Jack Frost has visited Linda’s Serenity Garden many times this year and
we no longer have the fresh cut flowers to bring inside, brightening up the house. Fresh flowers purchased at the grocery store or from a florist are expensive. When you are used to having fresh flowers in the house all through the growing season, buying cut flowers to fill those vases becomes expensive.
With this in mind, we invest in some well-chosen flowering houseplants adding a splash of color to the house. It gives us pleasure as we watch them grow and flower during over cast and sunless Pacific Northwest days.
As we go leave the Christmas season, the stores are filled with azaleas, begonias, cyclamen and Christmas cacti that are marked down on clearance. Not only is the price right but, these plants bring a welcomed splash of color into your home. These plants are cultivated in a nursery in a controlled environment and like to be kept at a constant temperature. In particular, azaleas hate being exposed to sudden drafts of cold air. Even the short trip home from the store can shock these plants and make them shed their flowers. Always make sure you have them packed in tightly sealed plastic before leaving the store, thus protecting them from the sudden change in temperature.
Although beautiful, a disadvantage of cyclamen and begonia is they rarely flower more than a month. These are short-term house plants that should be discarded after flowering. The chrysanthemum, or mum as it is commonly referred to, is a potted flowering plant that has a slightly longer flowering season. The mum comes in almost every color except blue. After your mums are done flowering, cut their stems down to just above the soil line and put them in a cool, dark place, such as a garage or basement, until spring. Once spring arrives and it is planting season, you can transplant your mum plant outdoors in your garden. In the fall, they will bloom again. Provide some mulch after they bloom, and they will become a perennial plant!
Most house plants benefit from being massed together in one container, instead of being placed around the home randomly in smaller separate pots. Take a large clay bowl, pot or a rustic-looking basket and group into one mass display. Four or five Rieger Begonia in one basket look spectacular!
Begonias – http://www.growsonyou.com/photo/slideshow/29184-begonia-betulia
House Plants – httpwww.iflorist.co.ukc-51-house-plants.aspx