19 November 2007

Indoor blooms to prevent November Insanity

Well, despite my optimism on Garden Bloggers Bloom Day I don't think our Golden Wings is going to get to open. We've had three successive days of quite cold weather. No, make that bonechilling cold, at least today when the lazy wind doesn't go around, but through, the unsuspecting person lured outside to fill birdfeeders. And of course it's a cloudy day, so the sky is shades of grey, which doesn't produce a lot of light to come in windows and cheer the soul.

I get through the fall and winter months by having fresh flowers and flowering plants in the house as much as possible. My office has east and south light, and that helps too, though there are mature rhododendrons and a host of spruce trees to help reduce available light somewhat. But since I spend most of my waking hours in my office, slaving over my computer to produce articles, I figure there should be plenty of plants to keep me company.

I treat cyclamen as pretty annuals; when late spring comes, I plant out the ones that have shared my office all winter, and they do nicely outdoors, flowering until hard frost turns them to mush. Their flowers remind me of happy, brilliantly coloured butterflies, and their foliage is just gorgeous, with those wonderfully patterned leaves.

I've written before about my fondness for outdoor members of the Euphorbia genus, but the first euphorb I got to know (other than the poinsettia) was the Crown of Thorns. It used to be you saw this plant with red or white flowers, but now there are other shades, including this whimsical pale yellow.

I know that Kate of Kate Smudges knows this plant, but have others fallen for it? It's called Blue Haze (Evolvulus) and it's usually sold as an annual for planting outdoors; at least that's been my experience since I first found it several years ago. The only thing about the plant I don't care for is its ability to attract hair from the catchildren, who seem to be fond of visiting it (though they don't chew on it, just bump against it.) The clear blue flowers are somewhat similar to Plumbago (my plumbago isn't flowering yet, but it's another glorious indoor plant if you have bright light and a warm room.)

I love the bright happy colours of kalanchoe, and usually have two or three of them splashed around the house for bursts of brightness. Their sprays of small, fourpetaled flowers last for a long time, and if deadheaded, they'll usually produce more sprays, at least until well into spring.

I have a confession about this phaelonopsis orchid; I thought I'd killed it for sure earlier this autumn, because it had been seriously neglected for a few weeks (as in no water, no misting...no looking at it! Poor thing). I'd moved it to a different spot and errrrr...forgot it was there. Happily for me, it responded to a little emergency care, and responded in fact by sending out two new secondary shoots of flower buds. I've contritely promised to treat it better over the coming months. Do you suppose that will kill it?

Yes, I know they're common as all get out. But maybe that's why I love them--because across the world, people know and love geraniums. I'm especially partial to a deep-wine ivy geranium which is in the kitchen, but it's currently forming new flower buds and has no flowers, so this pink stalwart will have to do.

I read too much. Specifically, I read maybe too many gardening blogs, because I don't always remember where I read what. One of my garden blogging friends posted about streptocarpus the other day, and I'm havin' yer basic brain fart because I do NOT remember who it was--nor do I have time right now to search through those thirty or so regular reads to figure it out. Just suffice it to say that others also extol the virtues of the Cape Primrose. I can see them becoming a habit, if the nursery where I purchased this one continues to bring in a host of different colours. I like them better, I think, than their relative Saintpaulias (African violets) in part because they aren't cat-hair magnets.

Sure, I could have held this til December Bloom Day...but I'll just get more plants for then, okay!?
What's flowering in YOUR indoor garden?


  1. Hi Jodi...

    Indoors right now I've just got one orchid blooming, and crown of thorns, oh, and I almost forgot, a Christmas cactus. Orchids, by the way, are easily killed by kindness, so be careful!

    And I read about Streptocarpus on a blog the other day, too, this one: http://www.hortmag.com/blog/A+Favorite+Pot.aspx

    Is that where you read about it?

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. Jodi, you have gorgeous indoor plants. I have a freind that has only 2 cats and she can't have indoor plants becasue her cats do things to them. I wonder why your cats don't damage your indoor plants? Do you have a secret?

    I only have a couple of indoor plants blooming. They are some succulents that I brought in this fall. One is an Aloe, one is a echeveria (sp) and one is some kind of gray succulent. I don't think any of these had tags. Often I just pick up intresting looking plants.

  3. I cut my kalachoe back hard last year and it has yet to recover. I think I'll bring it into the warm house and see if I can revive it so it will flower again.

    Thanks for the reminder. I'm jealous of your houseplant skills!

  4. Beautiful! I saw a yellow Crown of Thorns earlier this year and nearly bought it, now I wish I had. I'll see it again I'm sure.

    I plan to do a post on blooming indoor plants, too, but I might just wait until December bloom day. I may have an amaryllis blooming by then and I know the hoya will be. It's loaded with new flower clusters forming.

    Right now, for bloomers I've got pelargoniums, one orchid, black sweet potato vine, Peace lily, African violets, Crown of Thorns (when ISN'T it blooming?), abutilon, and tropical hibiscus. My variegated brugmansia is setting gobs of flower buds again!

  5. I am such a boring indoor plant person... think spider plant.

    At any rate, I love this collection of colour. It's inspiring. Hopefully not enough to give me another addiction.

  6. Beautiful blooms. I only have 2 outdoor blooms and they are starting to find. All I've got is green inside. These are wonderful!

  7. Jodi, your indoor blooms are beautiful. Just before I got the garden, I liked indoor plants for its shapes, foliage and... resistance to drought :) 2 winters ago it has changed and decided to get more flowers in the winter - they are great cheering companions when it's cold outside.
    '..wind going through..' is great expression - I never thought about it this way, but yes, this is how it is.
    Phalenopsis is very easy to kill - just water it every day and don't let it dry - it will fade away very fast.
    Maybe it was my blog where you red about streptocarpus - I posted this picture
    Ok. I need to find out how to make tiny url :)

  8. Very unusual those yellow Crown of Thorns flowers. Here you see mostly the red ones.

    I've found over the years that many of my orchids do very well with a bit of neglect every now and again. ;-)

    In flower at the moment in my home are several orchids, cyclamen and streptocarpus.

  9. We have one African Violet.-pretty pathetic.-I'm going to attempt another indoor plant soon.I'm interested in such things but have so many interests that I run out of time and motivation.-btw-like the colorful photos.

  10. Nada, niente, nothing, zip, zilch, the big goose egg - not a single indoor bloom. How old does a cactus have to be before it blooms? I am both jealous of & inspired by your assortment of blooms. I'm tempted to go out & buy something, but I have to ask myself, is that fair to the plant?

  11. Wow! You have a lovely collection of indoor-blooming plants. My Blue Daze froze ... I don't have room for it inside. I think it is funny that it attracts the cats.

    All this colour will keep the winter blues away!


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