The History of Houseplants with Jane Perrone
Play • 1 hr 11 min

Where did our houseplants come from and what’s the history behind them? From Babylonian gardens to the healing power of herbs, houseplants have been used for centuries to cultivate joy in our lives. In this episode, I spoke with Jane Perrone, OG planty podcaster and author of the newly released Legends of the Leaf. Jane has spent years researching and collecting stories, lore, and surprises about our beloved house plants, and is here to enlighten us about their history. Let’s learn all about the monstera, the spider plants, and more that have been in homes for generations!

In this episode, we learn:

  • [05:26] Meet Jane Perrone and learn about her latest book Legends of the Leaf
  • [11:38] Insight into Jane's book and its structure
  • [14:13] What was Jane’s research process in writing her book?
  • [16:47] Was aloe vera part of Cleopatra's beauty routine?
  • [18:19] What is the impact of plants on air quality?
  • [20:13] Where can you find quality indoor and outdoor gardening products?
  • [22:19] Where can you get flower and vegetable transplants to create an effortless garden?
  • [24:13] What is the cultural significance of the Aspidistra plant throughout history?
  • [28:37] How did Aspidistra become a popular houseplant?
  • [30:32] History of the spider plant and its cultural significance
  • [34:23] Are you looking for a book to start your first container garden?
  • [36:23] What is Colonial botany and why was it an important field of study?
  • [39:37] Dark history of Dieffenbachia
  • [46:23] History of the Boston fern and why it became popular
  • [51:40] Why is the monstera plant a must-have for any plant lover?
  • [54:48] Who worked on the illustrations for Jane's book?
  • [58:07] Where can you purchase Jane's book?
  • [01:05:46] Where can you find Jane Perrone on social media?

Mentioned in our conversation:

For a listicle of our favorite houseplants and their history,

check out the full show notes and blog here!

Thank you to our episode sponsors:

Territorial Seed Company

Gardening is made easier with flower and vegetable transplants! Skip the lines at the garden center and let Territorial Seed Company deliver top-of-the-line, healthy and hardy plants right to your door. They have a great line of pre-grown plants, an expansive seed catalog, and over 40 years of experience delivering the best seeds and plants for everyone's garden. Whether you are looking for leafy veggies, flowers or edible plants in either seed or seedling form, Territorial Seed Company has your back.

Get 10% off by visiting - discount applied at checkout.

Espoma Organic

Make sure your houseplants are getting the right products! Espoma Organic is dedicated to making safe indoor and outdoor gardening products for people, pets, and the planet. They have an amazing variety of high-quality, organic potting mixes, garden soil, fertilizers, and pest control products that are organic and eco-friendly. To top it all off, they have a huge sustainability commitment with a 100% solar powered plant, zero waste manufacturing and eco-friendly packaging.

Visit to find your local Espoma dealer or check my Amazon storefront.

The First Time Gardener: Container Gardening by Pam Farley

Don't let limited space and gardening anxieties hold you back from growing your own food. Start your very first garden in containers, the easy and affordable way, with the help of Pam Farley's The First Time Gardener: Container Gardening. Learn the basics and requirements of container gardening such as size, water, fertilizer, location, and more with this comprehensive and fully-illustrated book.

Check out Container Gardening at your favorite local bookstore, bookshop.orgBarnes and Noble, or

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