On The Ledge

By Jane Perrone

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 May 18, 2019

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 113: winterising your plants with the Plant Daddy Podcast
50:22

I chat about the challenges of getting houseplants ready for winter with Stephen and Matthew of the Plant Daddy podcast. Plus, more on the mystery Peperomia from episode 112, and I answer a question on ferns and ivies.

 

For full show notes visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/10/18/episode-113-winterising-your-plants-with-the-plant-daddy-podcast

Oct 18, 2019
Episode 112: plant swaps
39:46

Plant swaps are a great way to connect with likeminded planty people, offload surplus plants and get your hands on some great new specimens for your collection. I visited two seasoned plant swappers in Sheffield to find out how it’s done - and I also answer a question about a mystery Peperomia.

 

For full show notes, visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/10/11/episode-112-plant-swaps.

Oct 11, 2019
Episode 111: Cactusworld Live
56:32

Listen to a live episode of On The Ledge recorded at the inaugural Cactusworld Live event organised by the British Cactus and Succulent Society (BCSS), with two cactus-loving guests, BCSS patrons Tom Hart Dyke and Anne Swithinbank. Plus, I answer a question about the seed pods of the string of hearts.

For full show notes, visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/10/4/episode-111-cactusworld-live

Oct 04, 2019
Episode 110: Peperomias part two
41:34

Peperomias are centre stage again this week as we hear part two of my chat with Peperomia expert Sally Williams, learn more about this fascinating group of plants, and get lots of care tips. And I also answer a question about the so-called resurrection plant.

For full show notes, visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/9/26/episode-110-peperomias-part-two.

Sep 27, 2019
Episode 109: Peperomias part one
36:36

Watermelons, raindrops and turtles … the genus Peperomia contains some of our most popular houseplants: so it’s about time I devoted a couple of episodes to them. I meet Peperomia expert Sally Williams, learn more about this fascinating group of plants, and get lots of care tips. And I also answer a question about a peaky heart leaf fern.

Sep 20, 2019
Episode 108: Q&A special
35:59

Jane Perrone tackles listeners' houseplant dilemmas and disasters in this question and answer special episode, from what to do with old houseplant potting mix to how to deal with a droopy Maranta.

For full show notes, visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/9/12/episode-108-questions-special

Sep 13, 2019
Episode 107: Oxalis triangularis aka false shamrock
31:44

I return from holiday to find a dozen bottles of milk turning into cheese on my doorstop, but the good news is that my houseplants are mostly thriving! I check them out, then discuss the wonderfully tolerant (and tasty!) houseplant that is the falseleaf shamrock aka Oxalis triangularis

For full show notes, visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/9/6/episode-107-oxalis-triangularis-aka-false-shamrock

Sep 06, 2019
On The Ledge podcast trailer
01:01

Want to learn how help your houseplants thrive? Jane Perrone's podcast can help. Find a full, thematic list of episodes at https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/get-started-with-on-the-ledge-podcast.

Sep 03, 2019
Episode 106: ten commandments for houseplant care
32:40

I continue the theme of houseplants for beginners this week, as Judy Feldstein of Houseplant411.com presents her ten commandments for houseplant care. I also answer a question about watering habits and fungus gnats.

For full show notes, visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/8/9/episode-106-ten-commandments-for-houseplant-care

Aug 09, 2019
Episode 105: five houseplants for beginners
30:41

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.

For full show notes, visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/8/2/episode-105-houseplants-for-beginners-part-one

Aug 02, 2019
Episode 104: strawberry saxifrage aka Saxifraga stolonifera
29:23

I love strawberry saxifrage (Saxifraga stolonifera) so much I just had to dedicate a whole episode to this lovely plant: and question of the week concerns the beautiful dark-leaved foliage plant Zamioculcas zamiifolia ‘Raven’.

Read the show notes in full here.

