Category Archives: Pets

Alocasia Babies


Found a guy (Sirius) on Facebook marketplace who was selling baby alocasias. I could clearly see in his photos that he was growing them in leca (semi-hydroponics) which is perfect as that’s what I’m using for most my plant cuttings which are doing amazing (lots of root growth and some have even pushed out new leaves!), best of all he lives literally 10 minutes down my street!

I swung past to pick up 4 plants, but walked away with 7 (since I took the lot he sold them all to me for $10 each).

Super nice guy who shared a lot of advice. The best tips he gave me was to note that alocasia’s are very hardy plants (despite what many say), and that insects/pests (particularly spider mites) are almost unavoidable and basically part of the hobby (again, similar to pests and algae issues in aquaria). He also said that alocasias don’t particularly need super high humidity and that he kept all of his at 60-65. I was previously freaking out when my humidity hit 60 (most of the day it’s at 70-80 in the cabinet).

He has more plants to sell, but I’ve legit got no more room in the cabinet now (especially with the rate things are growing at). I somehow doubt that’s going to slow me down from buying more plants though!

Plants: Alocasia Black Velvet, Pink Princess, Green Shield, Green Velvet and Melo.

PS: Follow Sirius on Instagram: @hemanlikesplants

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More Plants

Walked over to More Plants again today (yes it’s a walk away!) and picked up a couple more plants for my cabinet. I caved and bought the Alocasia Longiloba ‘May’ (Hybrid), which I fell in love with the first time I visited the store 3 weeks ago (SO surprised it was still there!). Also bought a Philodendron Billietiae in an attempt to fill up the top half of the cabinet.

Coming together nicely! Still have some cuttings from the garden in there that don’t suit the aroid theme. Will most likely remove them at some point.

Got roots?! Leca is amazing!

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Finally moving in (with Mia!)


Viv and I woke up in Maroubra this morning and got packing. I left my car at Rosebery, but we managed to pack up my PC, speakers, cat litter, cat food and… Mia in her Audi TT!

As expected, Mia pretty much cried all the way over, and some more once we got here, but she was exploring, she ate some wet food and get this… she used her new kitty litter too (the litter shaped like a plant)!

It’s 5pm now and she’s finally conked out on the couch. Looks like we’ll be fine :)

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Queen Anthurium

Queen Anthurium.

The goal is to successfully grow and own a mature Queen Anthurium, a rare (VERY expensive) plant that has amazing foliage.

Of all places, a Diablo Immortal Australia Clan member sent me a screen grab of a baby queen for ‘quick sale’ by a guy named Atian Tsai on Facebook. I was willing to jump on it for $150, but then I found out the guy selling it was in QLD. Old mate then told me that Atian sends orchids from QLD to WA so shipping shouldn’t be an issue. I reached out to Atian, transaction was made and I now have the plant!

Atian sent me a LONG message to say how hard baby queens are to keep alive. It was pretty gloomy and doomy, but the plant arrived in great condition. The humidity is sitting really nice at 80+ in my cabinet. I’m feeling hopeful!

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IKEA Rudsta Greenhouse Project

Weatherstripping added to the plant cabinet to keep the humidity up.

Humidity is staying steady at 75%! Not bad at all! The more fussy/rare plants should do AOK!

Fan for airflow tucked away in the bottom corner.

The day after I got my latest plants (from Growing Grounds) into the cabinet I was devastated to find that the large Anthurium was all droopy. The substrate was dry. Not enough water? Were my lights on for too long (timer has them on for 12hrs), or are they too powerful (I had them at 20% power)? Was the plant in shock from the move? Was there not enough humidity? I went down a huge rabbit hole thinking that a lack of humidity was the issue THEN my hydrometer turned up and it turns out that the humidity in my cabinet stays pretty stable at 75%, so all that research I did on potentially getting a humidifier for the cabinet was just wasted time (but hey research is fun!).

The other 2 plants (Alocasia Watsoniana and Amazonica) are doing fine, but it looks like I may lose a leaf from the Anthurium Clarinervium.

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IKEA Rudsta Greenhouse Project

IKEA greenhouse cabinet finally has some plants in it!

Need many more so I can up the humidity (I’ve installed a fan in there for air flow and also added a fair bit of weatherstripping to keep the humidity in as the aroids I’ll be growing love high humidity). Got to replace all pots and vases with black pots too of-course!

New plants from Growing Grounds: Alocasia Watsoniana, Alocasia Amazonica and Anthurium Clarinervium.

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Growing Grounds Australia

I want it all.

One of these is mine (I’ll post pics of my haul tomorrow!).

A little while back I stumbled upon a YouTuber who goes by Sydney Plant Guy. He has some awesome indoor plants with HUGE leaves. I was curious to know whether he ever sells his plants, or cuttings, and in one video he mentioned that he does at a place called Growing Grounds.

I then found a video of him visiting Growing Grounds and interviewing the owner AJ. I checked out the Growing Grounds web site and pulled the trigger on 3 plants for my cabinet. I chose to pick up the plants (so I could check out the shop!), turns out the shop is where AJ lives, and she’s converted the long driveway into her garage into a greenhouse, which was AMAZING!

AJ was awesome, super chatty and helpful. Loved her energy. Turns Alex, the owner of More Plants down the road from my new apartment, is one of AJ’s best friends! It’s all making sense! Everything is fitting in nicely! It looks like I’m in great hands.

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IKEA Rudsta Greenhouse Project

Update on my IKEA greenhouse project. I got 6 magnetic spice racks to hold 4″ plant pots. They fit and line up pretty nice!

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IKEA Rudsta Greenhouse Project

Cable tidy box to hide the on/off timer for my LED light and an IKEA powerboard which has 2 USB outlets built in for the 2 fans I’ll run in my plant cabinet.It’s a bit of a tight fir though with the timer plugged in to the powerboard. Doh!).

Woke up my new neighbours with a bit of drilling on a Sunday morning. Soz not soz! The hole is to feed the LED light power cable and fan cables through.

LED installed!

This is on it’s lowest setting. On full blast it’s insanely bright. Such a powerful little unit!

Waiting for magnetic shelves, fans, then… plants!

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IKEA Rudsta Greenhouse Project

IKEA Rudsta cabinet, not for displaying toys though. I’m going to hack this into a greenhouse!

Decided to roam around in my garden at Maroubra Beach to see what was out there for my new IKEA plant cabinet project. To my surprise I found a snake plant and an elephant ear! I’ve been obsessed with alocasia’s (on YouTube) so I was pretty chuffed to find some in the back corner of my garden. I’ve just taken some small clippings and will see how I go with growing/propagating these before I buy anything fancy.

Soaking leca (clay balls) for 24hrs before use. I’ve killed every plant I’ve ever owned most likely because of over watering the soil, so I spent some time researching options, and went down the semi hydroponic rabbit hole. I’m excited to not have to use soil at all (it’s dirty!) and so I’ve decided to plunge in and give it a good go.

Elephant Ear in LECA (for now, might move it to a better pot for maintenance/drainage when I need/want to).

Hitchhiker! What I loved about the marine aquarium hobby was getting really unique (sometimes annoying) hitchhikers with your live rock and corals. Looks like it’s the same dealio with plants!


Most if not all of the people who have converted IKEA display cabinets to greenhouses are using the same brand of cheap LED strips. I’ve instead gone all out and bought a legit hydroponic LED light with the right light spectrum for growing plants. Overkill? Probably, but it has a dimmer so I should be AOK (and it’ll probably be safer to run in a humid cabinet than cheap LED strips now made to withstand moisture).

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