On The Ledge

By Jane Perrone

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Description

On The Ledge is a podcast all about indoor gardening - helping you to grow everything from Aloe vera to the ZZ plant.  Presenter Jane Perrone has been nuts about houseplants since she was knee high to a Swiss cheese plant. She quizzes the experts, helps you find cool new stuff to grow and figures out how to fix your plant problems. For more information, email ontheledgepodcast@gmail.com or visit janeperrone.com.

Episode Date
Episode 60: Nepenthes with Domonick Gravine
26:59

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes and photos. 

Aug 03, 2018
Episode 59: Aloes, Agaves and other succulents with Colin Walker
45:14

Colin Walker has been growing succulents for 50 years, and he just happens to be the president of the British Cactus and Succulent Society. I interviewed him this week to find out about his two specialisms, Aloes and Agaves, and also found out about his penchant for putting succulents in odd containers such as teapots - and why cat litter can help with your succulent propagation (as long as you get the right type). Visit my show notes at janeperrone.com for full details of this episode. 

 

Jul 27, 2018
Episode 58: indoor ferns
32:51

Ferns. Love them, hate them, want them to go away and stop taunting you with their crispy leaves? This week I am attempting to give serial fern killers hope by discussing some tips and tricks to keep ferns happy, interviewing someone who's got their fern game sorted, and naming some of the species I find just that bit easier to keep alive. 

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes. 

Jul 20, 2018
Episode 57: quick wins for indoor edibles
30:31

I've come to a bit of a standstill this week: I don't know if it's the heatwave the UK has been going through, the pressure of making a weekly podcast or England's exit from the World Cup, but it's left me feeling rather weary. 

So I thought I'd dedicate this episode to some really quick and easy projects for indoor growers that take two to five minutes to complete, and (mostly) use items that you may well have in your storecupboard, or can be bought from your local market. It's nice to plan out and complete complex, high-maintenance indoor gardening, as per James Wong's brilliant projects in the last two episodes, but sometimes it's great to do something that's what I call a 'quick win'. 

Visit Janeperrone.com for full show notes.

Jul 13, 2018
Episode 56: James Wong's houseplants - part two
31:45

I had so much fun and fascinating stuff to chat about with expert botanist and houseplant maverick James Wong that I am bringing you another chunk of our chat this week. If you haven't yet listened to part one of my visit to James Wong's flat, please do so before you click play on this. The show notes at janeperrone.com will fill you in on all the plants, shops and products we discuss in the episode, so please do check them out as you listen.  

Jul 06, 2018
Episode 55: James Wong's houseplants - part one
43:54

British-Malaysian botanist James Wong is sparking a one-man houseplant revolution. With no outside space to garden, for the last 18 months James has been focusing all his horticultural energies into many fascinating plant experiments inside his small London flat. 

If you follow James on social media where he's @botanygeek, you can't fail to have seen some of the results of his efforts, from a nano pond made from a glass fruit bowl that garnered 125,000 likes to terrariums no bigger than a lightbulb. If you've ever wondered how he made a coffee table terrarium of a mini green wall in a display unit, or where he sources his tiny aquarium plants from, wonder no longer, because this week's episode has all the answers for you. 

If you haven't come across James before, he's got an impressive CV that includes presenting on BBC TV's Countryfile and being an expert panellist on BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time, writing numerous books - the latest one is called How To Eat Better - and of course his column for the Observer magazine. His homepage is here if you want to find out more. 

I first interviewed James last year back in On The Ledge episode 13, but when I bumped into him at the Chelsea flower show this year, he invited me to take a look at his houseplants in person so I could share all his tips and tricks with all of you. Hurrah!

Oh, and I got two for the price of one, because you'll hear another voice in the interview, and that's garden designer and fellow London-based plant genius Rob Stacewicz (he's on @RS_MCIHort) . And YOU get two for the price of one, because next week's show will feature more of my chat with James, including the secrets of his nano pond and his top tips for keeping fussy houseplants happy. 

Please visit janeperrone.com for the full show notes, including all the suppliers and plant names that come up in this episode.

Jun 29, 2018
Episode 54: Streptocarpus and other Gesneriads
49:09

Regular listeners to On The Ledge podcast will have heard me waffle on many times about how much I love Streptocarpus. The name may be easily confused with a throat infection (it actually refers to the plant's twisted seedpod) but this genus is an under-appreciated  gem of the houseplant world.

It's a member of a wider family called the Gesneriads, which also includes the African violets, the Achimenes (aka hot water plants), Sinningia, Primulina (aka Chirita), Columnea, Episcia (aka flame violet), Petrocosmea and Kohleria.

I speak to Dale Martens of the Gesneriad Society to find out everything from what to pot them in to why breeding your own Streptocarpus may just involve a trip to the dentist (really). 

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes.

Jun 22, 2018
Episode 53: begonias, carnivorous plants and more with Mike Clifford
26:13

Behind an unassuming bungalow near Poole in Dorset, Mike Clifford's garden may measure up to just 65ft long, but it's absolutely packed full of wonderful plants, both in greenhouses and outside.

