In an age where Instagram is everything, the phrase ‘indoor jungle’ is bandied about on socials more often than it should be, and it is rare to find a space that actually meets these criteria and lives up to its Insta pics. But, in Perth’s southern suburbs, Josh is meeting a gardener whose home is just that – an indoor jungle – and her plant collections will make you want to stop scrolling and start gardening.
Fesi Djojo is, by her own admission, an indoor plant fanatic, and even a quick glance around the living areas of her home confirms this. There are plants everywhere – large clusters grouped together, trailing plants like Dichondra, Hoya and Epipremnum hanging from ceilings, bookcases and shelves dedicated solely to foliage, form and beautiful selections of both pots and plants. “I did a count in February this year” says Fesi, “and there were 558 plants inside our home”. While this number of plants could feel overwhelming, even cluttered, Fesi has styled and placed plants in a way that feels almost natural, like they are supposed to be there. “They are now an integral part of the design of the indoor spaces of our home, I use plants where others may use art or objects”.
Fesi also has a penchant for rare and unusual plants, with an ever-growing collection, both inside, and in the glasshouse outside. “I have a rare, variegated fiddle leaf fig in the glasshouse, it’s absolutely stunning with its yellow and green patterned leaves. I wanted to put it inside, but the humidity was too low, and it struggled”. Other collectable stunners in Fesis collection include Aglaonema picta ‘Tricolour’, Philodendron iselmanii, the shingle leaved Monstera dubia, and of course, the increasingly popular variegated Monstera ‘Albo’ and variegated Monstera adansonii. Josh nearly turns white when he hears what Fesi paid for the variegated Monstera adansonii cutting! “Many of these plants are very hard to come by, I have to go to specialist collectors or growers to obtain them. But I do a lot of propagation, so once I have these plants, I can, over time, grow and share my collection by propagating new plants”.
In terms of maintenance, there is no denying that keeping a collection like this takes work. “I wipe down the foliage of the bigger plants with water once a month, while the smaller plants get taken to the shower or sink for a washdown to remove any dust and freshen up their leaves. What about the watering? “Every day is watering day” laughs Fesi, “I spend about an hour watering the indoor plants each day, but only as required. I’m strict with my watering – I don’t use water meters; I use my eyes and my fingers. I don’t water until the soil is dry – this means my plants aren’t going to suffer from overwatering issues and root rot, but it also means I never get the dreaded fungus gnats”.
Philodendron ‘Golden Dragon’
VARIEGATED FIDDLE-LEAF FIG – Ficus lyrata cv.
VARIEGATED SWISS CHEESE PLANT – Monstera adansonii cv.
Aglaonema pictum ‘Tricolor’
Philodendron imbe cv. syn. ilsemanii cv.
SHINGLE PLANT – Monstera dubia
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