Jul 26, 2019
Episode 103: houseplants and sustainability part one - peat-free
37:48

We’re all in no doubt that our houseplants are good for us, but are they good for the environment?  This episode is the start of an occasional series looking at houseplants and sustainability: I’m starting by looking at peat use - can we find a viable alternative to this non-renewable resource? I talk to Sean Higgs, who's been growing carnivorous plants peat-free for many years. And I answer a question about the aerial roots on a monster Anthurium.

Read full show notes here: https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/7/18/episode-103-houseplants-and-sustainability-part-one-peat-free

Jul 19, 2019
Episode 102: spider mites
34:01

Red spider mites may not be visible with the naked eye, but they damage they can do to our houseplants is considerable. I get an insight into the world of the spider mite with the help of two entomologists, and find out how to keep houseplants mite-free. And I answer a question about easy trailing plants that are non-toxic to cats.

Read the full show notes here: https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/7/12/episode-102-spider-mites

Jul 12, 2019
Episode 101: the spider plant (aka Chlorophytum comosum)
36:15

Spider plants are cheap as chips and common as muck, and yet Chlorophytum comosum is also a treasured plant for many houseplant growers. I find out about the wonderful world of the spider plant, from which cultivars to choose to how to keep the leaf tips from going brown.

Visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/7/5/episode-101-spider-plant-chlorophytum for full show notes.

Jul 05, 2019
Episode 100: let's celebrate!
50:05

On The Ledge hits 100 episodes! This week’s show is a celebration of all things OTL: I hear from lots of listeners about how the podcast has impacted on them, count down the top ten most downloaded episodes, and explain some of the things I’ve learned from making the podcast. And - find out how you can enter my giveaway for your chance to win a stylish LED growlight.

See full show notes at https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/6/28/episode-100-lets-celebrate.

Jun 28, 2019
Episode 99: houseplants for low light
42:16

If you’re suffering from window envy, this is the episode for you! I talk to the Houseplant Guru, Lisa Eldred Steinkopf, about her new book Grow In The Dark, and all the wonderful plants you can grow even in dimly-lit rooms. Plus I answer a question about leaves with red undersides.

Read full show notes here: https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/6/21/episode-99-houseplants-for-shady-spots

Jun 21, 2019
Episode 98: the science of plant propagation
41:02

I explore the botany of houseplant propagation with horticulturist Leslie Halleck and answer a question about a floppy calla lily.

Read full show notes here: https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/6/13/episode-98-the-science-of-plant-propagation

Jun 14, 2019
Episode 97: indoor jungles with designer Martha Krempel
31:01

London-based garden designer Martha Krempel shows me her stunning indoor/outdoor garden, featuring some seriously big plants, including a towering succulent Euphorbia called Pablo. And I ask a question about how listeners document their houseplant care regime. 

Read full show notes here: 

https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/6/7/episode-97-indoor-jungles-with-martha-krempel

Jun 07, 2019
Episode 96: plants for bedrooms with Baylor Chapman
31:14

Jane Perrone chats to Baylor Chapman, author of new book Decorating With Plants and founder of California plant design studio Lila B Design, about plants for the bedroom. We finally smash the myth that houseplants shouldn’t be placed in bedrooms, discuss the challenges of finding plants to suit bedrooms, and put forward some clever ideas to green up your sleeping area without taking up too much room.

For full show notes, visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/5/31/episode-96-plants-for-bedrooms-with-baylor-chapman.

May 31, 2019
Episode 95: airplants, cacti and succulents at the Chelsea flower show 2019
41:01

I visit the Chelsea flower show to talk to three expert exhibitors about air plants, cacti and succulents, and answer a question about a Pilea with a poorly leaf.

For full show notes, visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/5/24/episode-95-airplants-cacti-and-succulents-at-the-chelsea-flower-show-2019

May 24, 2019
Episode 94: carnivorous plants with Peter D'Amato (part two)
46:42

In the second part of my interview with Peter D’Amato, founder of the nursery California Carnivores, I get Peter to answer listener questions about Nepenthes, discuss the weird world of naming carnivorous plants, and find out about a very unusual side project Peter has been working on.

