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Self-Confessed ‘Jungle Boy’ Has 1,400 House Plants That Take Him Hours To Water Everyday

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 16 Apr 2020 10:26
Self-Confessed 'Jungle Boy' Has 1,400 House Plants That Take Him Hours To Water EverydayKennedy News and Media

As anyone who has ever invested in house plants will know, it’s a bit like taking responsibility for a child, in that if they don’t get adequate care, well, we’ll not go down that road…

Looking after house plants is a big commitment and can take up a fair bit of time – and that’s only caring for two or three leafy green children.

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At the opposite end of the scale is this self-confessed ‘jungle boy’, who spends hours watering his 1,400 house plants every single day.

Check out a tour of his home jungle here:

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Joe Bagley, 20, has transformed his one-bedroom converted coach house into an indoor jungle with tropical plants, flowers, cacti, succulents and vines – and some of them even live in the bath!

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‘I love it every morning when I wake up and walk around, it’s lovely,’ Joe said. ‘There’s not a single room without plants in, and every room is chockablock.’

Not only do the 477 terracotta pots housing his leafy family cover all of Joe’s spare floor space but you will find a plant placed on every bookshelf, the staircase, dining table, bedside cabinet and basically just any space that isn’t already occupied.

Self-Confessed 'Jungle Boy' Has 1,400 House Plants That Take Him Hours To Water EverydayKennedy News and Media

He added:

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There’s plants on the stairs, dinner table, my bedside cabinet. I’m always thinking of new places to put more.

The 20-year-old, who works in a garden centre, has spent his hard earned pennies amounting to around £3,500 on his plants and dedicates several hours every day to keeping them fed and watered.

However, Joe has a connection like no other with his plants, as he’s even admitted waking up in the middle of the night with a ‘sixth sense’ that his plants need some TLC.

Self-Confessed 'Jungle Boy' Has 1,400 House Plants That Take Him Hours To Water EverydayKennedy News and Media
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He said:

I have a sixth sense for knowing when something needs watering. I can just be walking past a plant and I know.

I have even been known to wake up at 1am and think ‘hang on, one of my orchids needs watering’.

Despite his ever-growing greenery often making his home hard to navigate for visitors, Joe has no plans to stop adding to his collection and admits it has become an ‘addiction’.

Joe’s grandmother, who lives just over the road, has frequently told him he has too many plants, so he’s even taking to ‘smuggling’ them home in the night so she doesn’t spot the new additions.

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Self-Confessed 'Jungle Boy' Has 1,400 House Plants That Take Him Hours To Water EverydayKennedy News and Media

‘At one point there were plants blocking the door and only I knew how to get past without knocking them over,’ Joe explained. ‘I’ve had to clear the doorways now and create a bit of a path so people can get around.’

Joe spends several hours each day tending to his plants, and he regularly takes them outside to hose them down and get rid of any dust. Then, every two weeks he does big spring clean and prunes everything.

And, it seems as though all his TLC is working, as Joe even has a plant that has grown as big as four metres long, he explained: ‘It’s started to come into the shower with vines growing between my Head and Shoulders and shower gel.’

Self-Confessed 'Jungle Boy' Has 1,400 House Plants That Take Him Hours To Water EverydayKennedy News and Media

Green-fingered Joe added:

I have read so many articles and studies that say humans need to be around plants. When I’m somewhere without any plants I feel a bit weird. I don’t feel like a jungle boy anymore.

Joe’s love affair with plants began when his grandma gifted him a cutting of her spider plant, when he was just 13.

As the South African flowering plant grew and blossomed so did Joe’s fascination with all things horticulture-related.

In 2018, Joe moved out of the family home and he already had 100 plants. But, as soon as he had his own space to fill, his collection bloomed to the 1,400 he has today.

Self-Confessed 'Jungle Boy' Has 1,400 House Plants That Take Him Hours To Water EverydayKennedy News and Media

Over the years, Joe has developed a skill for taking on dying plants he finds in sales and reviving them back to full health.

He explained:

I love the process of looking after them and watching them grow. I love having something that relies on me to look after it.

These plants would be dead if I wasn’t there to look after them.

People have started to see me like a plant hospital. If a plant has died, people bring it to me and I revive it and give it back a few months later.

Self-Confessed 'Jungle Boy' Has 1,400 House Plants That Take Him Hours To Water EverydayKennedy News and Media

With his huge breadth of knowledge of his leafy friends, he one day hopes to open up his dream business – a jungle café.

Until then, Joe is amassing an impressive fan base online, as he shares all his tips and experiences on his website.

In the winter, Joe keeps his flat at around 16 degrees to give his house plants a ‘proper winter’.

Self-Confessed 'Jungle Boy' Has 1,400 House Plants That Take Him Hours To Water EverydayKennedy News and Media

He said:

The plants need that winter dormancy period. It’s also the best way to get them to live for years. Plants can last for at least 20 years.

I have a Christmas cactus from my step-uncle that his mum got in the seventies. That plant has been around since the days of Abba, It’s quite crazy.

It’s just something a bit different. I am a bit addicted to buying plants but when they’re only £3 that’s only a Tesco meal deal.

If I starve myself for a day that’s it. That easily seals the deal for me.

Check out Joe’s hints and tips on caring for house plants here.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: Life