Mike - @mikesrareplants on Twitter - is a huge fan of all kinds of tropical plants, but he's got a particular penchant for big-leaved plants such as the tree dandelion (yes there is such a thing) and the tree fern. I was privileged to get a tour of Mike's garden and greenhouses, meeting everything from his huge American pitcher plants to his iridescent begonia species.

You can hear my tour of his unheated and heated greenhouses in this episode; if you'd like to hear Mike talking about his outdoor plants, you'll need to be a Patreon subscriber, donating $5 or more a month to On The Ledge. That way you'll unlock extra content a well as helping to support the show.

(Like the sound of this plot? Mike's garden is being thrown open to visitors for a few days in July and August - visit the National Garden Scheme website for times and details.)

Below is a list of all the plants we talk about: do take a look at the images of Mike's plants below as you listen. 

If you're intrigued about how to propagate begonias, there are various different techniques that can be used for different kinds of this plant - cane, rhizomatous and so on. There is good advice on begonia propagation on the American Begonia Society website, and a step-by-step guide to begonia leaf propagation (for Rex begonias and the like) is worth looking at on the excellent houseplant blog Plants Are The Strangest People. 

Question of the week

@thegardeningengineer asked whether I could suggest a precautionary pest treatment for a new houseplant that was looking a bit peaky. My advice was that the best way of making sure that houseplants don't fall prey to pests is to make sure that they are healthy, because most pests target plants that are already showing some sort of weakness. It's not wise to treat a plant with soap sprays and the like unless you know there's an existing pest problem, as these substances aren't great for the plant so should only be applied when absolutely necessary.

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

Are you supporting On The Ledge on Patreon yet? 

If you like the idea of supporting On The Ledge on a regular basis but don't know what Patreon's all about, check out the FAQ here: if you still have questions, leave a comment or email me - ontheledgepodcast@gmail.com. If you're already supporting others via Patreon, just click here to set up your rewards!

For those who prefer to make a one-off donation, you can still 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!

If you prefer to support the show in other ways, please do go and rate and review On The Ledge on iTunesStitcher or wherever you listen. It's lovely to read your kind comments, and it really helps new listeners to find the show.

On The Ledge talks, live show and houseplant chats 

I am going to be at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show on the afternoon of July 4 giving talks on houseplants in the roses theatre at 1pm and 4pm - do join me if you can. And on the evening of Friday October 26 I'll be bringing a live show of On The Ledge to the RHS London Urban Garden show, with special guests including Alys Fowler and all kinds of leafy fun! Put those dates in your diary NOW!

Credits

This week's show featured Roll Jordan Roll by the Joy DropsHot Lips by Bill Brown and HIs BrowniesAn Instrument the Boy Called Happy Day Gokarna by Samuel Corwin, and Overthrown by Josh Woodward, all licensed under Creative Commons.

 

 

Jun 15, 2018
Episode 52: online houseplant buying tips and tricks
34:48

Buying plants online is ridiculously easy - a few clicks and some fancy foliage plant or flowery specimen is on its way to you in the post. But it's a process that's fraught with potential problems. I recently did an interview for the BBC* about problems with online garden centres, but it was such a short chat that I really didn't get the chance to give many of the tips and suggestions I have up my sleeve, so I thought it was a good time to return to the subject here on On The Ledge.

In this episode I offer up my tips for buying online and plant swaps by post. I also chat to Paul Holt (@greenwizzard on Instagram), creative director of N1 and W6 garden centres in London, to get some tips on what to do when you visit a plant shop in person. 

*You can listen to my interview for BBC Radio 4's You & Yours consumer programme here - scroll down to 'online chapters' and select 'online gardening' to skip to the right segment. 

Want to hear me talking about gardening more generally?

Listen to my two-part interview with US gardening podcast Verdant North here and here. And you can listen to my other podcast recommendation, Sharp, here

Perrone's rules of plant ordering online

1. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is

Amazing deals do come up online, but generally you do get what you pay for, so if you see that Philodendron 'Pink Princess' for $5, do think before you jump, because rare plants don't come cheap. Be extra suspicious and check everything out very carefully before you buy. 

2. What you see isn't always what you get

It's easy to be wowed by pictures of houseplants, but ask yourself, are the pictures showing the actual size of plants delivered? Some sellers will put up pictures of a plant that's the eventual size of the plant you have ordered, rather than the size it will arrive at your door. Look for information about pot size, plant height and so on: good sellers should make it abundantly clear whether the picture next to a description is the actual plant you are buying or not. If it's a cutting, are you buying rooted or unrooted? Will the plant be sent still in the pot or bareroot? All of these factors should influence the price you are paying. If it's not clear to you from the website, ask the seller - a good seller should be upfront about all this. 

3. Check the courier

Many houseplant sellers fall down not because of anything they have done wrong, but because the delivery company they employ to get your plants to you is unreliable. Check what company your seller uses, and investigate their reputation online. Steer clear of couriers who have poor reviews that talk of parcels being flung over fences. When buying multiple plants, make sure you know whether you'll pay a flat delivery fee for all of them, or an individual fee per plant - this can add considerably to your bill! 