For full show notes, visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/5/17/episode-94-carnivorous-plants-with-peter-damato-part-two

May 17, 2019
Episode 93: carnivorous plants with Peter D'Amato
44:01

I chat to Peter D’Amato, founder of the nursery California Carnivores, one of world’s leading experts in venus flytraps, pitcher plants, sundews and more. We talk about how his obsession began, find out what happens when a rate gets stuck in a giant pitcher, and discover what a ‘crapivore’ is. Plus - I answer a question about repotting an Anthurium.

For full show notes, visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/5/10/episode-93-carnivorous-plants-with-peter-damato

May 10, 2019
Episode 92: Hilton Carter
45:19

I talk to houseplant stylist and Instagram sensation Hilton Carter about his new book Wild At Home, his plants and why indoor gardening is the perfect escape from the stresses of modern life. And I answer a question about a pelargonium with a problem.

For full show notes, visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/5/3/episode-92-hilton-carter

May 03, 2019
Episode 91: growing herbs indoors
48:16

I talk to YouTube gardening sensation Huw Richards about growing herbs indoors and answer a question about a Dracaena that’s receiving unwanted attention from a pet. Plus a bonus bit of seed sowing for the OTL sowalong.

For full show notes, visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/4/26/episode-91-growing-herbs-indoors

Apr 26, 2019
Episode 90: fertilisers for houseplants plus OTL sowalong part four
42:11

From tablets to foliar sprays, choosing what products to use when you fertilise houseplants can seem like a bit of a minefield. Leigh Hunt, the RHS’s principal horticultural advisor, joins me to explain why we need to feed houseplants in the first place, what they need and how to decode those numbers on the back of the packet! Plus I answer a question about aquascaping soil and bring you part four of the On The Ledge sowalong, looking at what to do once your seedlings have emerged.

For full show notes, visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2019/4/5/episode-90-fertilisers-for-houseplants-plus-otl-sowalong-part-four

Apr 05, 2019
Episode 89: OTL houseplant sowalong part three
38:49

This week is an On The Ledge sowalong extravaganza! We’re now getting to the nitty gritty - the actual seed sowing bit - so my dog Wolfie and I are off to my potting shed to see what’s sprouting there, plus I have special guest Robert Pavlis to answer a question about using wood ash on houseplants.

Mar 29, 2019
Episode 88: African violets with Annie Rieck plus #OTLsowalong part two
53:21

African violets have been loved and nurtured by generations of houseplant growers, but they’ve got a reputation as plants that our grandparents love to grow: cute, maybe, but not cool.

That’s changing, though. Many of us are (re)discovering that African violets make wonderful houseplants! And now there’s more choice than ever before, as breeding programmes have created a rainbow of flower colours and styles, variegated leaves, tiny teacup plants and huge dinnerplate-sized ones.

I talked to African violet grower and show judge Annie Rieck about why she loves these plants, and how to grow them successfully. Annie has her own podcast called All About African Violets and has been growing them since the 1990s.

Mar 21, 2019
Episode 87: conservatory love with Ruth Kassinger, plus #OTLsowalong part one
52:03

Do you remember that one key moment when you realised you wanted - or needed - to be surrounded by plants? In popular science writer Ruth Kassinger’s book Paradise Under Glass: The Education of an Indoor Gardener, she chronicles her transformation from very reluctant gardener to the keeping of a verdant conservatory - what she calls ‘her personal tropical paradise’.

Mar 15, 2019
Episode 86: houseplant styling with Rob Stacewicz
44:09

Rob Stacewicz’s London home is stuffed with gorgeous houseplants, but most of them are planted in groups. He gives me a tour, and explains why planting more than one specimen in the same container really works. Plus I answer a question about a bird of paradise.

Mar 08, 2019
Episode 85: forest cacti part two - propagation, plus Rhipsalis, Lepismium and Hatiora
32:12

Forest cactus expert Mark Preston returns to talk about propagation, plus Hatiora, Lepismium and Rhipsalis. And I answer a question ahout getting hold of that must-have plant, Christia obcordata aka the butterfly plant.

