• Root Houseplants

Q&A with @thejadeplant_

Updated: Sep 24

In our latest blog we do a Q&A with another one of our favourite Instagram plant accounts, @thejadeplant_. Be sure to give her account a follow for some serious plant inspo plus she's a total babe too!

So Jade, can you give us a bit of background into how you got into plants?

It started with two Jade trees that were passed to me from my parents. They were my mums favourite plants that she had for many years, and she loved to propagate from it and give pieces of it to her friends.. and so when she sadly passed away, me and my dad decided to put some of her ashes into each Jade tree so that she could continue to flourish and grow in a different kind of way! I also love to propagate from the Jade trees and pass cuttings on to my friends as my mum would, with each plant being that little extra special because of my mum! And it was through experimenting with propagation of these Jade trees that I really began my fascination with plants and their determination to grow through cuttings! 

Did you ever think you’d end up with such a collection?

No way!! Like lots of people, I started with cheap cacti/succulents, rescue plants and plant swaps.. some I still have and some I killed looooong ago. I was also really lucky to have met some cool planty people who worked at my university, that would allow me access to their rooftop gardens and greenhouses, including the plants!! I was given first dibs on any plant that they didn’t want; including a 25+ year old giant agave! The rest is through propagation, impulse/bargain buys and amazing instagram giveaways! And before I knew it, I’m living in a jungle! 

How do you keep up with the care of so many plants? Do you have a watering/feeding schedule?

It’s actually all kind of random! I usually just shove my hand into the soil to check, or I wait for the plant to tell me through drooped leaves. I think it’s better to be a bit more random with watering as I don’t imagine the weather keeps to a schedule either haha!

As far as other general care goes, I just garden as I go!, fixing a plant or wiping some leaves while waiting for the kettle to boil, that kind of thing.. it does mean that I take ages to do things though.

Do you have any horticultural heroes?

Is it too cheesy to say you guys? Haha! 

I’ve not really ventured into that side of the plant world. My love for plants stems more into their evolution and their incredible characteristics that they’ve adapted for survival. So in that respect, it’s going to have to be the classic David Attenborough who has been my plant evo teacher from day 1. 

Do you have a favourite? I mean, I’m all about the Aroids!

That’s such a hard one! I love them all for different reasons! It has to be a tie between the philodendrons and the calathea; the diversity in each is just incredible! 

What are your biggest plant successes?

My Banana tree definitely! It’s such a rewarding plant and has given me many banana babies since I’ve had it.

My bird of paradise, that baby has grown massively since I first bought it! 

& my carnivorous plants; which have been tough to care for but all the more rewarding! Other successes; the aschynanthus and dracaena surculosa you gave away really bounced back after looking a little thin, and finally my epiphyte branch that has lots of air plants and mosses surprisingly surviving on there! 

And plant fails?

Apart from killing a few Alocasia and calathea, my biggest plant fail was leaving my mounted staghorn fern on the floor to dry off after a watering and forgetting that I have bunnies patrolling the floors for any vegetation that they can find and before I knew it they had eaten most of the leaves! Luckily it’s reviving itself but that is my plant fail!

What do you think the plant trend of 2019 is?

Hmm, well it’s always been about the variegation, And i don’t think we will EVER grow out of that one! But I’m seeing more varieties of ‘velvety’ iridescent leaves similar to the Philodendron micans, mostly anthurium so far, which are alllll on my wish list! 

I also really hope some kind of ‘people with plants’ blooms as an insta trend as I think the plant community is kind enough for people to introduce themselves and get to know each other a little more intimately!

Best recommendation for a starter plant?

I’ve said it so many times and I will say it again.. if your looking for a no fuss and friendly first plant, get yourself down to Asda and buy a peace lily (which are pretty big!) for only £2.50!!!! 

Peace lilies are great beginner plants, if you can get over the flowers dying off!They’re really resilient and they literally tell you, through dropped leaves, when they need a water and I think that that gives you a really great insight into plant habits, and how their water uptake can differ depending on its positioning. Other great beginner plants are; Devil's ivy/pothos, ZZ plants and Spider plants! I’ve noticed through talking to new plant owners that they tend to over water their plants while trying to establish a routine. I always say it’s better to underwater than to over water, as more often than not, plants can bounce back from a small drought but will usually drown in soggy swamped soil! 

What plants should beginners avoid?

Any fern, ESPECIALLY the maidenhair fern, even though it is soo tempting.. it WILL die unless your home is already an Eden. 

Alocasia and Calathea can also be big pains for beginners and if they die, they can leave you feeling like a hopeless plant parent! But don’t be discouraged, these plants are divas even for us more experienced plant parents! So don’t give up!