We are now entering into the cooler months and our gardening endeavors are focused upon indoor activities. There are a number of plants that you can grow in your home to provide color and cheer until next year’s garden bursts with blooming annuals and perennials again.
African Violets hold the number one spot for flowering houseplants, and rightly so. They grow with ease on a windowsill with filtered light, or in a bright room, placed away from the window. With bottom watering and light fertilizing with food sold specifically for African Violets, they will bloom through most of the year. Simple pinching of old flowers and stems will keep the plant looking neat and pretty.
Kalanchoe are robust fall and winter blooming plants with bright flowers and glossy green leaves. The cherry flowers bloom in clusters of red, pink, orange, yellow, and white. They are members of the succulent family so a brightly lit room in direct exposure of the sun and a little water are the key to their success.
Reiger Begonias, when purchased in bud, provide dependable color for months! Their blossoms resemble those of camellias or even rosebuds. They bloom best over the fall and winter months because short days and cool nights encourage blossoms. Teamed with cyclamen and amaryllis, they make excellent winter windowsill plants.
Cyclamen are one of the true gems of the winter windowsill plants. Upright stems bear delicate flowers on top of lovely green heart shaped leaves. The abundant flowers come in shades of pale to hot pink, purple, lavender, white, and brilliant red. Because the crown of the plant should not be wet, it is best to water them from the bottom up. Keep the soil lightly moist but not wet. It is not unusual for cyclamen to continue to bloom right up to March.
Because these are all blooming plants, fertilize lightly every two or three weeks with a blooming houseplant fertilizer, higher in phosphorus (the middle number) than in nitrogen and potassium.