Spring is around the corner and it’s the time of the year to fill your hearts and homes with cozy greens. Read more about GreenUps Jeanins and Aurores Tip n Tricks.

Some fun plant-stories about Jeanine and Aurore: 

What is your favorite plant and why? Where does it grow naturally? (Aurore) My favorite plant is a Tillandsia Ionantha because it was my first indoor plant in my colelction. It grows naturally in South America.

What is an interesting fact about your favorite plant? (Aurore) It does not need soil to grow, just air and clean water.

Why do you collect houseplants and when did you start getting into it? (Aurore) I collect house plants because being surrounded by them relaxes me. I started developing a passion for houseplants in 2014 and could no longer live without them.

Which are the best indoor plants? (Aurore) Tillandsias of course!

What’s your favorite website or social media group about plants? (Aurore) The Rainforest Flora account is very informative, there I can also see the new hybrids of Tillandsias.

How do you recognize edible plants? Do you have an easy trick to spot them? (Aurore) If you spot an appetizing-looking but unknown plant but don’t feel sure it’s edible, apply the universal edibility test. It’s essentially taking small amounts of a plant, having increasing contact with it over enough time to see if any ill-effects develop. You’ll want to perform this test separately for each part of the plant you want to eat, including the roots, leaves, and stem.

  1.  Give a strong sniff. If the plant part smells awful or like a rotting corpse, toss it out.
  2.  If not, hold the plant part to your inner elbow or wrist for a few minutes. Do you feel itching, burning, or any other negative response? If yes, don’t eat it.
  3.  If your skin feels fine, kiss the plant with your lips and then wait for 15 minutes.
  4.  As long as there’s no burning or itching, take a pea-sized bite. If the plant tastes extremely bitter or soapy, spit it out immediately—but remember, most plants are gross, so don’t expect the peppery flavor of basil. Even if the taste is bearable, hold the bite in your mouth for another 15 minutes.
  5.  Finally, wait for at least a few hours. At this point, if you’re not feeling sick or dead on the forest floor, then that part of the plant—and that part only—is probably safe to eat.

How is this plant helping me? (Aurore) Not just this plant but all the plants I have, help me to stay active in my life especially when times are hard, I still need to get up and take care of them.

When did you start getting interested in plants? (Jeanine)  It’s difficult to trace my interest in plants. However, my dad has always been an inspiration for me! Ever since I was a little child, I would stand at his side watching him passionately dusting off one Aralia leaf after another, repotting Aloe Veras all morning, watching and even caressing the birch fig for hours, all that while humming his favorite folk songs.

What’s your favorite plant and why? (Jeanine)  I don’t have a favorite house plant. All of them are unique and pretty in their own way. Also, I consider myself more as an outdoor plants lover. However, there is one plant that I’m quite attached to, namely my rubber plant. If you look closely at the picture, you may see that it is not going too well. Some leaves have yellow spots and the whole plant looks a bit sparse. This is because some years ago, on a sunny first spring day of the year, I thought it was a good idea to put it outside – leading it to wilt and lose its leaves… It had spent all winter in my rather cool room, after all! The sudden sunlight and warmth was too much of a shock, and I already thought that I had killed it. Fortunately, that was not the case and my rubber tree, as I interpret it, has already forgiven me by now. It is slowly but steadily forming new shiny leaves again!

Why do I collect houseplants? (Jeanine)  I have houseplants primarily because I like the aesthetics. They green up my life and I feel more cozy at home. If you take good care of your plants then they will be your faithful companions for a very long time. That’s nice since I don’t have any pets! Also, since I have grown up with many house plants, it would feel empty if I didn’t have any plants surrounding me.

Which is the best indoor plant? (Jeanine) There have been studies done about air “purifying” qualities of certain indoor plants. So there is some potential to use plants as indoor air improvers, but there are probably many factors that can influence these qualities, such as the type and concentration of air pollutants, the exact plant variety, the degree of ventilation of the room, etc. One plant species that is often cited in these types of studies is Sansevieria, a common room plant that I am also lucky to have. It’s pretty, low-maintenance and said to have air-purifying and sleep-inducing effects.

Last but not least some facts about plants by Aurore: 

What four things do all plants need? They need water, air, nutrients, and light.

What does the root and the leaves do for the plant? Usually, the roots absorb the water and nutrients present in the soil, the leaves produce energy through photosynthesis.

Any daily gardening tips to maintain plants? Always empty the dish under your pot after watering your plants.

Which plants necessarily need the least or the moss support? I would say that most indoor plants require quite the same care. Rare species taken right from nature are difficult to maintain and require a lot of attention.

Did we inspire you to bring more greens into your home? Join our Plant-Swapping events that we organize across Switzerland in the coming weeks. The events are all free! Everyone is welcome to join, to bring, take and swap seeds, seedlings and plants.

Upcoming Plant-Swap events:

  • Basel: March 23rd @UniBasel
  • Zurich: April 30th @Kulturpark Zurich West
  • Lugano: May 7th @ImpactHub Lugano
  • Sion: May 7th @LaMatriochka
  • Davos: June 11th @Davos i(s)st rosarot

The goal is to create a sharing economy of greens, based on the love of plants.