Plantgasm: I Love Plants Too! [en]

[fr] Mes plantes!

A few months ago, I discovered Derek‘s new blog Plantgasm. Derek and I have met a few times, but to be honest, I had no idea (or had completely forgot) that he loved plants.

I’ve spent a few hours (in a couple of sittings) since then reading through his entries and looking at his photos. You should do so too if you have any interest in green growing things!

I’ve always liked plants too, and from the moment I moved into “my new room” at my parents’ (bigger, downstairs, cat-compatible — I was 9) I remember inviting plants in to share my living space. (No huge surprise here, there were plants all over the house already, and given the amount of time my dad spent and still spends tending the garden, he probably also likes plants.)

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My balcony plants

In Montreal earlier this year, I realized something important about myself: I’m not a city person. As in — and it’s become increasingly obvious these last years — though I like living in Lausanne-City, I’m really happy outdoors, on the lake, in the mountains, on the balcony, and doing stuff with plants and animals. And I guess living “in town” in Lausanne works because Lausanne is such a tiny village, and I live almost out of town (translate “10 minutes away from the centre”).

So, my flat is full of plants, and for the last two years I’ve been going “heck, I really need to repot them and chop some down”. Well, this spring, I got to work. And, even though I’m a bit tired of documenting my life, as I mentioned in my previous post, I wanted to show you some of my green pets. My photos are nowhere as nice as Derek’s, of course, but better than none!

These two are among my favorite (as far as I’ve been able to figure out, begonia maculata or tamaya, though they are clearly different variations, one having way bigger leaves than the other).

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This guy regularly falls off his perch when he gets top-heavy and I forget to water him. He’s recently graced us with flowers (maybe the fertilizer helped!) and I have a bunch of cuttings growing in various pots.

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Here’s the little brother, also very easy to reproduce and regularly gracing me with pink flowers.

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Higher up, you caught a glimpse of the chopped-off-and-repotted top of my monstera deliciosa.

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There used to be two stalks 🙂

My problem was triple: the plant was getting huge, all the lower leaves had fallen off, and the stem at the base of the plant was very thin and sickly. So I started the big monstera reduction and multiplication operation. (It actually started a couple of years back when I chopped off the last leaf of both stems and repotted them — happily in my kitchen now — but it just shifted the problem a few centimeters to the right or left.)

In addition to chopping off and repotting the healthy leafy part of the plant, I had some fun untangling the roots (hadn’t realized how long they were!) and tried some experiments: sticking bits of roots in pots (attached to the plant or not), and also sections of stem with no leaf but some root. So far, it seems that “root in pot” doesn’t work very well. The jury is still out for “leafless stem in pot”.

As you can see in the two photos below, the monstera has started budding at the bottom of both stems. I’m going to wait and watch before doing anything rash.

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Other members of my green family include this guy, recently brought back from the dead:

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A dracaena which was drowned too often and needs repotting:

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A banana tree that has recently produced offspring:

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A spider plant that’s reaching out:

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And a few more hanging out on the kitchen table and in various other parts of the flat:

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(Most of the photos have descriptive text, click on them to read a little more.)

Next steps, once I’ve got all the houseplants under control: a pallet garden and fun edible things on my balcony, more orchids, and… a fish tank in the office (yes, I know fish aren’t plants; they’re somewhere in between plants and cats).

3 thoughts on “Plantgasm: I Love Plants Too! [en]

  1. Way to grow, Stephanie! I still remember the awesome tour you gave me of Lausanne, even though I was jetlagged and crazy. I’m so glad my site has inspired you to document your plants. The best thing about writing it has been discovering how many of my friends are also secret planters.

    That Monstera looks great! I’ve had to chop mine up several times and he’s always bounced back bigger and better.

    And I’m envious of that Begonia. I’ve killed every Begonia I’ve ever grown except one, and I’m kind of terrified of the one I have. What’s your secret?

  2. Thanks for dropping by, Derek! Figured it was also time for my “offline interests” to have a bit more space on this blog. I’m not worried about my monstera — it’s properly a monstrous plant that I’ve never succeeded to kill (there is an element of “survival of the fittest” in my plant collection).

    As for the begonia thingies (I actually thought they were just “cousins” until I looked them up a bit better while writing my post), I really don’t know! They just seem terribly easy to grow. Maybe try getting that particular sub-class of begonia?

    Thanks again for the inspiration!

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