The Betel Leaf Plant is endemic across South East Asia and India this pungently flavoured houseplant (yep, that's right it's edible!) has been traditionally used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.
The Betel Leaf plant is one close to my heart as I first tried this when I lived in South Korea while travelling. This is one of the few houseplants you can and in my humble opinion most definitely should eat, or at least try - especially if you're a lover of Korean BBQ or Indian Paan, it's delicious with a peppery freshness!
Ornamentally it is admired for its large heart-shaped, green leaves on a vigorously growing vine that can reach up to 3 meters or more in the right conditions.
Pinching out the leaves will encourage a bushier growth habit with denser foliage. Alternatively, their vining growth can be left to trail down from a shelf or hanging pot, if preferred.
While this versatile houseplant is very easy to grow it does have some specific care requirements.
Light: The Betel Leaf Plant prefers bright but dappled light and will not be happy in a dark corner. The foliage will also burn if left in direct afternoon sunlight for too long.
Watering: Keep evenly moist but be careful not to overwater or leave sitting in stagnant water as this may result in root rot. It will prefer to be left to slightly dry out rather than having wet feet. Also, it may be worthwhile repotting into a more, loamy soil to aid drainage once the plant has settled into its new location and filled out its nursery pot a little more.
Temperature & Humidity: In its natural environment the Betel Leaf plant enjoys warmth and higher humidity levels than may be available in the average home. We suggest misting regularly and bringing indoors in the colder months of winter as anything lower than 5C will most likely result in death for this tropical plant.
It's not often we get to stock a houseplant that is both beautiful and edible.