4. Be extra-cautious when buying from overseas

Sometimes the only place to get hold of more choice varieties is a supplier outside your home country, but think carefully before proceeding on this one. Delivery costs can be sky-high, delivery slow, and there can be unexpected roadblocks like phytosanitary certificates and customs charges. Always choose a seller that has lots of experience selling overseas.

5. Reward great service with a five-star review

The best plant sellers build their reputation on excellent customer service, so if you have had a good experience with a particular company, spread the word online and offline. 

And what about online plant swaps?

There are many groups on Facebook and elsewhere that are forums for those who want to swap houseplants, and it's a great way to expand your collection at low cost. That said, you have to have something to swap in the first place, so it can be hard before your collection really gets going. Bear in mind that not all swaps will be a good 'fit', so if someone doesn't want what you are offering, don't get grouchy, just find someone who does! 

Once a deal has been agreed, keep your communications timely, polite and clear - let the other person know how and when their plant will be dispatched and hopefully you'll get the same information from you. If things do go wrong, try to resolve things calmly rather than going off the deep end - bear in mind that delivery services are not always reliable, and sometimes life gets in the way of plants! If you have an issue with a swapper, get in touch with the admin on the relevant group. Personally I'd avoid 'naming and shaming' posts as I just don't think they are helpful.

We're discussing online plant buying and swapping etiquette and tips over on the Houseplant fans of On The Ledge Facebook group - please do join if you haven't already and add your thoughts! 

And finally, if you've got a plant seller you think deserves a mention in my houseplant buying guides for the UK and the US, please let me know in the comments below, or drop me a line to ontheledgepodcast@gmail.com

Question of the week 

Audrey has a problem with a poorly Syngonium, aka goosefoot plant with browning leaves. This could be a symptom of many things, but if the leaf tips and edges are browning it's probably a sign of dry air. Syngoniums are, after all, close relatives of the Philodendron, that lover of moist air. I suggest popping the plant in a clear plastic bag for a few days to help pep it up. 

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

Are you supporting On The Ledge on Patreon yet? 

If you like the idea of supporting On The Ledge on a regular basis but don't know what Patreon's all about, check out the FAQ here: if you still have questions, leave a comment or email me - ontheledgepodcast@gmail.com. If you're already supporting others via Patreon, just click here to set up your rewards!

For those who prefer to make a one-off donation, you can still 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!

If you prefer to support the show in other ways, please do go and rate and review On The Ledge on iTunesStitcher or wherever you listen. It's lovely to read your kind comments, and it really helps new listeners to find the show.

On The Ledge talks, live show and houseplant chats 

I'll be making an appearance at Gardeners' World Live in Birmingham this month. The show is on for four days (June 14 to 17) but I am *only* appearing next Thursday - June 14 - on the Blooming Interiors stage - check out the schedule here. I will, with any luck, be wearing my brand new On The Ledge t shirt so I should be easy to spot the OTL logo!

I am also going to be at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show on the afternoon of July 4 giving talks on houseplants in the roses theatre - do join me if you can. And on the evening of Friday October 26 I'll be bringing a live show of On The Ledge to the RHS London Urban Garden show, with special guests including Alys Fowler and all kinds of leafy fun! Put those dates in your diary NOW!

Credits

This week's show featured Roll Jordan Roll by the Joy DropsHot Lips by Bill Brown and HIs Brownies, An Instrument the Boy Called Happy Day Gokarna by Samuel Corwin, and Overthrown by Josh Woodward, all licensed under Creative Commons.

Jun 07, 2018
Episode 51: Matthew Biggs
45:31

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! 

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.

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

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.  

Question of the week

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. 

Jun 01, 2018
Episode 50: the Chelsea flower show 2018
47:48

The Chelsea flower show is the world's most famous gardening event, but houseplants are starting to make big inroads into this fixture in the horticultural calendar. I visited the show to check out the indoor gardening displays in the Great Pavilion, and met up with friend of the show Alys Fowler. Here's a summary of all my Chelsea interviews:

  • Ian Drummond of Indoor Garden Design shows me around the stand he put together in partnership with houseplant mega-seller IKEA: I find out how easy it is to grow Sansevieria in water and why plants in the office are good for you.
  • Alys Fowler and I cover everything from the dearth of peat-free houseplant compost, the difference between perlite and vermiculite, and how to keep a Begonia luxurians alive. 
  • Jo Jackson of Ottershaw Cacti gives me a tour of the delightful display of succulents, including Beaucarnea recurvata, Senecio rowleyanus, Haworthia truncata, Ceropegia linearis subsp. woodii and Echeveria 'Compton Carousel'. Follow them on Instragram as @cacti_dan.
  • Robbie Blackhall-Miles (who you'll remember from On The Ledge's bathroom plants episode) introduces me to the world of Aspidistras beyond A. elatior at the Crug Farm Plants stand, including the unmistakeable A. 'Uan Fat Lady' (pictured below). Robbie also recommends trying Oreopanax from Crug Farm as a big bold houseplant for spots with limited light.
  • Every Picture Tells A Story is a nursery specialising in bromeliads including air plants, Vriesias, Neoregelias and more. Julia Carder explains how to look after these intriguing members of the houseplant world.

