probably won't look any different at the end of that time, it will just have stayed in status and waited for conditions to improve. It's able to do this because it's got this large rhizome that can store nutrients and water while the plant is waiting for rainfall in its natural environment in Africa. And that means if you don't feed it or water it for quite a long time it will just draw on the resources in those rhizomes and make the best of its conditions. If you stick it in a really sunny spot it'll probably be ok too because this plant is just so adaptable. But if you give it the right conditions -- bright, indirect light, a reasonable amount of water during the growing season, nice warm temperatures -- this plant can really put on some growth in the course of a growing season. And you do have to be a little a little bit careful that it doesn't bust out of the pot because the roots are so fleshy and big, they can break open a pot if you leave it too pot-bound. And here's Judy's advice on feeding this plant.

Judy: As far as feeding the plants, not very often. Every other month when it's actively growing you know with a balance half plant food diluted to half the recommended strength, you don't want to overfeed these plants.

Jane: There's only one widely available cultivar and that's Raven, the dark purple version of this plant. And as I discussed in episode 104, if you grow this cultivar actually it requires exactly the same care, the only thing is it's a bit more slow growing. There are rumours and occasional pictures of variegated Zamioculcas zamiifolia,but these are rare identities so you're unlikely to lay your hands on one in the near future. It wouldn't surprise me though if breeders are working away right now to try and develop new cultivars of this very, very popular plant.


Jane: And the final plant on my list may be the most controversial, it's Aspidistra elatior, the Cast Iron plant which I think is probably the Victorians' equivalent to the Double Z plant in terms of the specimen that was agreed could survive absolutely anywhere in the Victorian home. Judy wasn't entirely in agreement with me, and here she puts the case for the prosecution.

Judy: I think you're probably in the minority with liking it because most people don't like a Cast Iron plant because it's rather plain looking. You know it's got those big broad green leaves, and they're not shiny or leathery, they're sort of a dull green colour, so a lot of people don't like it. But sure enough, an Aspidistra, the Cast Iron plant, will grow anywhere, in the darkest corner of an atrium or you know in a chilly spot in your house, a Cast Iron plant will grow.

Jane: Well, Judy was very diplomatic there, but I think that it's safe to say it's not one of her favourite plants. Well I'm going to put the case for the Aspidistra here because I think it's a wonderful plant. I may have mentioned this before in the show, there's something wonderfully solid about this plant. You really get the sense that you have to go a long way to kill it, which I think is a good thing for those of us who are setting out on their houseplant journeys and just need that bit of reassurance, that the plant's not going to tip over and die at the first opportunity. The only downside really is that they're rather expensive to buy because of their slow growing nature, they're not something that is going to be particularly cheap to get hold of. And as DoctorHessayon puts it, the common name of Cast Iron plant indicates its ability to withstand neglect, drafts, and shade. So, if you've got a hallway where the door is constantly being opened to the outside, bringing in chilly winds in winter then this is a plant you can safely put in that spot and be assured that it will do ok. And there's not many house plants that will survive those kinds of chill drafts. It doesn't like to be scorched by the hot sun and it doesn't like to be water logged, but other than that do what you will, and the Aspidistra will be fine with it.

If you like fancy variegations, there's fancy variegated versions available too, including Asahi, which has a pale, which is kind of the ombre leaf of the houseplant world with a pale creamy white tip fading to green. If you want really dramatic striped green and white variegation then okame, o-k-a-m-e, is the one to look for. And if you like a bit of a speckled effect, there's one called starry Night. They're hard to get a hold of admittedly but they are growing in popularity so keep your eyes peeled. And if you see a Cast Iron plant, grab one, because it could be something that's in your family for generations to come and I love the idea of plants being handed down from father to son, mother to daughter, or, well, friend to friend, whoever it may be. I love the idea these plants are going to go on longer than us.

So that brings to an end the list of top 5 plants for houseplant newbies. I hope you've enjoyed that and do let me know your thoughts. What would you have included, what have I left out, why you hate Aspidistras, and so on? We'll be hearing more from Judy next week, when she brings us her ten commandments for houseplant carers, but in the meantime do go and check out her website, www.houseplant411.com, find the link in the show notes.


