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Granny Trude
Rapprochement with houseplants

Granny Trude's plant guide
Urban Jungle in Hollenbach | Illustration: © Celine Buldun

Withered flowers, drooping leaves - or a cactus as despair embodied in chlorophyll on the windowsill? Not with Granny Trude! Today she will show you how to turn your flat into a jungle!

By Granny Trude

My dears, my grandson Michi finally introduced me to his new girlfriend Helene this week: a smart and classy young woman! She works in an advertising agency, is as committed as I am to the environment and was very enthusiastic about my plants. Called my living room an "Urban Jungle". My grandson chuckled impishly and asked her what was so urban about Hollenbach.

Spider plant

I've given them an offshoot of my spider plant in case there's bad atmosphere between the two of them now and then. Spider plants have small shoots hanging from long filaments (stolons), from which a new houseplant can easily be grown.
Many people have the plant in their office because spider plants make the air fresh and they are easy to care for. Although the plant needs a bright place, it can survive when your otherwise reliable colleagues forget to water it during their holidays. By the way, I’m not the first to give away an offshoot: in the 19th century, a prince brought this African plant to Europe for the first time and gave Goethe an offshoot in Weimar.

If the shoot already has roots, you can put it directly into the soil, if not, you can put it in water until it sprouts thin, almost transparent roots.

Rubber plant

Back in the Seventies, when my children were small, rubber plants were the latest fashion. Every Friday after school we carried it to the bathroom, put the pot completely in the water and waited until no more air bubbles rose. Then we let it drain. My tip: If you put all your plants together in the tub, you won't waste so much water! You can simply store the water in a large watering can.


My Monstera is probably the reason why Michi's girlfriend thought of a jungle. Its leaves have these typical inlets and holes, which is why it is also called a window-leaf. Young people's rooms these days are inconceivable without a Monstera – I can really see it everywhere in those little Instagram pictures!

I can really see the Monstera everywhere in those little Instagram pictures!

Don't forget: water them only very rarely, to keep their roots from getting mouldy, because then they get brown leaves. So the Monstera is the best choice for anyone who has Saint Anthony as his patron saint and is forgetful at a young age!

In the wild, window-leaves climb up trees or creep up cliff faces. Therefore, as they grow larger, they will need a pole for their aerial roots to hold on to. If the aerial roots get out of hand, do not cut them off under any circumstances. Preventatively spray the leaves and aerial roots with lukewarm water every week.
Otherwise, the Monstera is very rewarding: It grows vigorously and grows new leaves quickly. This is a real spectacle every time! In the beginning a leaf looks like a twisted stick, then a delicate, light leaf unfolds. After a few weeks it is as dark green and fleshy as the other leaves.
I hope you enjoy my little plant guide! Of course, I also have begonias, angel tears and orchids: Which houseplant do you think belongs in every living room?
Til next time!

Your Trude