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes and images.

May 25, 2018
Episode 49: houseplants and Instagram with Kimberley Aston
40:29

Whether you're a hashtag natural or tend to get your #Monsteramonday mixed up with #philodendronfriday, Instagram is a bit of a jungle for houseplant lovers: fun to negotiate but sometimes rather confusing. I talk to Kimberley Aston aka @kingstreetjungle, who's a houseplant lover of the Instagram generation, and one of the faces behind smash hit accounts @philomemedron and @therealhouseplantsof_ig. We discuss how to get the best out of hashtags, how to take great photos of your plants, why real houseplant photos should show the unvarnished truth about your plants, and more. 

Here's a guide to some of the things we talk about in this episode so you can read on and click through as you listen...

How to support On The Ledge

If you like the idea of supporting On The Ledge on a regular basis but don't know what Patreon's all about, check out the FAQ here: if you still have questions, leave a comment or email me - ontheledgepodcast@gmail.com. If you're already supporting others via Patreon, just click here to set up your rewards!

For those who prefer to make a one-off donation, you can still 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!

If you prefer to support the show in other ways, please do go and rate and review On The Ledge on iTunesStitcher or wherever you listen. It's lovely to read your kind comments, and it really helps new listeners to find the show.

On The Ledge talks, live show and houseplant chats 

I'll be making an appearance at Gardeners' World Live in Birmingham on June 14 on the Blooming Interiors stage - check out the schedule here, and stay tuned as I'll have a ticket giveaway coming up in the next few weeks.

I am also going to be at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show on the afternoon of July 4 giving talks on houseplants in the roses theatre - do join me if you can. And on the evening of Friday October 26 I'll be bringing a live show of On The Ledge to the RHS London Urban Garden show, with special guests including Alys Fowler and all kinds of leafy fun! Put those dates in your diary NOW!

Credits

This week's show featured Roll Jordan Roll by the Joy DropsAn Instrument the Boy Called Happy Day Gokarna by Samuel Corwin, and Oh Mallory by Josh Woodward, all licensed under Creative Commons.

May 18, 2018
Episode 48: The Temperate House at Kew Gardens
32:26

One of the best ways of learning how to care about your houseplants is to find out more about how they live in their native habitats. If you can't go and visit them in the wild, a trip to a botanic garden such as Kew in London is the next best thing. The Temperate House at Kew is a huge Victorian glasshouse that's home to thousands of plants from temperate climes, including many plants you'd recognise from your collections.

The Temperate House reopened to the public last week after a five-year restoration programme, so I went along to see the transformation. In this episode you'll hear me getting excited about a gully of tree ferns, an interview with Temperate House horticulturist and houseplant fan Jess Snowball, and more. Below are some links to help you find out more... 

  • Read the Guardian's story about the reopening of the Temperate House, read the paper's architecture correspondent Oliver Wainwright's piece on the architecture of the building and see a gallery of images
  • Watch this video from Kew about the history of the Temperate House, including how it looked before the restoration.
  • Read about Australian tree ferns on the Kew Gardens website.
  • Follow Temperate House horticulturist Jess Snowball on Instagram.
  • Read about the 'lonely plant' Wood's cycad on the Kew Gardens website.
  • See an image of the Chilean wine palm (Jubaea chilensis) that was touching the roof at the Temperate House before the restoration, and find out more about this palm here.
  • Find out more about the two plants from St Helena that I mention in this episode: Trochetiopsis ebenusand Trochetiopsis erythoxylon.

Just before I left Kew, I bumped into the legendary plantsman and Kew horticulturist Carlos Magdalena, whose book The Plant Messiah is a wonderful read. Tragically my sound recorder gave up the ghost after just five minutes so I didn't manage to get all of our chat on tape, but if you want to hear what I did manage to salvage of my interview with Carlos, become a Ledge-end by pledging $5 or more a month to On The Ledge via Patreon. Click here for details

Also on Patreon right now is a new episode of On The Ledge: An Extra Leaf, my subscription-only series for Patreon subscribers. You can hear an extract from my chat with aroid expert Dave The Plant Guy aka Dave Janas about mystery Monsteras in this episode to whet your appetite. 

Question of the week

Pam wanted to know whether she can keep a plant happy in its pot and not have to upsize it. She writes: "For instance, I have a bird's nest fern that I love on my desk in it's pink pot but know that it could use a new, larger home. Can I simply cut the roots back, give a dirt refresh and keep it in the current pot? Or, will it get depressed on me and die off?" I advise that as bird's nest fern is an epiphyte, it doesn't have a big rootball so will probably be ok in the same pot for several years: another option for houseplants that aren't epiphytes (or epiphytes that really have got too big or their container) is root pruning or top dressing. There's a good piece on root pruning in this New York Times piece and the Laidback Gardener has a good post on topdressing.

