Ten methods to make your houseplant dependancy extra sustainable — Jane Perrone



It was inevitable {that a} backlash towards the surge of curiosity in houseplants would come: there have been a slew of articles just lately about “the darkish aspect of the houseplant interest” together with this one within the Telegraph and this from The Atlantic.

In my podcast On The Ledge, I’ve been speaking for the previous 4 years about how houseplant rising may be made as sustainable as attainable, together with utilizing peat-free compost, rising from seed and inspiring plant swaps.

Right here’s my guidelines to ensure your houseplant interest is as eco-friendly as attainable…

  • Go peat-free

    Digging up peat from peat bogs to show right into a potting medium for crops is horrible for the setting. Peatlands retailer half a trillion tonnes of carbon, twice as a lot because the world’s forests: they’re helpful ecosystems that shouldn’t be destroyed. That’s why I signed this letter to the UK authorities calling for an entire ban on the sale of peat compost within the UK earlier than the tip of 2021.
    Houseplants don’t have to develop in peat: all mine develop in peat-free potting medium, even carnivorous crops!
    Try On The Ledge episode 103 for the lowdown on rising houseplants peat-free.

  • Study to propagate

    When you can grasp the abilities of taking cuttings, rising crops from seed, air layering and division, you’ll acquire a far deeper understanding of your crops, and make plenty of new crops to share with mates.

    Try greater than a dozen On The Ledge episodes that target rising from seed and different types of propagation.

  • Get into plant swaps

    Some of the thrilling elements of the houseplant world are swaps – whether or not that’s in-person meetups (keep in mind these?) or trades carried out by submit. No, you received’t begin out with a picture-perfect, full plant, however you’ll be taught heaps alongside the way in which, and have the enjoyment of nurturing your plant because it matures.

    Discover out extra about plant swaps in On The Ledge episode 112.

  • Purchase secondhand

    So most of the stuff I’ve purchased for my houseplants is secondhand, from the cabinets they sit on and the pots they’re in, to my watering cans and glass cloches. Browse charity outlets (aka thrift shops), go on Fb Market, Gumtree and the like, be part of native Freecycle and Freegle teams, and also you’ll quickly unearth a treasure trove of stuff that’s low cost and even free. You’ll be protecting stuff out of landfill, discovering distinctive stuff and getting the nice and cozy glow of satisfaction that comes from seeking out cool stuff.

    I discuss concerning the pleasure of thrifting in On the Ledge episode 179.

  • Don’t purchase into the lie that ‘you may by no means have too many crops’

    Earlier than you make any new plant purchases, assume arduous about the place this new plant suits into your assortment, whether or not you’ve got the time and abilities to take care of it. Having too many crops flips the change from crops as an help to your psychological well being to crops as a reason for stress. Plus, crops that find yourself within the bin after a month since you don’t have time for them is the alternative of sustainable rising.

    Take heed to my On The Ledge episode on plant hoarding right here.

  • Say sure to sustainable pest management

    Systemic pesticides ought to be an absolute final resort in terms of controlling houseplant pests. That stated: don’t assume that as a result of one thing is “pure” or “natural” that it doesn’t have a possible danger to you, your pets or wildlife both. Organic controls are a good way of coping with an infestation, however don’t assume you are able to do one easy factor and remedy the issue eternally. Most pest issues require fixed vigilance and loads of spraying and wiping leaves.

    Take heed to On The Ledge episodes on organic controls right here and right here.

  • Educate your self about plant poaching

    Are you aware the place that wizened previous cactus you purchased on Etsy really got here from? Plant poaching is devastating plant communities in lots of elements of the world, together with South Africa and elements of Southeast Asia. Educate your self concerning the indicators to search for when shopping for crops so that you don’t fall into the lure of shopping for wild-collected crops.

    Take heed to On The Ledge episode 169 on cactus and succulent poaching.

  • Reduce down on plastic

    From plant labels to plastic pots, gardening is awash with plastic – a lot of it’s not recyclable. That is beginning to change, but it surely takes a shift in tradition for issues to actually transfer in the best route. I do use plastic pots, however they get reused dozens of occasions: I by no means purchase new plastic pots. I make plant labels out of previous yoghurt pots (reduce them up with a pair of sharp scissors), and attempt to purchase from sellers who provide plastic-free packaging.

    Take heed to On The Ledge episode 127 on pots.

  • Help growers who champion sustainability

    The lure of a budget grocery store houseplant is robust, but it surely’s very important that we assist small scale growers who’re investing in sustainable approaches, going peat-free and avoiding plastic packaging.

    Try my houseplant shopping for guides for the US and the UK (this features a part on sustainable suppliers).

  • Help plant societies

    When you actually wish to grow to be an skilled on a specific form of houseplant, plant societies can assist you develop your data, meet fellow growers and entry seeds and crops of rarer species that haven’t been taken from the wild.

    Discover a checklist of plant societies within the US and the UK.

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