Posted on: January 20, 2016 | Written By: Doug Oster |
There’s just something that feels good about having plants growing inside during the “off season.” Their color, fragrance and texture are needed in the dead of winter and I appreciate them the most right now.
As I put the finishing touches on a story about houseplants in this Friday’s Tribune-Review, I’m thinking of my own love of the plants growing on he windowsill.
Poinsettias will live there without complaint, providing color all season. They will go into the garden in the end of May where they will triple in size, but lose their color. Most of the time they meet their maker the next fall, but if I get to it, I’ll bring them in for another season. They will color up a little on their own, but rarely look as good as plants from the nursery.
One of my favorite houseplants is Sansevieria cylindrica. It’s a different species of snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue. I bought it at Chapon’s Greenhouse years ago and it keeps making babies which I transplant to other containers. The only thing that will kill it is too much water.
Find some hyacinth or paperwhite bulbs at a garden center. All they need is a little water to bloom and their aroma is intoxicating.
Kalanchoe is a blooming succulent which is also tough as nails. I look forward to the flowers each winter. This one has grown leggy inside, but when it’s done blooming I’ll trim it back and root the cuttings.
Succulents in general are becoming popular for growing indoor as they don’t require much from the gardener. Don’t over water!
I bought begonia ‘Marmaduke’ from Dennis James of DJ’s Greenhouse (one of my favorite places) in Transfer, Pa. He had a table at an event I was speaking at last March. It was way too cold to put it in the garden, so it grew happily on the windowsill until May. This fall I brought it back in to overwinter. It’s thriving in low light and will be put back outside when all chance of frost has passed.