House plant care can be learned even if you think you have a black thumb.
I spent time on Sunday fussing with my house plants. Poor babies have been neglected other than the weekly watering. My plant room faces north east, with most of the light bright, diffuse morning light. Luckily I seem to be able to grow almost any house plant I want to in that room, and I even over winter my geraniums from the front porch window boxes in the plant room and in a spare bedroom facing the same light exposure.
House Plant Care
This phaelenopsis orchid is still blooming. It’s the one I rescued from Lowe’s in late 2009. It was on sale for a few dollars and had a big hole in the leaf. Well, the hole is still there, and it’s still blooming. I’ve never grown an orchid before and this one is extraordinary. When the flowering branch is finished, the petals drop off like tiny moths, and a new flowering branch quickly forms. It’s just stunning and I want to add more orchids to my collection.
House plant care also includes tidying up the African violets. Most are the solid purple colored ones. The one fancy variety I received from my sister is still growing and it looked severely pot-bound, so I decided to repot it. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t just pot-bound; there were four plants now instead of one! I planted each one in a separate pot and am growing them under lights in the basement for the May Master Gardener plant sale, along with several purple ones I want to re-home.
I cleaned up some dead leaves, gave a few plants a good rinse to rinse out any salts that had accumulated in the pots, and general tidied them all up, ending by giving each one a shot of fertilizer. One of our next household projects will be to create custom-build, tile topped plant bookcases under the windows. My plant shelves consist of snack tables with a board over them. It’s ugly but efficient. My very handy husband has since sketched out a custom build shelving system that will go around two walls of the room. Tile will fit on the top and keep moisture off the wood. Underneath, room for more books. On top, room for more plants.
Does he know me, or what?
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.