Meet: Mike Ferrero, Just a Touch of Paradise, Tropical Plant Expert

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3 Mar 2020

Mike is a tropical plant collector and modern day plant hunterwho is looking forward to his second year of Collectors’ Plant Fair. Mike travels the furthest distance of all our plant growers, driving his tropical treasures 2,600km from Tropical North Queensland to join in the fun. Our convenor Linda Ross spoke to him on the phone from the Philippines.

What’s your day job?

I’m a horticulturist that curates tropical plant collections for botanic gardens all around the world.

 

What are your bringing to Collectors’ this year?

The emphasis will be on tropical foliage plants for indoors, trending towards natural variegation leaf patterns like silver markings and golden flecks. For starters I’m bringing...

Medinilla: about 10 species in full flower of my collection

Alocasia: have a very loyal following in Sydney so I’m bringing ‘Sting Ray’ and other wonderful leaf shape varieties

Anthurium: Still very popular houseplant lovers, I’ll bring some rarities

Philodendron: I have a huge range of rare and unusual varieties inc. pastazanum, the wonderfully velvet melanochrysum, plowmanii and verrucosum

Colocasia: 7 interesting varieties like Mojito and Midori.

Licuala: a full set of smaller plants of mattensis

 

What was popular in 2019?

The love and desire for Aroids really surprised me, they were gobbled up by an insatiable group of houseplant enthusiasts. The passion for my philodendrons, anthuriums,chlorophytum and medinillas were amazing.

 

What are you doing right now?

I’m in the Philippines hunting for plant material. I love getting out into the wilds of the Philippines where there are over 100 species of Medinilla.

 

Where do you hunt for tropical plants?

I like to go to South East Asia, to find the plants that fit in my Cairns climate. I’ve got a good network of friends in Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

 

Why do you like coming to Collectors?

I like the country vibe, the people, how it's organised, I like to see what’s popular and what plants are trending. I like how plant lovers are organised with their trolleys, boxes and reusable bags. I really love how customers can put their precious plants in a creche for security and pick them up inthe car at the end of the day. Also, the fact that the train station is so close is a bonus.

 

You’ll find Mike Ferrero at Stand 39