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

How to support On The Ledge

If you like the idea of supporting On The Ledge on a regular basis but don't know what Patreon's all about, check out the FAQ here: if you still have questions, leave a comment or email me - ontheledgepodcast@gmail.com. If you're already supporting others via Patreon, just click here to set up your rewards!

For those who prefer to make a one-off donation, you can still 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!

If you prefer to support the show in other ways, please do go and rate and review On The Ledge on iTunesStitcher or wherever you listen. It's lovely to read your kind comments, and it really helps new listeners to find the show.

On The Ledge talks, live show and houseplant chats 

I'll be making an appearance at Gardeners' World Live in Birmingham on June 14 on the Blooming Interiors stage - check out the schedule here, and stay tuned as I'll have a ticket giveaway coming up in the next few weeks.

I am also going to be at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show on the afternoon of July 4 giving talks on houseplants in the roses theatre - do join me if you can. And on the evening of Friday October 26 I'll be bringing a live show of On The Ledge to the RHS London Urban Garden show, with special guests including Alys Fowler and all kinds of leafy fun! Put those dates in your diary NOW!

Credits

This week's show featured Roll Jordan Roll by the Joy DropsAn Instrument the Boy Called Happy Day Gokarna by Samuel Corwin, and Oh Mallory by Josh Woodward, all licensed under Creative Commons.

 
May 11, 2018
Episode 47: propagating succulents
29:45

One of the many satisfying things about succulents is just how easy they are to propagate: this week I take a look at how to propagate succulents from existing plant material, aka cuttings (take a listen back to On The Ledge episode 36 for information on sowing from seed).

Most succulents can be propagated from cuttings, but it's useful to know which species need to be propagated from stem cuttings, and which can be propagated from leaf cuttings. Adromischus, Crassula, Echeveria, Haworthia, Sedums, epiphytic cacti such as Epiphyllum can be propagated from a single leaf: Senecios such as string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) and spear head (Senecio kleiniiformis) need to be propagated with a piece of stem attached.

Whether you are propagating from leaf or stem, the key advice is to give the plant material a few days on a tile or somewhere dry so that the cut end can callus over: only then will it be ready to put out roots. When removing leaves, make sure you remove all the leaf, as the meristematic cells at the base of the leaf (where it joins the stem) are essential in kickstarting root production. It doesn't matter if you leave them a bit longer than that, and if you do you may even find baby plants start forming before you have a chance to do anything else! Once this stage is done, your leaves can be laid on damp gritty growing medium or kitchen paper and left to start growing. Once they are in growth, you can then nestle the leaves into the surface of the growing medium so the roots can start to attach. The starter leaf will gradually die off as the baby plant grows. 

If you have an Echeveria that hasn't had enough light over winter, you can carry out drastic surgery but cutting off the top and treating it as a stem cutting - as I did for the Echeveria on the left here. Stem cuttings can be placed straight into gritty compost; they shouldn't need covering with a clear plastic bag like other cuttings as this may cause them to rot. 

You can also propagate many succulents by division: removing offsets or pups growing around the base of the parent plant on Haworthias, Aloes, Gasterias and so on. Take the whole plant out of the pot and tease away the babies, taking any new roots with them. Pot these straight up into gritty growing medium if they have roots: if not, performing the callusing procedure above first before potting on. 

Grafting is the next level of succulent propagation: the process of joining together a "stock" plant (the bottom bit with the roots) to a scion (the top bit). I am hoping to cover this in detail in a future show, but if you are curious, check out these resources: 

Question of the week

Nicole wanted to know what to do about her jade plant (Crassula ovata) that had developed a split in the thick bark, and a branch coming out of it. I suggested she remove and propagate the branch, but not worry too much about the split, which seems to be healing over anyway - these are tough plants! 

Meanwhile Sophie wanted suggestions for the shelf above the bed. After a cautionary tale about my own shelf-above-the-bed disaster, I recommended members of the Peperomia family, including Peperomia polybotrya 'Raindrop', P. prostrata and P. caperata

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

On The Ledge joins Patreon

So I've joined Patreon so that you can show your support for the show and get the extra On The Ledge content you're calling after. For as little as $5 ($6 with fees added) you'll get at least TWO bonus podcast episodes per month, plus extra posts and info you won't find anywhere else. 

Confused? There's a FAQ here that should answer your query: if not leave a comment or email me - ontheledgepodcast@gmail.com. If you're already supporting others via Patreon, just click here to set up your rewards!

For those who prefer to make a one-off donation, you can still 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!

If you prefer to support the show in other ways, please do go and rate and review On The Ledge on iTunesStitcher or wherever you listen. It's lovely to read your kind comments, and it really helps new listeners to find the show.

On The Ledge talks, live show and houseplant chats 

I'll be making an appearance at Gardeners' World Live in Birmingham on June 14 on the Blooming Interiors stage - check out the schedule here, and stay tuned as I'll have a ticket giveaway coming up in the next few weeks.

