Asal muasal janda bolong. Foto: Pinterest

The Origin of Janda Bolong Plant and The Right Way of Fertilization at Home

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Topik Pembahasan

The activity of caring for ornamental plants at home is very useful to get rid of boredom and stress during the imposition of restrictions on community activities. In addition, various types of ornamental plants also make the house feel more beautiful.

Janda Bolong become one of the favorite types of plants that must be owned by ornamental plant collectors. This plant was once viral because the price was fantastic, reaching hundreds of millions. Janda Bolong is usually planted using a pot indoors as a beautiful decoration in a room. Its unique shape makes the corner of the house look more aesthetic and of course instagramable.

This plant with the scientific name Monstera Adansonii has leaves with irregular oval-shaped holes and full-edged ornamental leaves. Janda Bolong is also known as the Swiss cheese plant. Janda Bolong has about 41 species belonging to the genus Monstera, and all of them originate from Central and South America.

Perhaps many people wonder why this plant is named Janda Bolong. There are even some people who consider the use of the name of Janda Bolong to be inappropriate for fear of hurting the feelings of women who have widowed status. But in fact, the use of the name Janda Bolong was started by accident and had nothing to do with the widow.

The origin of the name of the Janda Bolong plant is quite unique and originates from the Javanese community. In Javanese, this plant is called ron phodo bolong which means leaf in a hole. When pronounced quickly, this name sounds like rondho bolong, while the Javanese word rondo means widow. So this plant is widely known as Janda Bolong.

Quoted from kompas.com, Sunday (25/4/2021), the holes in Janda Bolong’s leaves were actually formed due to natural mechanisms. Because the native habitat of Janda Bolong is in nature or forests, these plants live semi-epiphytes (plants whose roots stay up to the ground, vine, and stick to other plants) so that other large tree canopies cover them.

So, for Janda Bolong to survive is to catch sunspots or small rays of sun that penetrate the canopy. This can modify the structure of the widow’s leaves so that they have holes, the same leaf area can cover a larger area.

So, even though some sunspots can pass through the hole, the probability, in other words the incident, of catching the sunscreen’s light increases as there are more areas covered. The strategy that the perforated widow plant uses so that sunlight can be absorbed effectively is to form holes in the leaves.

The existence of holes in the leaves makes the cross-sectional area of the leaves become small so that it can make the sunlight more effective and efficient than if the cross-sectional area of the leaves is large or not perforated.

A botanist Christopher Muir from Indiana University once revealed why Janda Bolong’s leaves have holes in them. Christopher explains that the holes in Janda Bolong’s leaves are formed due to lighting conditions that allow sunlight to penetrate the plant for photosynthesis.

However, there are also those who argue that widows with holes deliberately made holes in the leaves to withstand the strong winds of the storm. Janda Bolong cuts its leaves to allow the wind to go through. In addition, there is also mention that the leaves of Janda Bolong perforated in order to the water come into contact with the roots. However, these last two opinions are still uncertain, so there is a lot of speculation regarding the reason for the perforated of Janda Bolong.

The Beginning of Janda Bolong Becomes Famous in Indonesia

Although quite popular in Indonesia for a long time with a unique name, Janda Bolong is actually not a native plant from Indonesia. This plant is originally from Central America. In fact, in the past, Janda Bolong was very rare to find in Indonesia because it was more widely spread on the American continent. However, among more than 48 species of monstera, the Janda Bolong breed is one of the fastest spreading in Indonesia.

Quoted from casaindonesia.com, Sunday (25/4/2021), this plant has become very popular in Indonesia since a farmer in Bogor area managed to sell it to Japanese people for 120 million Rupiah. From there, many Indonesians were inspired to cultivate Janda Bolong and other types of monstera plants. Although it did take a long time for this plant to spread in Indonesia because of its difficult cultivation techniques.

Even so, Janda Bolong’s fantastic economic value was not simply due to her difficult cultivation. According to Lecturer at the Faculty of Agriculture, Padjajaran University, Syariful Mubarok, Quoted from Pikiran Rakyat, Sunday (25/4/2021), the selling value of Janda Bolong which reached hundreds of millions is a form of price play solely to increase the selling value of ornamental plants.

He added that this phenomenon had also occurred around 2007. At that time, a fantastic price increase was also experienced by the Anthrium Wave of Love ornamental plant. Along with the number of people who produce these types of plants, the price on the market drops dramatically.

Despite having difficult cultivation techniques, the process of caring for the Janda Bolong plant is relatively easy. That is one of the reasons why so many people love this plant. Besides its easy maintenance, Janda Bolong is also resilient against various kinds of pests and diseases as long as the plants are properly stored and cared for.

Apart from its easy maintenance and unique shape, Janda Bolong is a suitable plant for collection at home because it has various benefits, including:

1. Improve Air Quality

If placed in the house, this ornamental plant can absorb various toxic substances from the air. For example benzene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene, xylene, and ammonia. So, Janda Bolong can clean and improve the air quality around him.

2. Refreshing Tired Eyes

Sitting near the Janda Bolong while enjoying the beauty of its leaves can help soothe tired eyes. Looking at the greenery after working in front of a computer screen for hours can make your eyes refreshed.

3. Absorb Chemical Ingredients

In addition to refreshing the eyes, this Janda Bolong can also absorb chemicals that often cause headaches, dizziness, eye irritation, respiratory tract disorders, and allergic reactions.

How to Take Care of Janda Bolong to Keep Its Aesthetic

Janda Bolong is an ornamental plant that is easy to care for. Even so, there are a number of things that must be considered so that your Janda Bolong thrives fertile and still look aesthetically pleasing.

1. Avoid Direct Sun Exposure

Janda Bolong doesn’t need a lot of sunlight. This plant is better suited to bright but indirect light. Direct sun exposure is actually dangerous because it can cause the leaves to wilt, turn yellow, and can even kill plants.

Janda Bolong can live safely even in very minimal lighting, but should not be placed in a place that is too dark. If left in the dark, this plant will experience a symptom called negative phototropism, which is a condition where the leaves will grow towards the darkness, not the direction of the light.

2. Don’t Water Too Often

Apart from the minimum requirement for light, the Janda Bolong plant also does not need frequent watering. Just watering it one to two times a week can support the optimal growth of the Janda Bolong plant. Make sure the soil is dry enough before you water the plant again.

3. Place it in a Humid Area

Janda Bolong should be placed in a humid area, with a room temperature of about 18 ° C to 30 ° C. This plant is best avoided in rooms with temperatures below 15 ° C.

4. Perform Pruning

To keep it from overgrowing, prune the plants regularly so they can grow neatly and remain beautiful to look at.

5. Provide Nutrition with Fertilizer

Even though it is a plant that is not fussy, Janda Bolong needs additional nutrition to thrive. Perform regular fertilization at least once every two weeks. One type of fertilizer that is suitable for Janda Bolong and other ornamental plants is NPK Pelangi 16-16-16 produced by Pupuk Kaltim.

So that fertilizer can be absorbed easily by plants, you should use the fertilization method by applying it. The trick, prepare a bucket of 5 liters of water, then prepare NPK Pelangi 16-16-16. Put 1 tablespoon of fertilizer in a bucket containing 5 liters of water and stir until it dissolves. Once dissolved, use a small scoop and pour half a small scoop of fertilizer solution water over each plant. (*)