Jane: If you love On the Ledge and you'd like to add a stylish bit of merch to your wardrobe, then why not think about buying something from my shop. Right now there's 15% off everything, promo code available by entering SUMMERSUN15, that's SUMMERSUN15 in capital letters, and that's on 'til the end of the day on Sunday August the 4^th^, so do pop over to my shop, you can find it at www.janeperrone.comand the link's in the top righthand corner, I'll also put it in the show notes. Caps, bags, mouse mats, badges and hoodies and tote bags. And everyone who's bought them so far seems to be really pleased with the quality of these. I'm going to post a picture of me wearing both of my On the Ledge t-shirts. It's really high quality stuff and looks great so please do check out the On the Ledge shop, which you'll find at www.janeperrone.com, there's a link in the top right-hand corner, just click on there to go to the shop and have a peruse. Buying stuff from the shop is another way to support the show, and a great way of spreading word about On the Ledge. I heard from a houseplant shop owner who said they heard about the podcast when a customer came in wearing my t-shirt so thank you to those of you who already invested in some On the Ledge Merch, and don't forget to use the coupon code SUMMERSUN15 for 15% off until the end of the day on August the 4th.


This week's question came from @AtlanticFyoo who's from Cornwall, and they originally asked on Twitter if anyone had seen an Easter cactus with a little spiny addition which looks nothing like the rest of the stems. I could've sworn I've had a similar question on this from somebody else, but could I find that question? No, I couldn't. So, if this is a question that you've been longing to get answered, well this is your lucky day. And lots on people on Twitter came up with theories about what the cause of this spiny little addition was, including @KebsOrchids who wondered whether their adventitious growth intended to climb in search for more light hence the spines it can use to latch onto other plants. @TommyTonsberg came forward and said that he'd had the same issue with an Epiphyllum too and posted a picture. And you can see both those pictures in the show notes. So, I went back to forest cactus expert Mark Preston, who you heard from in episodes 84 and 85, and his answer was really interesting. He said that these spiny growths are a reversion to a more juvenile growth form. He wrote, "Lots of the epiphytic cacti grow with a greater number of ribs, as seedlings, and these gradually reduce to the adult number as the plants begin to mature." Well that makes sense so far. He also just points out that a flat stem is a stem with only two ribs. And he continues,

"On plants which have already been showing their mature growth form, these spiny/juvenile growths tend to appear when the plants are under abnormal stress, eg prolonged periods of inadequate watering, or inadequate light, etc. If and when conditions improve -- assuming the plants survive - so the growths will generally then develop back into the more adult forms again."

So that is interesting. If your plant is undergoing some stress, it might revert to that juvenile growth form, and as a result you get these spiny little bits. And it's so interesting how many plants do have these juvenile growth forms and adult growth forms as we see in things like many of the aroid families, the Monstera's and so on.

So, there you go! The plant may be experiencing some stress @AtlanticFew, so I would just listen to those forest cacti episodes if you haven't already and make sure that you're giving your plant everything it needs in terms of watering and light, and hopefully that spiny growth should develop into the growth that you're more used to seeing very quickly. I think it's fascinating and it really does help us know what's going on with our plants when we know the reasons why they're doing stuff like this, so thanks very much to Mark Preston for answering that question.

So, if you've got a question for On the Ledge, please do drop me a line . I'm planning to run a Q&A episode in September once I'm back from my break, so I would love to get some really juicy questions together stuck into for that episode.


Jane: That about wraps things up for this week's show. I'll be back next Friday, episode 106, and then I'll be taking a three-week break, back on September the 6^th^. Have an unbe-leaf-able week. Bye!


Jane: The music in this week's episode includes Roll Jordan Rollby The Joy Drops,Whistling Rufusby the Heftone Banjo Orchestra, and Oh Malloryby Josh Woodward, all licensed under creative commons. See www.janeperrone.comfor details.

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I love delving into the details of growing houseplants, but this week I’m going back to basics, looking at five houseplants that any newbie grower can get started with. Judy Feldstein of Houseplant411.com joins me to discuss the plants and offer up some tips on their care. Plus, I answer a question about spiny growth on forest cacti with the help of expert Mark Preston.

This week’s guest

Judy Feldstein ran her own interior plantscaping business in the US from 1975 to 2007. Now she offers houseplant growers advice on her website, Houseplant411.com, and she’s also the author of two books: Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants, and the recently published Don't Talk to Me I'll Grow Better: A Guide to Easy Care Houseplants.

Crassula ovata ‘Hummel’s Sunset’. Photograph: Jane Perrone.

Here’s the top five houseplants for beginners that we discuss….

Crassula ovata, aka the money tree

This is an ideal plant for a sunny windowsill, growing into an impressive tree over time. It’s popular in Asia where it’s believed to be a plant that attracts wealth. Make sure you give it lots of light and feed with dilute houseplant feed - or use a specialist succulent feed. Cultivars include the colourful ‘Hummel’s Sunset’, variegated ‘Lemon and Lime’, pink-flowered ‘Pink Beauty’ and the curiously twisted ‘Hobbit’, ‘Gollum’ and ‘Ogre’s Ear’.

Dracaena ‘Sunshine’. Photograph: Jane Perrone.

