Golliwoog is an ideal fodder plant for various small animals, which developed from the houseplant “creeping beautiful cushion”. Here you can find out everything about this plant.
Almost everyone likes the shiny green leaves of the “Creeping Beautiful Cushion”, whether budgerigar or zebra finch, guinea pig, or mouse. And rabbits and tortoises are also very wild about the “Callisia repens” (Callisia repens). The plant, originally native to South America, first became popular in German households as a warmth-loving pot and hanging plant – until the Papenburg couple Manfred and Nadine Schrape discovered by chance that their daughter’s rabbits were enthusiastically tackling the lush greenery.
They then had the plant tested for digestibility and then for the ingredients in an institute for animal nutrition. The result: “Callisia repens” is no longer just used for greening rooms, but also as a forage plant for many small animals under the product name “Golliwoog”, which gives the plant its scrapings.
Optimal supplementary feed for small animals
“The studies have shown that Golliwoog is rich in minerals and vitamins. That is why the plant is an ideal supplementary feed for small mammals, birds, and even reptiles,” explains gardener Nadine Schrape. The plant also has an optimal phosphorus/calcium ratio and contains roughage and crude fibre. Above all, it is suitable as a healthy green fodder for the winter time.
Golliwoog: The untreated forage plant
There is one important difference between the “Creeping Beautiful Cushion” houseplant and the “Golliwoog” forage plant, even if they are basically the same plant: houseplants are usually treated with strong pesticides. This makes plants that are actually well tolerated harmful and unhealthy for animals. Feeding the houseplant “Creeping Beautiful Cushions” is therefore not really healthy and may even be harmful.
Golliwoog, on the other hand, is grown specifically as a fodder plant and the Schrapes therefore do without pesticides and the like: their Golliwoog is untreated. “Instead of pesticides, beneficial insects, i.e. special mini fly species, ensure that no pests can spread to the plants in the greenhouse,” explains gardener Nadine Schrape.
The product name is protected to ensure that no treated houseplant is labeled Golliwoog. In addition, the forage plants are sold in special Golli-Thek pots so that they can be distinguished even better.
A spot in the semi-shade
If you buy one or more Golliwoog pots, you should place the heat-loving green plant on the windowsill in winter. Although it likes it sunny, it shouldn’t stand in the blazing sun for a long time, semi-shade is more suitable. In summer it thrives outside, on the balcony or in the garden.
The plant does not get “wet feet”, so it should only be kept slightly moist and watered sparingly in winter (about once a week) and not sprayed.
Golliwoog is served in different ways depending on the species:
It is best for bird keepers to plant Golliwoog in a hanging basket and hang it in the aviary or in the bird room, so they can fly to parakeets, zebra finches and the like as they please. Important: At first you should only feed a few shoots, especially to birds that are not used to fresh food, otherwise the water-rich leaves could lead to diarrhea.
For tortoises, repotting in a higher container is recommended. Then the shoots hang down on the plant pot and can be easily bitten off and eaten by the animals.
It is better not to let guinea pigs and rabbits directly into the pots, otherwise, they will climb in and attack the roots, causing the plant to die. It is better to plant two or three Golliwoogs together, e.g. in a balcony box, and cut off a few shoots if necessary and serve them as a snack.
Since the plant will be eaten up by all animals very quickly, it is advisable to buy several Golliwoog plants and offer them to the animals in turn. Meanwhile, the others can recover and regrow.