Bring out Oscar's Best
Oscar is one relaxed plant and doesn't mind where you put him. His wavy, distinctive and tough leaves are just as happy in shade as they are in bright light.
Perfect for beginners.
WHERE’S MY HAPPY PLACE?
Oscar is a chilled guy. He likes nothing more than being in a bright, indirect light. A kitchen, living room or bedroom is perfect. He’ll be fine in the shade too, though he will grow slower and might lose his stripes, giving you solid green leaves.
His leaves look tough but they can burn if left in direct sunlight, so try not to keep him in a windowsill that faces west or south (use an app if you don’t happen to know) as these directions get the strongest, most consistent sun.
WATERING & FEEDING
Oscar likes his soil to be kept moist. Use the HomePlant finger trick – poke your finger into the soil up to your first knuckle. If it comes out damp at all, Oscar does not need any water. If the soil is dry, it’s time to water.
Rain and distilled water is always best for plants because the chemicals in tap water can turn leaves brown, but if you can only get tap water, don’t worry too much. Oscar can handle it.
Water directly onto the soil, remembering to water so thoroughly that it begins to drip through the bottom of the plastic pot. When you’re done, leave Oscar to stand in a sink or the tub for an hour or so to drain excess water away. Oscar, like almost all plants, hates being left sitting in still water because it rots his roots.
Water less in the winter. The HomePlant finger trick should be your guide.
Oscar doesn’t need to eat all that much. Feed him once a month in spring and summer and don’t give him anything in autumn and winter.
Repotting Oscar is simple enough. Get a plastic pot like the one he came in that is slightly bigger, we recommend a few inches deeper than the one you’re moving him out of. Make sure the new pot has holes in the bottom for drainage. You can put a thin layer of gravel in the bottom to give it extra drainage. Oscar will love you for it though it’s not essential.
Get a good soil mix from your local garden store or DIY place and fill in the gaps around the roots when he is firmly in his new home. Water Oscar straight away using the instructions above to help everything get settled in.
Oscar does best when their roots are slightly tangled and twisted – something people with green fingers might called ‘root bound’ – in their pots, so we don’t recommend repotting him too often. A good rule of thumb is if you can see roots poking out the top of the soil, it is time for repotting – otherwise, Oscar’s roots might crack the plastic pot he’s in!
If the tips of Oscar’s leaves are turning brown this is usually down to one of two things – too much or not enough water.
We know that sounds tricky to diagnose, but think carefully. Are you waiting for Oscar’s soil to be dry before thoroughly watering? If not, then he has probably taken on too much water.
Oscar’s ancestors grew up in Latin America, so he is used to going for long-ish periods without water. If you think he might be over watered, it’s fine to leave him for 10 days or so for the soil to dry out before watering again.