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“I grow my own plants at home and also import plants from South Africa that are not available here. I really love them; I stopped counting when I realised I had 180 in my home. But I also love sharing them with other people that love plants.”
Asked how she ensures imported plants adjust to Namibia’s climate, Amorey said that the most important aspect is the humidity. “Namibia's climate is very dry and tropical plants need more humidity, so I have humidifiers that run in my home all the time. Then I also have a ground mixture that I mix myself to make sure I don't give them too much or too little water. Mostly, it's the humidity that one should try to increase. People that don't have humidifiers, can keep the plants in their bathroom or in their kitchen, where humidity tends to be a little higher.”
She says that another big thing in Namibia is that our water tends to have more chlorine. “So, none of my plants get tap water. They only get filtered water or rainwater. I have a rainwater tank, where I catch water to give them.”
A number of Amorey’s plants are kept in glass cases. She says she does this especially for plants that need high humidity – literally 80 percent and higher. “I keep them in glass cases so that when I close the doors, the humidity remains inside. There are also grow lights inside so that they get the optimal amount of light to grow,” she says.
She says that while most of them can survive outside a glass case, while inside they grow bigger, their leaves are greener, and it’s also a beautiful way to display them.
So, where does her love for plants stem from?
“I don't really know. My mom loved plants, gardening and such. Although, that bug never bit me. That was until Covid and lockdown hit, and everyone was at home and one had more time.
Then I started experimenting and then it grew from there. I started with one plant, and now there are over 200. But it’s not a scientific process at all. It's trial and error. You test, you experiment. It can be expensive because some die. But with every plant that dies, you learn something new; you read up and do some research. There are also many online groups that share information. You can also post photos and ask for advice, which really helps a lot.”
On the question of whether plants have a calming effect on her, she says, “definitely! Not just the plants indoors, but the whole process surrounding them. Looking at them from all angles, checking their leaves for possible infestations, giving them water, the process of moving and replanting them - it's really a tranquil activity. It's an activity that switches off my brain. I don't think about work; I don't think about the stresses of life and the world. I really just faff around the plant. I'm in my happy space.”
And does she play music for her plants?
“No, but I do talk to them. Some of them are so expensive that I encourage them to stay alive and I rejoice when there's a new leaf. But it’s really the attention and the time, and the love and the passion that contributes to the plant's growth. I don't sing to them. They may really die then!”
Amorey says that plants can be bought via online shop (https://foliagenursery.ecwid.com/ also reachable via https://www.facebook.com/FoliageBoutiqueNursery). “You can order and pay online and if you’re in Windhoek, you can pick it up from my home at specific times, but I can also courier it countrywide. Many of my orders come from outside of Windhoek.”
She says for couriering, she wraps up the plants with so much plastic and carton, that a courier can literally toss the package around and nothing will happen to it. “It usually takes me more than an hour to package one plant, but in that way I can make sure the plant gets to its new owner in perfect condition. There is nothing more frustrating than buying a plant that has damaged or hurt leaves and you have to remove half of them.”
She adds that the product catalogue has detailed care information on each plant. “I also add basic care guidelines on all the labels. I will try and guide you as much as possible on the care of your new plant.”