From the Desk of Ed Hume: Indoor Flowering Plants

November 11, 2009 at 12:00 AM Leave a comment

With Thanksgiving just a couple of weeks away, I think this is a good time to talk about some of the flowering plants you can use indoors to brighten your home for the holidays.

Of course, the most popular of the autumn flowering plants are the Chrysanthemums, better known as “Mums.” These are particularly popular because they predominately come in autumn shades of yellow, orange, and red.  And if you’re on a budget, I think you’ll find they are usually a little less expensive then most other flowering plants or cut flowers.  Plus, when they finish flowering you can plant them outdoors, so you’ll be able to enjoy them as perennials in next year’s garden as well.  I should mention that they also come in a broader range of colors than mentioned previously and that they also come in many shapes and forms.  I recommend the single flowering daisy mums in particular, as they’re our favorites.

Another popular flowering plant is the Klanchoe with its multiple flowering stems, tiny flowers, and large succulent-type leaves.  The advantages of this plant are that it usually flowers for quite some time and, since the leaves store moisture in them, it can go for quite awhile between watering.  The flowers primarily range in shades of yellow, orange, and red.  Incidentally, this makes a nice year-round houseplant.  In fact, it is probably the most popular flowering houseplant in Europe.

In recent weeks, I have noticed quite a few azaleas too.  These are also plants you can enjoy indoors, then plant outdoors next spring after all danger of frost has passed.  The white, pink through red flowers stand out above the attractive bright green evergreen leaves.  These plants sometimes have a tendency to dry out quickly, so be certain to check their watering needs every day of two until you can determine just how much water they require.

When I visited the nursery last week, I noticed dozens of Cyclamen plants in full bloom.  I hope you’ll take a good look at this plant as a possible indoor flowering houseplant for the holidays.  The flowers are unusual in that they point upside down with the flower petals facing upward.  Also, the foliage of many varieties often have some interesting markings.  After flowering, these attractive plants can become year-round houseplants.  I have a friend in Canada that keeps her’s flowering year-round.  She has it growing in the kitchen above the sink on a window ledge, where it gets bright light but very little if any direct sunlight.

Last but not least of the attractive Thanksgiving holiday flowering plants is the “Thanksgiving Cactus.”  It is very similar to the Christmas or Easter Cactus except, as the name implies, it flowers during the Thanksgiving holiday period.  Most have pink flowers, but occasionally you will find them in salmon or white varieties.

Now and again you will even find African violets or miniature roses displayed and sold during the holidays.  In fact, I was in a nursery greenhouse store just a couple of days ago and they had orchids and even some exotic tropical flowering plants.  These options are a bit spendy, but really special.

You’ll find some basic indoor care ideas on our web site in the library section.  And in upcoming weeks, I’ll be discussing houseplant care in even more detail, right here in this weekly column.

Remember: Our relationship with the planet today is tomorrow’s future.



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Podcast Mondays: Indoor Flowering Plants Clip of the Week: Thanksgiving Flowering Plants

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