I am also going to be at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show on the afternoon of July 4 giving talks on houseplants in the roses theatre - do join me if you can. And on the evening of Friday October 26 I'll be bringing a live show of On The Ledge to the RHS London Urban Garden show, with special guests including Alys Fowler and all kinds of leafy fun! Put those dates in your diary NOW!

Credits

This week's show featured Roll Jordan Roll by the Joy DropsAn Instrument the Boy Called Happy Day Gokarna by Samuel Corwin, and Oh Mallory by Josh Woodward, all licensed under Creative Commons.

May 04, 2018
Episode 46: Matthew Pottage
29:19
Apr 27, 2018
Episode 45: plants and interiors with Emilie Fournet
29:17

So, you've ended up with a home full of houseplants, but how do you display them to make the most of their best features? I talk to North London-based interior designer and houseplant enthusiast Emilie Fournet about statement plants, why the fiddle leaf fig is the plant of the moment, how to match pots with plants, and when it's absolutely OK to use fake plants (yes really!). If you're intrigued by the idea of using fakes in tricky areas of your house, Emilie recommends two brands to look out for - Abigail Ahern and Artificial Green.

Her amazing light fitting strung with Senecio rowleyanus, string of pearls, is from Canadian designer Object/Interface. You can Emilie on Instagram as @emiliefournetinteriors and her website is here.

Question of the week

Listener Sarah who is @perthplantlady on Instagram wanted to identify the strange nubs on her Monstera deliciosa. I was happy to reassure her that they were aerial roots, the way Monsteras climb through the jungle in their native climes. if your Monstera is putting out aerial roots, consider constructing or buying a moss pole to support its growth. 

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

On The Ledge joins Patreon

So I've joined Patreon so that you can show your support for the show and get the extra On The Ledge content you're calling after. For as little as $5 ($6 with fees added) you'll get at least TWO bonus podcast episodes per month, plus extra posts and info you won't find anywhere else.

Confused? There's a FAQ here that should answer your query: if not leave a comment or email me - ontheledgepodcast@gmail.com. If you're already supporting others via Patreon, just click here to set up your rewards!

For those who prefer to make a one-off donation, you can still 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!

If you prefer to support the show in other ways, please do go and rate and review On The Ledge on iTunesStitcher or wherever you listen. It's lovely to read your kind comments, and it really helps new listeners to find the show.

 

Credits

This week's show featured Roll Jordan Roll by the Joy DropsAn Instrument the Boy Called Happy Day Gokarna by Samuel Corwin, and Oh Mallory by Josh Woodward, all licensed under Creative Commons.

Apr 20, 2018
Episode 44: houseplant trends at the Garden Museum
01:18:54
When Alice Vincent asked me to take part in a panel discussion at the Garden Museum about houseplant trends past, present and future, I couldn't have been more excited, and when I heard my fellow speaker was Catherine Horwood I nearly bit her hand off. This week you can hear the discussion that took place. 
Apr 13, 2018
Episode 43: Summer Rayne Oakes of Homestead Brooklyn
36:52
It all started with a single fiddle leaf fig. Now Summer Rayne Oakes has hundreds of houseplants in her Brooklyn apartment, plus a chicken. Yes a chicken! I talk to Summer Rayne about how it all began, how to keep maidenhair ferns alive, the cool things you can grow in a vivarium, and why chickens and Calatheas don't mix in this week's show.
Apr 06, 2018
Episode 42: Behind the Seeds with Mohamed Osman
37:24
Jane Perrone talks to Mohamed Osman, who began to create an indoor jungle in his apartment in Cairo while recuperating from a heart attack.
Mar 30, 2018
Episode 41: the Maranta group - Maranta, Calathea, Stromanthe and Ctenanthe
32:35
The Maranta group, aka the prayer plants, all share an incredible plant superpower: they can open and shut their leaves. They're also one of THE houseplants of the moment, because they all have intricately patterned leaves that the current generation of houseplant fans just love. This is my rundown of the four clans of Maranta, plus I answer a question about a cactus with brown spots.  
Mar 23, 2018
Episode 40: cats and houseplants
34:24
I have heard from so many cat owners who find their pets just can't stay away from their plants: either they're chewing them, or pulling them out of their pots, or finding some other way to destroy that cool jungle vibe you've been cultivating. So this episode is dedicating to giving cat owners some help in keeping cats and plants equally content. 
Mar 16, 2018
Episode 39: Matt Candeias, In Defense of Plants podcast
36:12
I talk to Matt Candeias, host of botanically brilliant podcast In Defense of Plants about everything from why we're both serial Begonia killers to why his family have finally stopped buying him moth orchids for his birthday.  
Mar 09, 2018
Episode 38: Perrone's kitchen houseplant tour
22:27
I blabber on about houseplants every week on On The Ledge, but I thought it was about time I gave you a room-by-room account of the houseplants I own. I start this week with the kitchen, where I have more than 25 plants on the go at the moment.
Mar 02, 2018
Episode 37: kokedama
28:35
I talk to florist and planting designer Carolyn Dunster about the ancient Japanese art of kokedama and answer listener questions about aphids and a 'crying' Alocasia.
Feb 23, 2018
Episode 36: houseplant sowalong special
31:25
In early January I made a resolution for 2018 that I would grow as many houseplants from seed as possible. Fast forward a month and a half and I'm devoting a whole episode to the topic of growing your own houseplants from seed. I look at what you need to get started; what water, compost and containers to use; how to sow and what to do once your seed germinate.
Feb 16, 2018
Episode 35: hydroponics
34:25
 Lots of listeners have asked for an episode on hydroponics, so I called up Kevin Espiritu of epicgardening.com to get the lowdown on what hydroponics is, how it works and what you need to get started. Plus a listener question about an unhappy fern.
Feb 09, 2018
Episode 34: Isabel Hardman
35:14
In her day job, Isabel Hardman is immersed in the serious world of politics, but she's also a botany nut. That's why she set up the #wildflowerhour weekly chat on Twitter. I chat to her about why houseplants bring her contentment, why living next to Kew gardens is a nightmare, and why I am responsible for her growing houseplant addiction.
Feb 02, 2018
Episode 33: Q&A special
31:03
I'm tackling questions about how to divide Alocasias, whether golden pothos can hang as well as climb, and more. 
Jan 26, 2018
Episode 32: the venus flytrap
28:48
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. 
Jan 18, 2018
Episode 31: The Tradescantia group
24:07
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. 
Jan 12, 2018
Episode 30: New Year's Resolutions
29:44
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. 
Jan 05, 2018
Episode 29: Christmas houseplants
25:23
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. 
Dec 22, 2017
Episode 28: Lisa Eldred Steinkopf, the Houseplant Guru
26:32
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. 
Dec 15, 2017
Episode 27: buying houseplants
20:27
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...
Dec 08, 2017
Episode 26: old houseplants
27:36
Houseplants come, houseplants go, but there are some that stick with you through thick and thin. I've talked to people about the longlived leafy friends: where they came from, how they kept them going and what they mean to them.
Dec 01, 2017
Episode 25: watering
22:47

