by P. Bieneman
I love my houseplants all year long yet I especially appreciate their presence in the fall and winter! The majority of my plants spend summer outside in various locations around my yard. I bring them in by mid-October and they instantly enliven my house once again. I grow a variety of plants including large leaf tropicals, cacti, and even some tropical cacti! Many have been with me for decades.
Adding house plants to your home in the fall and winter is a natural. What better way to continue fostering a love of gardening? I spend a few hours a week watering and grooming my plants. It makes a humongous difference to put some time aside for this, rather than the ‘whenever you get time’ approach. For me it is a relaxing job where I get to observe and enjoy the beauty of my plants.
Blooming plants inside your home are always welcome. I get asked a lot about them. My favorites are African violets, Streptocarpus, Clivia, Anthurium and citrus trees. I grow all of these and they take me through till spring with blooms. I have found that nothing blooms continuously, but a combination of them gives me something to look forward to each week.
For that extra bit of color I will start amaryllis and paper whites. These will energize your winter with a burst of color and fragrance. I like to grow my amaryllis in potting medium so I can save them from year to year. You will eventually get a collection if you decide to properly save them.
Foliage is also important to me. I really like my Fiddle Leaf Fig and my Monstera deliciosa for their dramatic presence. They are both easy to maintain. The fig benefits from a tight pot and measured watering. The Monstera can tolerate more watering. I water them both about every two weeks if dry. For a finer texture, I grow Maidenhair ferns and true baby tears (Soleirolia soleirolii). They both like moisture
so I keep them under glass where they are less prone to drying out.