I host a good amount of plants in my home. Recently I counted more than 30 plants in my apartment of 32 square meters. And no, I am not obsessed. But when I got hold of the new ‘Plant of the Month’ by The Joy of Plants, I couldn’t resist to bring it back home all the way from London. During our weekend in London we as Urban Jungle Bloggers were happy enough to collaborate with The Joy of Plants and offer 10 ‘Plants of the Month’ to attendees of our Blogtacular presentation. And one travelled back with me to Munich.
This month is dedicated to a pretty rare and beautiful bonsai species – the Ficus Ginseng or Ficus microcarpa. When I spotted the Ficus Ginseng I fell in love with its peculiar, sculptural shape. Its contorted aerial root and its bushy crown with shiny green leaves recalls Asian Zen gardens and meditative tranquility. This plant is native to Asia and the most fascinating fact is that the roots are still grown nowadays in China and Malysia where it takes up to 15 years of growth before they are imported by Dutch growers where the bonsai growing process is completed in greenhouses. So in fact this little bonsai plant is a wise and pretty mature plant!
Knowing all of this, I was pretty stressed when I flew back from London to Munich with the Ficus Ginseng in a bag as hand luggage. I wasn’t much relieved knowing that I was flying with a low-cost company where they are very restrictive when it comes to hand luggage so I was a bit stressed. I managed to get it through security control (I got lots of looks from queuing passengers and even the security guard chatted about the plant with me) and I was happy to get on the plane with it. The plane was packed with passengers and I kept my plant in the bag in front of my seat thinking it was safe and sound. But then the flight attendant came to me and told me I had to put it in the overhead compartment. I mean seriously??? It was packed with suitcases and bags and I had to squeeze my plant into it in a horizontal position! It is with understatement to tell you that I was totally stressed and couldn’t wait to land in Munich to free the poor plant! But finally everything was ok – this sturdy fellow made it through and proved to be a robust globetrotter like myself!
Apart from its special looks, the Ficus Ginseng is a pretty easy-to-care houseplant. It likes to be watered from time to time without any dammed-up water, some plant food from time to time will do it good and it can go outdoors during summers and likes a cool indoor place during winter. You can also prune it to shape it to your desire.
Photography by Igor Josifovic
This post has been brought to you in collaboration with The Joy of Plants