HOW WOULD YOU FEEL (and look!) if you hadn’t showered since October? Well, my houseplants have been cursing me lately because like patients confined to a hospital bed—which is how the heated house must feel to them in winter—they want out, or at least some rain. Everyone lined up yesterday for a turn in the shower, some grooming, a proper meal and yes, even a haircut. Late-winter houseplant care time! [read more…]
My houseplants, from Clivia and fancy-leaf begonias to bromeliads and more, are true 365-day garden plants, keeping me company all winter, then joining me outdoors in the garden to add color and texture each spring-into-fall.
I AM IN DENIAL. It simply cannot be time to move over and make room for them again in here, can it? But yes, the nights are already cooler than my fancy-leaf begonias and bromeliads would like, and before long it will be colder than everybody tender will tolerate outside. A whopping 39 degrees F is forecast here tonight! Here’s my 101 on how to overwinter tender garden plants–from houseplants to bulbs and bulb-like things and even some “annuals.” (The only thing I can’t help you with: real estate. Did the house just get a whole lot smaller?) Thanks, Andre Jordan, for just the right doodle.
IT CALLED OUT TO ME at the garden center the other day, with its insane pink- and silver-flushed, fuzzy, foliage. And that was before the flowers showed up. Though simply labeled “Tropical Plant’ on the generic plastic tag (can you believe?) I knew it was an Episcia—a gesneriad, like African violet (Saintpaulia) and Sinningia—but that was about it. Home it came, anyhow, and I’m learning about how to grow my new roommate, commonly called a flame violet. [read more…]
ONE OF MY 2012 TROPICAL PLANT PURCHASES is starting to scare me. The so-called Rex begonia vine—no begonia at all, really, but a gorgeous grape relative from parts of Southeast Asia and Australia—is not going to fit through the door this fall if this lusty behavior keeps up. Meet beautiful Cissus discolor, which I intended to overwinter indoors as a houseplant…oh, dear, what was I thinking when I trained it upward instead of in an easier-to-carry-in hanging basket?
I WENT SHOPPING SATURDAY at a giant annual plant fair nearby, making a beeline to the bromeliad department, a.k.a. the booth of Dave Burdick’s Daffodils and More. I know, bromeliads are not related to daffodils—but like many keen gardeners, Dave has more than one obsession. And I have a special affection for Dave, who delivered my first few too-big-to-handle shrubs here 20-plus years ago and planted them: two spicebush, or Lindera benzoin, and the start of a glade or devil’s walking stick, Aralia spinosa. But I digress: Today’s topic is bromeliads. [read more…]