Friday, January 21, 2011

Houseplants: A Reminder of Warmer Days Ahead

Currently, the ground is frozen here in Arlington. Thus one has 2 options: Be content with dreaming about next year's garden or get your hands dirty inside.  I choose the latter option. Nothing cheers up the indoors like a bit of living green things around too.  Now, some claim that certain plants clean the air. I am not able to either confirm or deny these claims. Instead, for me, they brighten my day--especially in the winter months--and any air-cleaning effect is just a bonus.

Here are the plants that call my house their home:

African violets.  Now, Mabel featured in my previous blog post, has since died.  I accidentally left her in our unheated porch during a hard freeze.  Poor girl.  However, I have since replaced her with 3 other African violets: Priscilla, Duchess and Violet.  What is lovely about African violets is that they bloom year-round and have a wide variety of petal colors, petal shapes, leaf colors, etc.

Pothos. Yes, these are the ubiquitous office plants. And they are ubiquitous for good reason too...doing well under very low light conditions and infrequent watering make these suckers tough to kill. However, if you look around hard, you can find cultivars with unusual leaves. Best of both worlds!

Bonsai. I don't really groom my ficus bonsai (his name is Newton) like I should. Instead I enjoy have a little tree in my house.

Pilea glauca & Dwarf Philodendron. Remember my post on landscaping inside?  As I predicted the Centarium scilloides died (probably too dry and was crowded out by the aggressive Pilea glauca), but the rest of the planting is thriving in a location with virtually no light--artificial or otherwise.

Gerbera daisy. My husband got this for me probably around October and it is amazingly still blooming!

Plants I'm considering:

Dwarf citrus. The hiccup here is that I'm not sure I get enough sun indoors to ever get fruit.

Scented geraniums. These aren't actually geraniums...they are part of the Pelagornium genus. Importantly, these can be used to make flavored simple syrups or tea (actual geraniums are poisonous). I'm thinking about acquiring a rose scented one. Sandy Mush Nursery in North Carolina has an impressive selection, but locally DeBaggio's selection isn't too bad.

Lichen. I killed a beautiful terrarium purchased from Etsy and would love to try another one.


  1. I am totally in the same boat. I just finished dividing a peace lily, one of my favorite house plants. Also, I ordered my heirloom seeds!

  2. Fun! I've got to place another seed order as I forgot to buy hot cherry peppers. If only the ground would thaw...I'm ready to plant!! :)