tell us about your indoor that it really is winter

birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)January 18, 2005

Hard cold winter seems to be coming later each year doesn't it? (going into geezer mode) 'back when I was a kid, it got cold at thanksgiving and it STAYED cold'

So what have you got inside?

I'm starting to cut branches for flowers - I am in love with wintersweet - so much better inside than out- the perfume....

Trying to make the plants on the kitchen and living room windowsills look good, and not like a bunch of struggling cuttings and over-winterers. Best looking, most flourishing: abutilon, key lime -zillion flowers, no scent, jasmine blooming -scent, yes, passionflower, sweet potato vines in a jar of water. Coleus sad. Elephant ears not great. Toddler likes to tear elephant ears. Bananas good.

Scale, spidermites, and aphids. Sugar ants come from under the door on warm days to gather honeydew. I get fond of sugar ants. Don't like their cows.

Unheated workroom - sliding glass doors covered with ice now, but in my budget greenhouses (old aquarium, plastic storage boxes) night blooming cereus, salvia, brugmansia, fuchsia cuttings await the spring. Occasional attacks of grey mold - get the lime sulfur. But on the whole the plants do well. Older tougher plants don't get the greenhouses but so far so good.

Library calls. Another garden book reserved is in.

Crunch over the frozen ground. Dreaming of summer.


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Hi Lisa,

Dreaming of spring, summer, anything but this SNOW! We're in Berlin, where are you? Miraculously, I have a Home Depot orchid with buds, started budding out around Christmas. Seems like the more I neglect my orchids, the more they bloom. Just in my living rm. window. Nothing fancy. Every houseplant is SO dry and lifeless, must remember to mist those babies everyday! Great idea - sweet potato vines in water - never thought of that, have just bought new each year. How are they doing? Have a few african violets that never bloom, any suggestions? They are in bright light most of the day - not full sun though.

Have common spider plants, pothos, 1 needle palm, 1 other big palm - all doing OK considering the dry heat.

snow, snow, go away! ;-)

    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 1:51PM
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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

Sue - I've never done too well with orchids - they usually drop a few of their buds and for sure they never bloom again. What kind of orchid is it?

The sweet potato plants are doing astonishing things in their water - I put a few smallish cuttings in a quart mason jar and now I have this cascade of purple and yellow leaves. The roots have absolutely filled the jar and the funny thing is, sometimes the leaves transpire all the water, so the roots are just sitting there in air for a day(humid air I guess) and it doesn't faze them at all. No fertilizer or anything.

Maybe a little fertilizer on your Af. violets?

I'm actually glad to have the snow - as long as it's going to be cold (which I don't like) I want the snow!


    Bookmark   January 20, 2005 at 9:39AM
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Lisa - the orchid is just the common lt. purple type. Don't know the name. Like a pinkish purple. We got about 2 inches of snow - I guess the food stores will be jammed with everyone shopping before the next BIG storm! LOL


    Bookmark   January 20, 2005 at 10:34AM
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Loretta NJ Z6

I am going to try to save what is left of my coleus cuttings. They rooted so well but I left them too long in water. Oh well.
Should start some seeds...

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 12:23PM
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njcher(Zone 6)

birdgardener, are those sweet potato plants from a sweet potato from the grocery store or are they sweet potato plants like the kind we buy at the nursery (ipomoea--blackie,that sort of thing).

I think I'll go take some pics of my indoor gardening spots.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 9:40AM
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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

Cher - I've got the ornamental ipomeas - blackie and margarita - growing together. Should save me about 15 bucks on new ones next spring. 'Course I never save the money, just spend it on the next plant, heehee.

Sue - I have a little orchid secret - they look so artificial and last so long that I bought the most lifelike one I could find from Michaels - and amid the real plants it does look real.

Now I have a nice view beyond the tropicals - everything outside looks so much better covered with snow, doesn't it?

Hope no one had any real trouble during the storm. Stay warm and God bless.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 12:41PM
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Lisa - We got around 14 inches of snow here. Most of our roads are clear here.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 8:55AM
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My indoor plants, especially the african viloets, is what keeps me going while I wait for spring. That and starting all my flowers/veges/herbs for this year from seed, satisfies my craving to garden while it is below freezing outside......and now they tell us another storm is coming tonite....I want spring!!!!


    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 7:45AM
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I managed to keep the African Basil going indoors. Seeds are sterile and this was my favorite new plant tried last year, had to try and keep it over winter indoors! Roots easy in water, then it gets leggy growing in a pot in the window, so had the idea to cut it again from the indoor pots, re-rooted it and now they sit again in water ready with roots to pot up again, but the bottom leaves are yellow. I made some winter-sew milk container green houses, plunked them outside and will bring them in the end of march to grow under lights in my basement. Winter sewing makes me think of things to come, loved the hyacinth bean vine annual from last year, seeded it up again this year, can't live without that covering the fence. Trying sweat pea vines as well, just ordered (little late) to winter sew a bit. I keep saying I want to try some African violets but things get in the way. Deb, my parents boat is in the Long Key marina, that near you? Back to my seeds.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 8:04PM
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wardw(z6 NJ)

Crowded, and getting worse every day. Out back in the forida room with the propane heater are: 2 zonal geraniums, a goldfish plant, 8 rooted cuttings of salvia greggii, 3 geranium maderienses, 6 salvia uliginosa, 5 salvia leucantha, a big pot of salvia black & blue, 4 pineapple sage, 6 honeysuckle fuschia, 2 hardy fuschia,4 tiarella running tappestry, begonia tiger kitten and another I think called iron cross, 3 wax begonias, 4 orange flower double impatiens, two angel's trumpets including a 7 foot one, ect.

The living room has a large begonia tiger kitten, a forty year old jade plant, several other begonias, two orchids, and three or four other tropicals.

In the basement under grow lights: more fuschias, 40 monkey flower seedlings of two types, 4 lantana, 10 stachys coccinea seedlings, 2 rooted begonia cuttings, 7 types of tomatoes just planted.

At the office: 4 types of begonia, a lantana, two roses, 3 african impatiens, honeysuckle fuschia, coleus, salvia black & blue, etc, etc, etc.

This is a good start - soon the rest of the annuals will be started and a salvia shipment is coming. This is what is called, 'out of control', just ask my wife. I like to think that caring for and growing out these plants keeps me just slightly on this side of sanity - not everyone agrees with this point.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 10:36AM
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