Dracaena marginata, aka dragon tree

Dracaenas are often denizens of shops, cafes and offices because they are so easygoing and will get by with very little care. Their added bonus is that they drop leaves as they go, so any damage is soon history.

The downside of this is they can become leggy, but there is an easy solution to this: cut off the top section, re-root and the remaining cane will sprout a new head, too.

Cultivars include the colourful ‘Tricolor’ and the more recent and event more vibrant ‘Colorama’, as well as ‘Sunshine’ which has a yellow stripe down the centre.

Epipremnum aureum, aka pothos or devil’s ivy

Despite its ubiquity, this plant is toxic to humans and pets due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals in the leaves, so keep it away from nibbling mouths.

Warning out the way, there are lots of positive to this wonderful vining plant: it can be allowed to trail or climb, and comes in a wonderful array of cultivars. Chuck it in deep shade and variegation will fade, but the plant won’t die unless you leave the soil waterlogged. Choose between the species with its gold-flecked leaves, or cultivars ‘Neon’, ‘N’Joy’, ‘Marble Queen’ and ‘Golden Queen’.

One of the fascinating things about pothos is we only get to see the juvenile, heart-shaped leaves when the plant is grown in our homes, but the adult foliage gets huge. Check out my video of the plant at RHS WIsley on my facebook page to get an idea of the scale it can reach…

Zamioculcas zamiifolia, aka the ZZ plant

This is a wonderfully reliable foliage plant with stiff architectural stems that requires very little care and attention, as the large rhizomes can store plenty of food and water to keep the plant going during lean times. Look after it well, however, and this plant will grow much faster! Lots of bright light, a bit of sun if available and watering once the soil starts to dry out will keep this plant looking good year-round. Do note, however, that like pothos, it is poisonous to humans and pets.

There’s one widely-available cultivar, ‘Raven’, with dark purple foliage, which needs the same care but is slower growing than the species.

Aspidistra elatior, aka cast iron plant

This is a great plant for cold, draughty hallways: they can survive deep shade and will only really complain if subject to full blaring sun. And the negatives? They do grow quite slowly (but will probably outlast you!) and are relatively expensive to buy. There are various variegated cultivars available, including white-tipped ‘Asahi’, dotty ‘Milky Way’ and stripy ‘Okame’.

Question of the week

I’d had a couple of queries like the ones below, asking about spiny growths on forest cacti: people wanted to know why their plants were throwing out such different growth from the rest of the plant, and whether they should be concerned about it. I didn’t know the answer, so I knew it was time to get in touch with forest cactus expert Mark Preston for some advice.

Mark Preston’s answer was this:

The spiny growths in the pictures are exactly that, it’s effectively a reversion to a more juvenile growth form.  Lots of the epiphytic cacti grow with a greater number of ribs, as seedlings, and these gradually reduce to the adult number as the plants begin to mature.  (NB: a flat stem is just a stem with only two ribs …)  On plants which have already been showing their mature growth form, these spiny/juvenile growths tend to appear when the plants are under abnormal stress, eg prolonged periods of inadequate watering, or inadequate light, etc.  If and when conditions improve – assuming the plants survive - so the growths will generally then develop back into the more adult forms again.

So that’s the mystery solved! If your plant is producing these growths, it’s a cue to find out what exactly is stressing them out: start out by listening to my forest cacti episodes with Mark Preston, episodes 84 and 85.

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


Join me at Lullingstone Castle in Kent in the UK on September 21 and 22 2019 for Cactusworld Live where I’ll be doing a live recording of On The Ledge and holding a listener meetup: there will be a giveaway of OTL merch, too, for one lucky listener, so don’t miss out!

The following weekend I’ll be at the Garden Museum on Sunday September 29 for their Houseplant Festival: I’ll be helping out with the houseplant clinic, and there’s also the chance to take part in workshops and browse an awesome range of stalls from some of my favourite houseplant shops!

Listener Scott Cain of  @boyswithplants  sporting an OTL tee.

Listener Scott Cain of @boyswithplants sporting an OTL tee.

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Want to bag yourself something cool to wear on your next houseplant shop crawl, and support On The Ledge?

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There’s a great choice of T-shirts in different colours, cuts and materials, baseball caps, hoodies, bags, mousemats, badges and more! (There’s even a T-shirt with my original logo just for the OTL completists out there!) I’ve been really pleased with the quality of the items I’ve bought, and I hope you will be too, but do let me know what you think!


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This week's show featured the tracks Roll Jordan Roll by the Joy Drops and Oh Mallory by Josh Woodward. Ad music is by the Heftone Banjo Orchestra with Whistling Rufus. All tracks licensed under Creative Commons.

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