Mar 01, 2019
Episode 84: Forest cacti part one: Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti
34:54

I am joined by epiphytic cactus expert Mark Preston to talk about how to take care of Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving cacti, aka Schlumbergera and Rhipsalidopsis. And I answer a question about baby spider plants.

Feb 22, 2019
Episode 83: Scott Cain of @BoysWithPlants and @Tropicaloco
44:35

I talk to Scott Cain of Instagram accounts @tropicaloco and @boyswithplants about his houseplant collection, his new book and what it’s like keeping a whole forest of foliage plants alive on an Australian balcony. And I answer a question about a Monstera with dodgy leaves.

Feb 07, 2019
Episode 82: growing hoyas (aka the wax plant)
44:08

Hoyas are shooting up the popularity charts, and so they should: these climbing and trailing vines have lovely foliage and flowers that are otherworldy and sometimes heavenly scented. Doug Chamberlain of Vermont Hoyas joins me to discuss his collection, his favourite species and how to care for these enchanting plants.

Feb 01, 2019
Episode 81: botanical Latin, explained
28:12

ZZ plant or Zamioculcas zamiifolia? Botanical Latin can seem like a confusing alphabet soup that’s hard to say and even harder to figure out. But I love learning about the Latin names of houseplants, because there’s always something to learn about the history of the plant, who brought it into cultivation and what it looks like. With the help of guests John Wright and Daniel Sparler, this episode helps to demystify botanical Latin, explain why it’s important, and set you on the road to becoming a scholar of plant taxonomy - the science of naming plants.

Full show notes at janeperrone.com.

Jan 25, 2019
Episode 80: houseplant trends in China, Thailand and Japan with Michael Perry
37:46

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek joins me to share some of his insights into the houseplant scene in China, Japan and Thailand, from how much you’d pay for a 6ft Adenium in Thailand to how the Chinese are marketing houseplants to children. Plus I answer a jaw-dropping question from a listener who has a peace lily that’s anything but peaceful…

 

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes. 

Jan 18, 2019
Episode 79: houseplant gadgets, from hand lenses to hygrometers
32:34

One of the boons of indoor gardening is that this hobby really doesn’t necessitate a lot of kit: a watering can, some pots and some potting mix will get you started. But as your plant obsession grows, there are some gadgets that will help to keep your leafy charges happy and help you deal with routine maintenance. In this episode I highlight some of the gadgets I have found useful, from soil moisture testers to hand lenses. And I answer three questions: one about Calatheas, another on Aloe vera and a final one about variegation in Monsteras.

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes. 

Jan 11, 2019
Episode 78: houseplant hoarding
24:58

We’ve all been there: the moment when that must-have houseplant leaps off the shelf and into your basket (real or virtual) and you have absolutely no idea how you are going to fit it into your home. In this episode I hear from a couple of listeners - Ehren Wessel and Letty Reynaldo - about their plant addictions, and I chat to hoarding expert Jo Cooke about how to know if you have a problem with hoarding houseplants, and what you can do to improve the situation.

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes. 

Jan 04, 2019
Episode 77: coral-coloured houseplants, festive care tips, and a look ahead to 2019
21:16

As it’s the final episode of the year, I thought I’d have some fun and discuss some of the houseplants that embody the Pantone colour of the year for 2019, ‘living coral’; plus I offer up some festive houseplant care tips and talk about what’s coming up in 2019 on the podcast.

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes. 

Dec 21, 2018
Episode 76: how to take great photos of your houseplants
39:11

Whether you’re keeping records of houseplants’ growth or showing them off on social media, taking photographs indoors can be tricky. I speak to three plant photographers to find out their top tips on lighting, framing and focusing your shot - and learn about some simple, inexpensive pieces of kit that can help you up your game. Plus - I answer a question about a Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ that’s letting its name down by being anything but pink.

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes. 

Dec 15, 2018
Episode 75: do houseplants clean the air?
36:20

You’ve read the headlines, but do houseplants really clean the air in your house? A Nasa study from decades ago is the oft-cited authority on the subject, but surely there must be some more recent research into the topic?

