Come home to a jungle | Indoor plants | Gardening Australia

Come home to a jungle | Indoor plants | Gardening Australia

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Are you an indoor plant person? Who doesn’t love to come home to a plant filled jungle?

Jane Rose-Lloyd is a horticulturalist, indoor-plant collector and self-titled strange plant lady.

She developed a love of plants from her grandmother, but she never thought plants would “consume my waking hours,” as they do now.

Her home is filled with about 200 plants.  

A favourite saying of Jane’s is: “There is no such thing as an indoor plant.” Just certain plants can endure indoor conditions. Not all plants do survive the indoor life, but she loves trying to tweak those conditions so ‘new’ indoor plants can.
Growing, understanding and propagating plants is now a bit of an obsession, and Jane loves sharing that knowledge. Last year, she and partner Michael, opened a small shop in the non-profit arts space, Schoolhouse Studios. Some people come in hoping to buy a certain plant and are disappointed when they learn their house is not suitable, although she can usually suggest an alternative.  

Jane says the smaller living spaces and lack of gardens has led to the current craze for indoor plants, but she is keen to point out the difference between a plant that is ‘rare’ to buy and one that is rare in its native environment and needs protection.  

Of all the unusual plants in her collection, one of the most fascinating is the resurrection plant. It is a club moss, so its ancestors predate ferns; these plants existed long before dinosaurs.  

“It’s endemic to the Chihuahuan desert. During dry weather, the plant curls up into a tight ball, kills off its chlorophyll cells and shuts down until the next rain. It can survive several years without water. When it does rain, it starts to unfurl, rebuilds its cells and begins to photosynthesise again. But it only ever reaches about 20cm across at its maximum size, and it might take 100 years to reach this maturity due to droughts between rainfall.” 

Jane sometimes feels that humans are only highly evolved plants and that most of the things we do, plants have done the same before “and often do better”.  
Featured plants: 
Resurrection plant (Selaginella lepidophylla) 

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