caring for these auricles is not for beginners


EIt’s been a year since I didn’t recognize my wife. Suddenly and without warning, she dragged a number of indoor plants into our apartment. She, who was never interested in anything green on the balcony or in the garden and even confused basil with mint. The hormones, I thought at the time, the pregnancy. And I quickly remembered my brother-in-law’s advice: always let things be done, never contradict, just nod and smile. nesting instinct. that passes.

Andrew Frey

Freelance author in the science section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

Complete nonsense. It’s only getting worse. The little one is almost a year old now, but my wife’s enthusiasm for plants is undiminished. I now have to spend Saturday afternoons in the garden center while the Bundesliga plays past me unseen. However, the radius of action there is precisely defined: my wife is only interested in indoor plants, cachepots and knick-knacks, while I prefer to be outdoors. Children are kept entertained with promises of seeing rabbits and budgies afterwards.

If that's not a designer plant: Alocasia zebrina


If that’s not a designer plant: Alocasia zebrina
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Image: Mauritius


My wife was particularly fond of one type of plant: the alocasia, also known as arrowheads. Dozens of species in the genus Alocasia are known, their homeland is Southeast Asia and Northeast Australia. The arrow leaves thrive there in warm, humid tropical forests, which is why they like bright locations as houseplants, but no direct light. And it should be warm – saving on heating doesn’t do them any good. They also like it damp, so the bathroom is particularly suitable. But since our apartment doesn’t have a window in the bathroom, two of the three copies are now in the children’s room, although they should actually be kept away from children. The leaves are slightly poisonous.

The cachepot is important for the plant.

Alocasia are quite demanding, so they are only partially suitable for botanical beginners. I call her the advanced Monstera. They don’t get waterlogged at all, neither does cold water, and at the same time they insist on regular watering. However, if small drops appear on the leaves, this is a sign of too much water – a typical beginner’s mistake, by the way, which my wife never makes. In addition, Alocasia want to be fertilized regularly.



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