 It's easy to overwater houseplants, especially at this time of year when many of them are having a rest, temperatures and light levels are lower and less water's required. In this episode, I look at a few of the thorny issues around watering, such as whether it's better to water with rainwater or tap water, what temperature the water should be, and how to tell if your houseplants need watering in the first place.

Nov 24, 2017
Episode 24: Prick cactus shop and Gynelle Leon
40:16
On The Ledge heads for the big smoke to talk to Gynelle Leon and find out more about her fabulous cactus and succulent shop, Prick.
Nov 17, 2017
Episode 23: Mr Plant Geek, Michael Perry
31:31
My guest this week is Mr Plant Geek, aka Michael Perry. We discuss the big trends in houseplants, why we should be growing cacti from seed, and why mainstream media still haven't latched on to indoor gardening. Plus a Q&A on a ponytail palm with an identity crisis.
Nov 10, 2017
Episode 22: Q&A special
18:54
All those nagging houseplant questions - why is my succulent leggy and wan? What kind of Monstera do I really have? Why is my Pilea looking peaky? - are answered in this Q&A special. 
Oct 19, 2017
Episode 21: Alys Fowler
31:20
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).
Oct 13, 2017
Episode 20: Margaret Roach
31:16
Margaret Roach of awaytogarden.com has a garden of two-plus acres in New York state, yet she still manages to find time for houseplants. We find out about her obsession with caudiciform (or "fat") plants and compare notes on begonias and clivias.
Oct 07, 2017
Episode nineteen: fungus gnats
27:57
Fungus gnats float about your houseplants in clouds and ruin the cool indoor jungle vibe you’ve been aiming for. I find out what they are, what they do and how to eradicate them from your plants.
Sep 29, 2017
Episode eighteen: preparing succulents and cacti for winter
14:16
Well, autumn is here which means it's time to start getting your succulents and cacti winter-ready. It's also time to start preparing the Christmas cactus for flowering, so I explain how it's done, and answer a question about a mushy cactus... sounds serious.
Sep 23, 2017
Episode seventeen: Seeking Pilea peperomioides - why everyone wants the Chinese money plant
24:25
Instagram is awash with it; but where do you lay your hands on a specimen of the Chinese money plant, Pilea peperomioides? Despite the Chinese money plant’s superstar status, the story of how it came to be so popular isn’t so well known.  I find out more about this fabulous plant from Dr Phil Cribb of Kew Gardens, who helped track down its origins.
Sep 15, 2017
Episode sixteen: grow your own avocado plant
12:55
If you've blown your houseplant budget for the year on a beautiful Boston fern or a towering Euphorbia, this week's show will help you get your new plant fix without spending a penny. Although they grow to 20 metres tall in their native central America, avocados make surprisingly good houseplants - a little like a bargain basement fiddle leaf fig, if you will. 
Sep 08, 2017
Episode fifteen: Cactus with Dan Torre
29:45
In this week’s show I explore the world’s love-hate relationship with cacti, find out why one Australian state banned them altogether, and ponder whether this plant family could actually be the answer to the world’s food shortage. And question of the week is back, we’ll be finding out what fool proof plants are best for a newbie houseplant grower.
Sep 01, 2017
Episode fourteen: balcony gardening with Alice Vincent
33:46
This week I want take a look at that inbetween space for plants - the balcony. It’s not quite indoors, but not really outdoors either - the spot where houseplants and herbs, bamboo and begonias meet. And who better to talk to than Alice Vincent, who writes about urban gardening for the Telegraph and is also the author of book How To Grow Stuff, and on Instagram where she’s known as @noughticulture. 
Aug 03, 2017
Episode thirteen: James Wong
38:44
Ethnobotanist James Wong has got some really thought-provoking things to say about why we grow the houseplants we do - think of the ubiquitous spider plant and umbrella plant - and predictions about where houseplant horticulture may be headed next. 