Thankfully, the answer is yes. Curtis Gubb is in the final year of a PhD at the University of Birmingham. He’s working on a project to discover whether houseplants really do have a positive effect on air quality, working in partnership with the RHS. I chatted to him about his research findings so far, and found out a bit more about the truth behind the headlines on air quality and houseplants as a route to healthy skin.

For full show notes, visit janeperrone.com.

Dec 07, 2018
Episode 74: Aquascaping with George Farmer
43:54

Professional aquascaper George Farmer turned his hobby into a successful career, becoming one of the stars of the aquarium scene. I visited his home in Cambridgeshire to find out where it all began, get some tips on how to get started with your first underwater landscape, and how his love of aquascaping helped him deal with PTSD in the wake of his previous career in active service as an RAF bomb disposal operative.

See janeperrone.com for full show notes.

Nov 30, 2018
Episode 73: Dutch houseplant adventures part two
39:54

I recently visited the Netherlands as a guest of The Joy of Plants; last week’s episode covered my trip to the Flora Holland show, and this week I’m talking about the plants I saw at the three nurseries we visited the following day - Amstel BV, Ubink and Vireo.

James Wong was there too so we got to geek out over houseplants together - fun! Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes. 

Nov 23, 2018
Episode 72: Dutch houseplant adventures part one
27:29

I recently visited the Netherlands as a guest of The Joy of Plants; it was an informative and fun trip, and a brilliant opportunity to understand the fascinating world of Dutch ornamental plant production. This week I’m talking about the plants I saw at the Flora Holland trade show during day one of the visit - next week I’ll cover the greenhouse growers we visited. Former OTL guest (I think we can now call him a regular…) James Wong was there too so we got to geek out over houseplants together - fun!

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes.

Nov 16, 2018
Episode 71: Weird Plants by botanist Chris Thorogood
42:25

Houseplants are all weird and wonderful, but there are some that outdo the rest for their ability to surprise us.

Dr Chris Thorogood is a botanist at Oxford Botanic Garden with a clever sideline in painting brilliant pictures of the plants he loves and studies: his new book, Weird Plants, is a brilliant book for anyone who wants to delve a bit deeper into some of the strangest corners of the botanical world.

In today’s episode I find out from Chris why engineers are studying the slippery qualities of Nepenthes pitchers, which creature uses Low’s pitcher plant as a toilet, and why Stapelia flowers look mouldy.

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes. 

Nov 09, 2018
Episode 70: OTL at the RHS London Urban Garden Show
01:07:31

I normally record On The ledge in my pyjamas with an unwashed face and a mug of tea at ten o’clock at night, so last Friday it was rather a novelty to be at the RHS halls in London, it’s rather a fully dressed and mostly clean, with a cocktail in my hand, recording an episode of On The Ledge in front of a live audience.

My guests were Alys Fowler, Birmingham-based gardener, garden writer and author of houseplant book Plant Love, and London-based horticulturist and garden designer Rob Stacewicz, both fellow plant addicts: I talked to Rob about his incredible UV Garden installation at the show showcasing, and finding out what’s on Alys’s plant Christmas list and taking questions from the audience.

 

Nov 02, 2018
Episode 69: Jane Perrone's houseplant tour part two
35:46

If you’ve listened to episode after episode of me talking about my plants, and have wondered exactly what my plant collection looks like, now is your chance. (I did do a kitchen houseplant tour back in episode 38 but lots of plants have been moved since then…)

In this episode I offer up a tour of my kitchen and half of my sun room plants, and you can watch a video on YouTube as well as listening to an audio account here.

Visit Janeperrone.com for full show notes.

Oct 19, 2018
Episode 68: preparing your houseplants for winter
30:54

It’s the time of year when we do the houseplant shuffle - that desperate effort to get all the houseplants safely inside before they are ripped apart by winter winds or rendered crinkly with an overnight frost. In this episode I demonstrate how I get a plant ready to come inside, and talk to Norwegian nursery owner and houseplant collector Tommy Tonsberg about how he gets his plants through the long winter.

