Now that Christmas is over we do not have to give up color in our homes. There are many beautiful flowering plants that can be purchased and arranged in our homes for that “lively” look of spring. Plants available at this time of year include cyclamen, begonias, kalanchoes, azaleas, combination pots or baskets filled with an assortment of green, tropicals and blooming plants all mixed for that larger space. Peace lilies make a great tropical houseplant that is both green and usually filled with white flower spikes.
Through the magic of science and temperature games greenhouses now have the capabilities of bringing many plants into bloom out of season. Some of these would include bulbs such as tulips, hyacinths and daffodils as well as hydrangeas and chrysanthemums. There is no rule that you must go and purchase all of these at one time, rather just get one or two at a time each month to keep your house looking fresh and bright and colorful all winter long. Your friends and neighbors and unexpected guest will admire your attention to detail when they see how you keep the place always looking its best.
Understand that most of these blooming houseplants are not salvageable and that after all of the blooms fade away, simply pitch the plant and move on. Nothing is more unrewarding than always trying to nurse dead plants back to life only to fail in the end. Please note that all of the top-notch greenhouse operations in the world only have and maintain good healthy plants at all times. That’s why professional growers always feel satisfied in their world of growing plants.
The best part about these finished plants that you are buying is that you get to throw out the rulebooks on how to grow plants. They are already grown! You simply need to maintain the moisture level with plain ‘ole water and never use any fertilizers. First of all, fertilizers are basically bad medicine during the winter months and secondly they are only used during the growing process, not the “maintaining” process. Try to always water thoroughly but not often. Forget the old once a week advice, it never was any good as different plants dry out at different times. Only water when they are dry.
Maybe watering is not your thing. Have a floral shop or greenhouse operation design a cactus garden mixed with both cactus and succulents. Once these are made and placed into your home, you may not need to lift a finger until sometime in March and then only to do a “spot-watering”. In general, cactus prefers a dry, sunny, but cool location during the winter months. The rule-of-thumb for cactus is no water from October through March. Simply look at the tissue (flesh) of the cactus and it is shriveling then it is time to water. Otherwise wait until April then no matter what; give the entire pot a really good soaking to wake it up from the dry winter. Never stick your finger in the pot as their sharp needles will probably stick you.