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Hi All,

I am doing some research for a feature for the One Show and am currently trying to locate the largest and/or oldest potted plant in Britain.

I would love to hear your stories and see your pictures, so do get in touch!

Many thanks!



Someone must have the oldest aspidistra in the world.......................

Hi All,

Thanks for your replies. Yes, the one at Kew is officially the largest but we are keen for plants owned by amateur gardners in the home!

Thanks for your help so far,



I would just ask on the programme.  Such a plant is bound to belong to someone of advanced years who is unlikely to frequent these boards.


Gary Hobson
obelixx wrote (see)

... someone of advanced years is unlikely to frequent these boards.

So true.. young kids like us don't even know what an apdisistra looks like. Well I wouldn't recognise one.


I would think that the mention has already been made and not everyone watches the One show- I never have -my guess is Emma is just widening the search


Hmm, there ae so many discriminatory remarks there that I really don't quite know where to start!!  I am in the age group that has white hair, am very computer literate, do know what an aspidistra look like,  and am a very keen gardener - but am not a TV watcher so would not have seen the questioner not heard the question.

Anyway, to get back to the largest pot plant, that really is a how long is a piece of string question, there are huge hostas, swiss cheese plants etc, which may be competitors - do you want an indoor or an outdoor plant? I have a 12 foot oak tree in a pot, and I am sure there are many others out there with huge pot plants.  Glad you are excluding commercial / professional growers such as Kew and other such places, as some of the plants in pots there are just incredibly enormous - including an enormous rubber tree in one stately home conservatory - no idea which, they run into each other after a few dozen visits. 

I am very curious as to why you would imagine a person of advanced years would not frequesnt the boards - or was that supposed to be a jokette? 

Hi All,

Great to see the discussion going! Bookertoo, you sound exactly like the kind of person that I need to be talking to! At the moment, this is an idea for a short piece that we are developing for the One Show so it hasn't been mentioned anywhere other than here.

 We are looking for indoor pot plants and are interested in both the largest and/or oldest plants that we can find. I understand the problem with specifying size - I guess at the moment we just want to start seeing pictures and hearing from enthusiasts such as yourself. As we hear from the professionals, we can start developing the story. Your 12ft oak tree sounds fascinating. although presumably that is outside?!

Thanks again


I finally got rid of the original christmas cactus my mother gave to me last year it was so woody that i just took cuttings of it to start it again it was at least 40years old. Pity!!

I often see 50 year old money plants (Jade) being auctioned on ebay. Amazing things they are

Gary Hobson
weejenny wrote (see)

I finally got rid of the original christmas cactus my mother gave to me ...

My auntie had a monstrous Christmas cactus. It's the typical sort of plant that people cherished, because it was one the few things that could easily be grown indoors, and got bigger and bigger. I used to work in an office and had the privilege of looking after a whopping cheese plant.

Conservatory owners sometimes have big plants. I'd fancy growing bananas or coconuts.


Id like to grow lemons if I had the room. It was quite sad throwing the cactus away it was still in the same pot although compost was refreshed over the years I remember it in the house always. But with all the cuttings its back to original size and flowered as usual last Christmas.


I remember Christine Walkden saying she had a Christmas Cactus that was 4 ft across, but she's a professional gardener.

There's a pub called The Swan in Fincham in Norfolk which has a very large Money Tree in a pot near the ladies loo.



I think the idea could be fun, but although I have over 400 potted plants, they are - for the vast majority at any rate - outside.   I know there is someone else on these boards who has an oak tree in a pot, but cannot find the discussion thread when we spoke about it - but as it is outdoors it is excluded anyway.

You do see huge plants in places such as airports and shopping entres, which are, I assume looked after professionally - I guess these would be excluded as well? Driving through Belgium it is noticeable there that the days of the big houseplant is alive and well, maybe in other countries too?  I see them less often here.

Are you looking at plants in peoples homes, using conservatory plants?  This could exclude people with just the sort of plant in which I think you are interested.  Will keep an eye on this thread and see where it goes.

I think the days of the giant aspidiatra, and sanservia (mother in laws tongue) are virtaully past. Probably people on the whole do not have the room for them in smaller homes, besides which central heating put paid to many of them over the years. 

Jean Genie

Hi Bookertoo just found this post - if you care to have a look at my latest post you'll find a rather large Aspidistra on it !

Gary Hobson

This one:

jean riley wrote (see)

I was reading a post somewhere and it was mentioned that only people of a certain age still grow these plants - just hoping pic is ok ! Had to do a lot of re-sizing. Well , here's Archie - 25 years old and still thriving.  He has 50 plus leaves and he's about 3ft tall so this is for everyone who doesn't know what an Aspidistra looks like - meet Archie ! Just for the record - I am of that certain age !!!


So now I know what an aspidistra looks like! It's an attractive plant. I have some cannas, a teeny bit similar perhaps.

The Forces Aid charity shop in Yarm Road, Darlington, co. Durham has an aspidistra on display which has a notice claiming that is must be almost 100 years old. (it is not for sale!)

According to the notice, it was brought home from France at the end of the First World War by a returning soldier, and has been passed down through 3 generations of his family. Apparently the last owner emigrated to Australia recently, and as the plant could not be imported, it was donated to the shop.

I know very little about plants, but it certainly looks fit and healthy to me.

John Greaves 

3 years on and I think Emma has already found her "oldest" plant or given up hunting for it

The One Show could be greatly improved by replacing the presenters with plants....and most of the guests too I think.