Plantfluencers: Gustavo Cota

In this edition of Plantfluencers we talked to Gustavo Cota(@tavo_cota) and we couldn't resist asking him about his Begonias collection and the care of his exotic Monstera Variegata ;)

how and when did your history with plants begin?

I have loved them since I was a child. I am from Galicia and green has always been part of my life. I love nature and in my house there have always been plants. During my confinement I started to photograph the ones I had at home and I changed my profile completely and decided to collect more special plants.

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Quito Pot - M/15cm
€17.00 €6.80
Texture, warmth and versatility
Monstera Deliciosa
Adapts to any environment

do you have any plant tips you would like to share with us?

Observation and frequent cleaning of plants is basic. We must not let them accumulate dust and we must monitor their evolution to understand them, it is their only way to tell us if they are at ease or not. Cleaning is simple, a damp cotton cloth, and if we want to prevent pests, we can use a drop of soap.

On your Instagram you have a lot of Begonias, but which is your favourite plant or species, and why?

Well, I've had Begonias for not so long, because I had a lot of mania for them, I didn't get used to them and I didn't understand that each one is different. My favourite plants are the philodendrons, they are very grateful in their care and I find them very different and very beautiful each one.

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Areca Palm
€69.00 €62.10
Tropical and hardy
Tokyo Pot - L/22cm
Black glossy ceramic

We see that you have a very varied collection of plants. What is your weekly plant care routine?

I look at them every day, while I drink my coffee or brush my teeth, it's a hobby haha. In stable temperatures I water them once a week, all on the same day, it's done little by little to adapt them to that watering pattern. Now in hot weather, for example there are Begonias that I have to water every 3 days. It will always depend on the temperature and light conditions in which you have them. I always use a humidifier and spray less. I prune them or cut them according to their needs.

how difficult is it to care for your Monstera Variegata?

There is no science to it, I care for it like a normal Monstera. I let the substrate dry out completely, that works for me and I also touch the leaves and see if they are turgid or need hydration, that's something I've learned with experience, you have to touch the leaves, by the level of turgidity you can tell if they need water or not. The variegata needs more light than normal, but if we don't want the variegation to subside or stop. Always light or direct light. Now I have discovered that if we use glasses of water in the pot to introduce the longest aerial roots, it gives the plant an impressive punch. It does not replace watering, it is just an extra.

top tip to keep your Begonias healthy in summer?

My advice is to watch them every day. In summer they are fading by the day and each one a different day because each one has different needs. They love intense indirect light, and if you add to that the heat, they will need a lot of water, some will want dry substrates between waterings! Others need to be kept moist at all times. Water them when their leaves drop a little and lose the turgidity of their stems and leaves. Humidity is essential, around 60% for the more normal Begonias. But above all observation and watering by immersion with water at room temperature, always by immersion.

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About the author
Ame Rodríguez

Dedicated to creating an army of cacti, succulents, poodles and cats to help me conquer the world. In the little free time I have left, I play, write and dance.

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