From the Desk of Ed Hume: Autumn Indoor Flowering Plants

November 22, 2010 at 4:45 AM Leave a comment

Looking for a really nice hostess gift or seasonal gift for someone in a hospital, apartment, or rest home?  How about one of the gorgeous autumn flowering house plants?

I visited one of our local greenhouse/nurseries recently, just to see what kind of indoor flowering plants they were featuring for Thanksgiving and for this time of the year.  Much to my surprise, I found a marvelous collection of flowering potted plants.  I haven’t had a chance to stop by our local florist, but I am certain they would have a nice collection of potted plants too!

At the greenhouse/nursery I found a dozen different types, including the typical chrysanthemums (mums), azaleas, cyclamen, and kalanchoe.   But they also had beautiful African violets, decorative peppers, miniature roses, and Thanksgiving cactus.  Much to my surprise they also had gardenias, gloxinia, hibiscus and Rieger begonias in full bloom.  What was so special about this selection was the pricing, because they ranged from about $8.00 up to about $25.00 depending upon the size of the plants.  In other words, there was something to fit just about any budget!

At this time of year, one often looks for plants that have autumn colors like the chrysanthemums, kalanchoe, or Rieger begonias.   But sometimes it’s fun to step outside the box, as they say, and choose a plant that has a bright cheery color or two-toned flower like some varieties of the gloxinia or hibiscus.

Of all these plants that I have mentioned the Rieger begonias, African violets, kalanchoe, and cyclamen are the ones that are apt to continue flowering for the longest period of time.

The chrysanthemums, azaleas, miniature roses, hibiscus, and Rieger begonias are plants you can maintain indoors until about May.  Then as soon as the weather warms in late Spring they can be planted outdoors and be enjoyed in the Summer garden too.

Here are a couple of suggestions for taking care of flowering potted plants while they are in the home:

First, it is important to note that an estimated that 93% of all houseplant loss is due to over-watering, so be certain to check the watering needs of any plant carefully.  Usually the “plant tag” in the pot makes some recommendations for that particular type of plant.   Also, refer to my chapter on “Houseplants” on our web site www.humeseeds.com.  It’s a chapter I wrote for my latest book “Gardening with Ed Hume, Northwest Gardening Made Easy.”  There wasn’t space in the book for the chapter, so we published it on our web site.   It tells how to grow houseplants in the home…not in the greenhouse, unlike a lot of houseplant books or articles.

Second, observe recommended exposure.  Does the plant need bright light, defused light, or low light?  Keep the plants away from heating ducts, door that open and close to the out-of-doors or near windows where the alternating bright daytime sunlight and cold outdoor night-time air could ruin them.  This last comment is not as much of problem in today’s homes, that have well-insulated windows, as it is in older homes.

An indoor flowering plant will add a bright spot of color in your home this holiday season.

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Clip of the Week: Fall Mulching Ed’s Podcasts: Thanksgiving Flowers

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