Jul 21, 2017
Episode twelve: Robin Stockwell, the Succulent Guy
32:15
My guest this week is The Succulent Guy, Robin Stockwell, the man credited with making succulents sexy. I talk to Robin about his legendary - and enormous - globe of succulents, why you shouldn’t get an Agave mixed up with an Aloe, and why there’s transatlantic difference of opinion about size among Sempervivum breeders.
Jul 07, 2017
Episode eleven: plants for bathrooms, feat. Tillandsias
38:01
This week's show takes a confessional turn from the start when I admit I have NOT ONE PLANT in my bathroom. It's mainly because I lack a windowsill in there, but this really is no excuse. I talk to plantsman Robbie Blackhall-Miles about the plants that fill his two bathrooms, and find out more about Tillandsias or air plants from Graham Sigsworth nursery Crafty Plants in Lancashire, England.
Jun 24, 2017
Episode ten: conservatories with Anne Wareham
23:55
Conservatories have got an image problem... gardener Anne Wareham got so fed up with hers she had it knocked down and rebuilt. I talk to Anne about how she planned her new conservatory, and her cunning an thrifty solution to the issue of shelving. 
Jun 13, 2017
Episode nine: Get Plants by Katherine Price
32:01
On The Ledge goes back to basics this week: I interview writer and gardener Katherine Price about her new book Get Plants: How to Bring Green Into Your Life, published by Kew. We major on succulents, covering how to pronounce "kalanchoe", the symbolism of the sempervivum and how to get in tune with your plants. 
May 31, 2017
Episode eight: Chelsea flower show 2017
28:20
I spent two days at the Chelsea flower show, and managed to meet a few fellow houseplant fans, and grab interviews with some of the experts displaying their plants. What a treat!
May 23, 2017
Episode seven: chillies
30:04
I talk to a newbie chilli grower who has taken the pursuit of chilli greatness almost as seriously as he takes his job as an Apache helicopter pilot, and chilli expert David Floyd, author of chilli guide book 101 Chillies To Try Before You Die. 
May 12, 2017
EPISODE 6: Pots
26:45
This week's show is all about containers for your plants - learning about their history with cultural historian Dr Catherine Horwood and discussing to the best ways of making your houseplant collection #shelfie-worthy with Ian Drummond of Indoor Garden Design.
Apr 28, 2017
EPISODE 5: How not to kill your houseplant with Veronica Peerless
27:24
This week I find out what yellowing leaves mean in a houseplant, confess to sawing a peace lily in half and get the lowdown on plant pests from Veronica Peerless, whose new book How Not To Kill Your Houseplant (£9.99 from DK) is out now.  
Apr 06, 2017
Episode four: microgreens
27:55
My guest this week is the lovely Mark Diacono of Otter Farm in Devon in the southwest of the UK - a grower, food and garden writer and microgreen enthusiast. I get busy sowing pea shoots, and answer a question about propagating Aloe vera.
Mar 29, 2017
Episode three: office plants
36:36
I find out about all the gross things office workers do to their plants with horticulturist Lou Nicholls; tap the expertise of Christopher Satch, plant scientist at The Sill in New York, and find out whether there's science to back up the widely-held belief that plants in the office make us happy. 
Mar 21, 2017
Episode two: Monstera deliciosa, the swiss cheese plant
26:31
This week we move from the enclosed world of the terrariums of last week's show to the weird, wild world of Monstera deliciosa, aka the Swiss cheese plant or split leaf philodendron. Ianswer a question about a poorly venus flytrap and find out what to do when your Swiss cheese plant reaches the ceiling.
Mar 13, 2017
Episode one: terrariums
26:30
In the last decade, miniature worlds under glass have gone from zero to hero: time was when a terrarium was a dusty bottle on your nan’s nicknack table - now you see them everywhere, from coffee shops to office reception desks. I find how these clever little contraptions were invented, what you can grow in them and how to get your very first terrarium set up.
Feb 28, 2017