It's been a year since I didn't recognize my wife.

Suddenly and without warning, she dragged a number of indoor plants into our apartment.

She, who was never interested in anything green on the balcony or in the garden and even confused basil with mint.

The hormones, I thought at the time, the pregnancy.

And I quickly remembered my brother-in-law's advice: always let things be done, never contradict, just nod and smile.

nesting instinct.

that passes.

Andrew Frey

Freelance author in the science section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

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Complete nonsense.

It's only getting worse.

The little one is almost a year old now, but my wife's enthusiasm for plants is undiminished.

I now have to spend Saturday afternoons in the garden center while the Bundesliga plays past me unseen.

However, the radius of action there is precisely defined: my wife is only interested in indoor plants, cachepots and knick-knacks, while I prefer to be outdoors.

Children are kept entertained with promises of seeing rabbits and budgies afterwards.

My wife was particularly fond of one type of plant: the alocasia, also known as arrowheads.

Dozens of species of the genus


are known, native to Southeast Asia and Northeast Australia.

The arrow leaves thrive there in warm, humid tropical forests, which is why they like bright locations as houseplants, but no direct light.

And it should be warm - saving on heating doesn't do them any good.

They also like it damp, so the bathroom is particularly suitable.

But since our apartment doesn't have a window in the bathroom, two of the three copies are now in the children's room, although they should actually be kept away from children.

The leaves are slightly poisonous.

The cachepot is important for the plant.

Alocasia are quite demanding, so they are only partially suitable for botanical beginners.

I call her the advanced Monstera.

They don't get waterlogged at all, neither does cold water, and at the same time they insist on regular watering.

However, if small drops appear on the leaves, this is a sign of too much water - a typical beginner's mistake, by the way, which my wife never makes.

In addition, Alocasia want to be fertilized regularly.

In order to find our favorite kind, we went to two shops at the same time.

My wife is

particularly fond of

Alocasia zebrina .

It is really an ornament and even I like it.

The zebra pattern in the handles goes perfectly with the old solid oak cabinet, on which she now stands at a safe distance from the children.

But when we finally got our hands on

Alocasia zebrina

one Saturday, the purchase was far from over.

The cachepot is almost as important as the plant.

Do you prefer eggshell white or olive green?

Olive green, I say.

Luckily she hasn't heard that you can eat the giant arrowhead

(Alocasia macrorrhizos)

aka elephant's ear.

In India and the Philippines, the starchy, vitamin-rich tubers are eaten like potatoes in this country.

As a feast for the eyes, our Alocasia is completely sufficient for me.

But who am I to have to constantly evaluate my wife's wondrous delight in houseplants?


Alocasia zebrina

brought life into the booth, there wasn't even a cactus in our apartment.

Now all the rooms are green and lively, even the stairwell looks like a small greenhouse.

My realm are the balcony and the garden.