The Plant Society: A Network for Plant Lovers

Jason Chongue and I have a few things in common. Firstly, we’re both plant killers. Secondly, we’re both desperate plant lovers. Thirdly, we like the weird ones – the plants you don’t find in your local monolithic hardware chain store.

I’m pretty excited, then, to tell you about Jason’s newest venture – The Plant Society – a kind of social network for both fledgling and experienced botanophiles. The Plant Society will connect growers of rare plants with people interested in growing them, host plant sales, and create a network of people growing interesting plants.

Jason’s first Plant Society event is called The Plant Emporium. It’s on 27 August and is a rare plant sale, produced in collaboration with The Club of Odd Volumes and You, Me & Bones. If you saw story we did on Jason’s amazing plant filled house a few months ago, then you’ll know you’re in for a treat. And if you didn’t, trust me!

Jason and his partner in plants/life Nathan Smith. Image © Nicholas John Wilkins
Pilea peperomoides. Image © Nicholas John Wilkins
Monstera borsigiana. Image © Nicholas John Wilkins
Epipremnum aureum. Image © Nicholas John Wilkins
Spathiphyllum picasso. Image © Nicholas John Wilkins
Peperomia argyreia. Image © Nicholas John Wilkins

Since it’s our Sin issue, I asked Jason to name his top seven sinful plants. Here’s his list:

LUST: Pilea peperomioides (Chinese money plant)
The highly sought after Pilea peperomioides has captured the intense desire and longing of many over the centuries. With its dark green peltate leaves and simple form, it’s kept botanists and scientists yearning to learn more about its beauty.

To keep your Pilea peperomioides lusty and happy, place it indoors with a good amount of dappled light.

GLUTTONY: Platycerium bifurcatum (staghorn)
With its strong aerial roots the staghorn latches itself onto its host tree.  Reaching out with its big leaves to capture falling forest water and food, it can grow to enormous proportions.

Keep your Staghorn Fern damp and feed it with banana skins to ensure it thrives.

GREED: Aspidistra elatior ‘Shooting Star’ (shooting star)
Beneath the lush golden spotted foliage of the aspidistra, the rhizomes spread vigorously, taking up more and more space. Left to it’s own desires, the rhizomes can break out of their confines.

Give your Aspidistra space by repotting it once it’s rhizomes fill the pot.

SLOTH: Monstera borsigiana (variegated monstera)
Monstera borsigiana is in no rush. With natural beauty up its sleeve, it grows at a snail’s pace, unfurling a new, marbled, leaf every few months.

Maintain a warm humid environment to aid your Monstera borsigianas growth.

WRATH: Cereus hildmannianus (hedge cactus)
It’s obvious one must steer clear of the aggressive spikes of this Cactus.  Known for its tall sculptural growth the Cereus hildmannianus is always a danger on the look out for unsuspecting passers by.

Place Cereus hildmannianus in full sun and don’t over water.

ENVY: Monstera obliqua (swiss cheese vine)
Envious of the natural heights reached by tall rainforest trees, Monstera obliqua uses them to climb up towards the sky. Over years it develops a strong hold on its host, gaining meters towards the sun.

If you want your Monstera obliqua to climb, place a totem pole for it to latch on to.

PRIDE: Farfugium japonicum (Leopard Plant)
The self-satisfied beauty of Farfugium japonicum is evident, displayed in constellation-like foliage. When nestled amongst its plant relatives, leopard plant commands all attention.

Farfugium japonicum can be grown indoors in a well-lit space.

The Plant Emporium by The Plant Society
27th August 2016 / 9am-5pm / 13 Derby Street Collingwood, Victoria


All images by Nicholas John Wilkins, supplied by The Plant Society.

Image © Nicholas John Wilkins