This Week In Houseplants 6/5/23

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Hope you’re all having a great week! Here are some of the things that have bee rattling around my brain this week:

It was my birthday on Monday, and I asked for some house plant books. I got Tree Stories, The Plant Rescuer’s book and Legends of the Leaf by Jane Perrone. Expect reviews soon! I’ve recently read a book I’ve had for ages and never read and it was…bizarre. No mention of humidifiers, used weird (and sometimes just plain wrong) common names for plants, and had a whole page on Anthurium Crystallinum, except it was clearly a Clarinerveum. Nah.

I have two house plant tours this week, one from Harli G, and the other from onlyplants which is more of a greenhouse tour.

I got more new plants! Which means there will be a Plant Haul on my YouTube channel tomorrow.

I finally (FINALLY) got my hands on a Ficus Moonshine, which is a rubber plant with speckly variegation:

I also got a lemon lime Maranta:

Aaaaand a baby Monstera:

I already have plenty of Monsteras BUT I wanted to grow one in bright, direct light from a baby and see how long it takes for it to develop fenestrations. You don’t need to tell me how to party.

I watched this video on YouTube, which shows a rubber plant expert showing us how to get a rubber plant to grow new leaves all down the stem. It was TERRIFYING. He basically bends it over so the growth point is pointing down. It works though! I would be WAY too worried about snapping the stem, but it got me thinking…I wonder if I laid my rubber plant down with the growth point in the shade and the stem in the light I’d get the same effect…

I did Macrame! I bought a kit from The Works and whilst it was…fine it is NOT for me. I love knitting and crochet and whilst Macrame is technically easier (I made a plant hanger in like an hour) there’s far too much measuring for me. And I am NOT good at measuring. Or counting. I got a B in my maths GCSE and I’m still shocked about it.

I was one of those rare students that was either awesome at a subject or awful. I got full marks in my geography A-level and a low C in History. I FAILED my biology GCSE but still got two Bs in science because I was good at chemistry and physics. Make it make sense.


What the heck is this article. They draw the conclusion that house plants are beneficial to mental health because when people look at pictures of house plants they feel calm. One of the pictures was a Calathea. I assure you, there is a BIG difference between looking at a healthy Calathea, and caring for one.

I plan on doing a whole article on plants and mental health, but I think it’s one of those blanket remedies people like to throw out which help a few people but cause others to spiral.

I LOVE plants but they don’t really impact my mental health unless I’m feeling down, in which case I neglect them and feel guilty. Other people feel solace in their plants – I find solace in crisps, Line of Duty, and BTD5 (not 6).

So, we all know that house plants don’t purify the air in any significant way. However, a lab near Paris has genetically modified a Pothos that’s 30 times more effective at air purifying than a standard one. It’s £145 and field tests haven’t yielded significant results. Considering you could get 30 Pothos for £145, one wonders if it’s worth it.

Beware, the article contains the line ‘it’s like a biologist’s wet dream’. Nasty.

In other news, I’m getting a new hygrometer. I gave mine away last year (plus it was broken from being in terrarium at 95% humidity – it did NOT like that).

I want to test if pebble trays work, so I need a hygrometer to sort that out. If you have any other dubious practices you’ll like me to try out, leave me a comment. Interesting that I was crap at biology but it pertains most to my career now. And how I got full marks in geography but have zero sense of direction (you should see me draw a diagram of a glacier though).

Hope everyone has a fun weekend. We’re hitting up a new big Tesco and I am EXCITED. Getting old is weird, but I’m cheaper to entertain than I’ve ever been!

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

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