Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Learning with Indoor Plants
Here in southern California, I don't have the need to grow a lot of indoor plants like I did when we lived for twelve long winters in Edmonton. There, I needed a reminder that plant life went on during the dark, cold season. In fact, indoors there I grew many of the plants that thrive outdoors here. Here, they are gigantic relatives of those tiny potted plants. For example, in the garden here, planted by previous owners, is a gigantic split leaf philodendron which rises to around eight feet!
Here, though, I still have some green growing indoors. I keep three pots of African violets beside the kitchen sink. They bloom frequently. When a plant gets over large, I throw it out and buy a new one that fits the pot. Throwing it over the hillside outdoors adds compost. I have learned that trying to keep one going that has huge leaves and the roots and soil are spent is not rewarding. At times, I have taken a leaf and potted it up to get a new plant economically. I should do that again to show Alan how it is done.
Another plant that I like to have indoors is a blooming phaleanopsis or butterfly orchid. I have had other orchids, too, but I like the showy butterfly one a lot. If I get a bouquet of cut flowers, I am lucky if they last one week. Even if I bring cut flowers in from my garden, they are usually shriveled by a week's time. Don likes to cut roses and Bird of paradise stems to display in vases. As far as having flowers that last a long time, an orchid plant can't be beat. It lasts weeks if I buy one with buds and looks grand on the counter.
For years, I have kept the plants that have bloomed and tended them. Eventually, they have all dried out without sending up another bloom spike. I keep trying to learn how to have them re-bloom. I am excited now to see if I have accomplished this. Two of the plants that I keep on the counter in the kitchen have sent up spikes that I believe will bloom. This morning, I drenched all the orchid plants in "rain" from above since I believe that is how they get moisture in nature. (The African violets, on the other hand, are watered by adding water to the saucer they sit in so they will wick moisture upward. The leaves do not like to be wet. Probably that is how they get water in nature, also.) I will be happily anticipating investigating what has happened with those two spikes when I return on the weekend. I hope I don't come back to dried out sticks. I hope that there will be flower buds formed on the spikes. It is good to have hope.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so envious of you and my mother. I have a black thumb when it comes to gardening!!!!


5:22 AM  

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