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes. 

Oct 12, 2018
Episode 67, part seven: Epiphyllum anguliger aka fishbone cactus
06:35

The first challenge with this plant is mastering its Latin name! The genus Epiphyllum belongs to the forest or orchid cacti, named for their orchid-like stems. Anguliger means ‘angle bearing’ and if you’ve seen the flattened stems of this plant you’ll know why! Its striking zigzag or ric rac patterns make E. anguliger a popular feature on Instagram.

For full show notes visit janeperrone.com.

Oct 09, 2018
Episode 67, part six: Sedum morganianum aka burro's tail
07:53

Sedum morganianum was a bit of a botanical mystery until ten years ago. No one really knew where it grew in the wild, although it was believed to live in Veracruz in Mexico. Then a couple of botanists stumbled across some specimens growing in a ravine near Coatepec in Veracruz, Mexico. Read the full tale - including how the plant was first found and brought into cultivation in 1935 - in this piece from the International Crassulaceae Network.

See janeperrone.com for full show notes. 

Oct 08, 2018
Episode 67, part five: Peperomia prostrata
06:13

As the Latin name suggests, in its native Brazil this tiny Peperomia grows by creeping around on the ground and along tree bark. That said, it grows brilliantly as a trailing pot plant, and is so diminutive that it’s perfect for keeping ‘on the ledge’. It’s a member of the pepper family, so you may seen this sold as ‘trailing pepper plant’.

If you squint you might mistake it for string of hearts, and the stems are equally as wiry, but the leaves are fleshier and rounder - some compare the shape and variegation to a turtle’s back!

Visit janeperrone.com for full details. 

Oct 05, 2018
Episode 67, part four: Episcia cupreata aka flame violet
07:35

The flame violet holds its own among any variegated plant you can name, and yet for some reason they are not as popular as they should be! These members of the Gesneriad clan grow in central America where they tend to romp around at ground level, but they also make brilliant trailing plants. The ‘cupreata’ bit means coppery, reflecting the metallic tones of the foliage.

They have been bred extensively to create many beautiful hybrids: some majoring on the flowers, but mostly it’s the foliage that’s the central attraction.

Visit Janeperrone.com for full show notes.

Oct 04, 2018
Episode 67, part three: Ceropegia woodii, aka string of hearts
08:51

String of hearts, hearts entangled, chain of hearts … there are so many common names for this popular trailing plant. It’s simple to grow, widely available and endlessly fascinating. 

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes.

Oct 03, 2018
Episode 67 part two: Hoya linearis
07:08

This plant grows in the Himalayan region and is an epiphyte, dangling from trees like green furry tinsel. 

Mine hasn’t flowered yet, but I am looking forward to the clusters of starry white flowers that are reputedly lemon-scented. 

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes.

Oct 02, 2018
Episode 67 part one: Senecio rowleyanus aka string of pearls
07:28

It’s trailing plants week! We’re looking at seven iconic trailing plants across the week, in bite-sized daily mini-episodes. First up: string of pearls, aka Senecio rowleyanus.

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes. 

Oct 01, 2018
Episode 66: propagation with Caro Langton and Rose Ray
41:03

You’ve gathered an awesome collection of houseplants, learning how to care for each and every one (with a few casualties along the way!) but what next? Propagation - the art and science of making more plants from the ones you already have - is a great way of getting to know your plants better, bulking up your collection and providing gifts for friends and family.

I interview Rose Ray and Caro Langton of green interiors firm Ro Co about their new book Root, Nurture, Grow. From leaf cuttings to air layering, it covers the tips and techniques that will help you improve your cuttings hit rate.

We begin with a bit of a distraction - talking about our dogs Huxley and Wolfie - and the wonderful charity that is The Cinnamon Trust - before getting onto discussing the book. I find out why they decided to focus on propagation for their subject matter, why they love grafting cacti, and which little-known propagation techniques we should all be adopting.

For full show notes visit janeperrone.com.

