Archive for the ‘Indoor Plants’ Category
I am just thrilled. My Meyer lemon tree, now probably 5 years old, has produced what I think is a bumper crop. The first couple of winters, I kept it in a spare bedroom when temperatures approached freezing. Last year I potted it up into a 19″ rectangular pot. The tree has flourished to the point that a big decision must now be made. If I want to have guests, there is no room for the tree. Which shall it be – tree or guests in the spare bedroom? Alas there is no choice. Sadly I will have to miss the fragrance of its winter blossoms – they will help perfume the greenhouse at our Arlington store instead. (As a footnote, Michael and Lorie planted their Meyer lemon outside in a protected spot. I will let you know how it fares this winter).
Meanwhile we are in the process of harvesting 56 lemons. I have already made some Meyer lemon marmalade – my husband loves it. I am anxious to taste the preserved lemons – this is a new one for me. Meyer lemon limoncello is next on the list. And half of the lemons are still waiting to be picked.
What a treat this has been…
In all of these years of gardening organically, I have never been successful growing herbs indoors. I remember my Mum and my siblings bringing in their rosemary plants each winter up in Ontario. They placed it in a very sunny window and most winters it would survive well enough to be planted again outside in the spring. I always marveled at their green thumbs, because it is not easy to grow rosemary inside.
My experiment this winter with basil goes to show that everyone can learn something new at any time. Last October I took a 4″ Genovese basil plant and potted it in some Redenta’s Potting Mix, in an old terra cotta pot. Every other week or so, I watered it with a liquid seaweed solution – the only special care other than regular watering. Inside it is in a very sunny spot. Every day that the temperature goes above 50 degrees, I place it outside in the sun. It has truly thrived. There may not be enough for a batch of pesto yet, but there has certainly been enough to put in salads, soups, pastas and even a small batch of basil oil. This has been fun!
I am always on the lookout for easy to care indoor plants. Anyone can succeed with tillandsia, commonly known as “air plants”. They are actually bromeliads, native to southern United States, as well as Mexico, Central and South America. These fascinating plants grow on rocks and trees without soil.
Find a spot in your house with bright filtered light and good air circulation and they will be happy. In the winter months, they will even take direct sunlight. Thoroughly wet them two to three times per week. Plants should dry in no longer than four hours. Do not leave them in standing water. Fertilize bi-monthly with a Superthrive solution. Optimum temperature is 50 to 90 degrees. Once the plant has grown to maturity, it blooms for a month or two. After blooming, new plants will form around the base.
They vary in hues and sizes. Single small ones look great in hanging glass balls, or in a small glass bowl. Large specimens or clusters of smaller ones are striking in a large open bowl of wood or glass – simple, yet elegant.
It was during the Victorian Age that gardeners began their love affair with growing blubs indoors. The sweet scent of paperwhites and the simple elegance of a single amaryllis bloom grown in a glass of water brought the spring garden indoors during the dark days of winter. Even the most novice gardener can plant and enjoy one of nature’s simple pleasures.
Paperwhites do not need a cold storage period. Simply fill a shallow pot (3 to 4 inches deep) halfway with gravel, stones or soil. Choose bulbs that have some green shoots showing. Set the bulbs gently in the growing medium, pack more soil or gravel around the bulbs, leaving the tips visible. Water thoroughly. If planted in water, be sure that the water remains below the base of the bulb.
Place your paperwhites in a cool (50 – 60 º) dark spot for 3 to 4 weeks or until the bulbs have budded. This allows the roots to develop and helps the flower stems to stay shorter and thus less likely to fall over.
Place your container where there is plenty of light and watch them develop into bloom. If the paperwhites do start to fall over, tie them with a raffia bow, support them with some twigs from the garden, or grow them in a tall vase.
Start some this week and you will have blooms for Thanksgiving. Start some every other week and you will have blooms all winter long.