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Hothouse is a podcast about design, ecology, and the way we garden now. Host Leah Churner sits down with experts and enthusiasts to talk about permaculture, the urban landscape, and how plants sometimes give us the feels. A meeting of the minds for plant people and the horticulture-curious, Hothouse is a different kind of gardening show: less of the how-to and more of the who, what, where, when, and why.

Nov 15, 2018

On this episode, we’re taking an intimate look at the the most domesticated plants of all: houseplants. My guest, Jane Perrone, is a London-based journalist and the host-producer of the indoor gardening podcast On The Ledge. We’ll discuss Jane’s background, some myths and misconceptions of container gardening, and the human tendency to anthropomorphize our houseplants. At the top of the show, I’ll dive into the revealing history of the Aspidistra elatior, a houseplant once so iconic it was the subject of a popular song, the codename for a “black propaganda” operation in WWII, and the central metaphor in a George Orwell novel. Today, the Aspidistra is barely considered a houseplant at all. Can this casualty of fashion ever come back in style?

To learn more about On The Ledge, visit or find the show on Apple podcasts. Find Jane on Instagram @j.l.perrone and on Twitter @janeperrone. Check out Darryl Cheng’s Instagram @houseplantjournal and his blog at

Music in this episode is “The Biggest Aspidistra in the World” by Gracie Fields, “Rite of Passage” by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under CC by 3.00, and “Kid Kodi” by Blue Dot Sessions, licensed under CC BY-NC by 4.0.

Please subscribe, rate, and review Hothouse on Apple Podcasts! For detailed show notes, visit Email the show at