Sep 28, 2018
Episode 65: moth orchids aka Phalaenopsis
52:45

Phalaenopsis orchids are the most ubiquitous of flowering houseplants: love them or hate them, you can’t escape their good qualities, from their ability to survive in the home to the longlasting flowers. In this episode I gather the best care tips for your moth orchids, decode all the Phalaenopsis jargon and find out whether you really do need to water these plants with ice cubes (spoiler alert: the answer is no).

In this episode I find out how to look after moth orchids properly from watering to repotting with Raffaele Di Lallo, take a visit Double H Nurseries, the huge orchid nursery on the south coast in England, to find out about the latest developments in orchid breeding, and offer up an extended Q&A with orchid expert Susanne Masters.

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes

Sep 21, 2018
Episode 64: Darryl Cheng aka House Plant Journal
01:00:22

Darryl Cheng - timelapse photographer extraordinaire, Instagram maven and houseplant doctor - is my guest this week.

We discuss everything from why instructions to grow a plant in ‘bright indirect light’ doesn’t really help houseplant growers to the dangers of anthropomorphising plants. Follow Darryl on Instagram and Twitter and support his Patreon here, and read the full show notes for this episode at janeperrone.com.

Sep 14, 2018
Episode 63: Palms
45:00

Palms are one of the most enduringly popular houseplants: stars of the Victorian glasshouse, darlings of the art deco hotel dining room and now denizens of terrariums and terraces alike. This week's episode looks at some of the most commonly available palms to grow as houseplants, finds out how to look after them, and investigates some of the more unusual members of the clan. My guest, botanist Scott Zona, is a Miami, Florida-based palm expert: you can find him on Twitter as @Scott_Zona.

And I answer a listener question about a cactus that's refusing to produce new prickles, with the help of British Cactus and Succulent Societypresident Colin Walker (who I interviewed back in episode 59).

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes.

Sep 07, 2018
Episode 62: Coleus
43:27

'Campfire' ... 'Spiced Curry' ... 'Alabama Sunset' ... 'Dipt in Wine' ... no, I am not reminiscing about my summer holiday, I am of course talking about varieties of the fantastic plant that is the Coleus. I was once rather dismissive of these plants, but in recent years I've come to realise how wrong I was. Dr Hessayon calls Coleus 'the poor man's Croton' and he's right - they are a lot cheaper and easier to grow! They come in a fascinating range of shapes and colours, from 'Dark Chocolate' to 'Pink Chaos'.

Many people treat them as annuals, and they are cheap and easy to grow enough that there's no shame in this approach, but it's also possible to overwinter your Coleus going over winter. I sowed a packet of 'Rainbow Mix' Coleus seed as part of this spring's On The Ledge sowalong and it's further cemented my love of this plant family.

I talked to Kelly Norris, director of horticulture and education at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, about the garden's incredible Coleus collection, find out why Coleus goes under so many different names including Solenostemon and Plectranthus, and discuss how to overwinter Coleus indoors. Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes.

Aug 31, 2018
Episode 61: growlights with Leslie Halleck
41:18

Leslie Halleck's book Gardening Under Lights (published by Timber Press) is a really welcome book for those of us who haven't fully dipped our toes into the confusing world of artificial light for our plants.

In this episode, I find out about what kind of light houseplants need, investigate the pros and cons of the difference types from LECs to LEDs and beyond, and discuss how cannabis growing fits into the picture. 

I also find out whether you need to invest in a light meter, whether IKEA's LED offering is worth a look, and whether it's possible to buy a non-ugly growlight!

 

Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes. 

Aug 24, 2018
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

Kevin Espiritu of epicgardening.com gives the lowdown on what hydroponics is, how it works and what you need to get started. Plus a listener question about an unhappy fern.

For full show notes visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2018/2/9/episode-35-hydroponics.

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. 

Read the full show notes here: https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2018/1/18/episode-32-the-venus-flytrap

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. 

Visit https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/2018/1/12/episode-31-the-tradescantia-group for full show notes. 

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 - 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.

See full show notes at https://www.janeperrone.com/on-the-ledge/terrariums.

Feb 28, 2017