House Plants

There are some exotic, very pretty, and expensive house plants on the market.  What I have is not that.  Most of mine were pass-a-long plants from friends or garden club sales.

I do much better with succulents because they don’t need as much attention and watering as some other types of plants.  For some reason, I tend to neglect house plants more than those in the yard.

Many succulents are hard to identify.  I don’t know the name of this one.

I have bought a few plants, like this Petra Croton (Codiaeum variegata).  I’ve had it for years.  It looks better when watered frequently.   Not my forte.  It tends to flop over, so there are stakes holding up the larger stems.

When the Croton flowers die, a mess falls to the floor.  The flowers are sticky.

Aluminum Plant (Pilea Cadierei) came from a garden club member.  The leaves have a silvery cast that doesn’t show up in this picture.  It’s in the begonia family.

Our house has tons of light from tall windows.  That’s good for plants if they are put in the right places.  But it’s terrible for pictures.  As I move the plants around trying to find a spot to photograph them, they end up with undesirable backgrounds.

One good trait about succulents is that it’s easy to break off a stem and put into soil to root.

During the winter I root lots of plants for club plant sales and as pass-a-long gifts.  These Angel Wing Begonias are for two different plant sales.

I also use window sills where there is no direct sunlight to root roses.  Just cut a short tender end of a stem, dip in rooting compound, moisten the soil well, create a  sealed terrarium with a clear plastic bag. and wait 6 weeks before opening the plastic bag.

This cutting for an old fashioned rose came from a friend.  A tiny little bush can be seen inside.

As you can see, this one has not been watered enough.  Since this picture was taken, the plant was upgraded to a larger pot and a smaller plant was put into this pot.  The pot was a gift; it’s really pretty, so I constantly replace the plants with smaller ones.

The plant is a Dutchman’s Pipe.  Don’t think that’s the true name – just what I was told.  The mother plant is in the greenhouse and is about 3 ft. tall.  Shoots grow from the plant with new small plants at the tips.

Another unknown succulent from a friend.  The stems just keep growing, so these are snipped off and rooted.

Peanut Cactus (Echinopsis chamaecerus) has never bloomed for me, but the friend who gave it to me says her plant blooms.

This was a hostess gift for those helping with a bridal shower 4 years ago.  This is evidence that succulents can grow in shallow soil.

This cactus was bought at a big box store.  Someone told me that it’s actually two cacti.  The red one was graphed on top of the green one.  In the background is another Dutchman’s Pipe.

More Angel Wing Begonias.  I put plastic pots inside ceramic ones without a hole.  That way, extra water can drain into the larger pot and be poured out.  The larger pots protect the floor and tables where they sit.

A Hoya is pretty blah until it is put in light shade outside.  Then it will bloom when the plant is several years old.

Another garden club plant sale buy.  Sansevieria or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue has been divided two times.  As it multiples, it breaks the  plastic pot inside the ceramic one.

This Jade plant came from a club sale years ago.  Watering succulents can be tricky.  When the fat leaves just start to show signs it is wilting is the right time.

Kalanchoe are an easy plant to grown inside and outside during warmer months.  Just needs filtered light and warm temperatures.  This one has yellow flowers.

Very small pots with no holes can be used for plantings.  Put small pebbles in the bottom and plant in moist soil.  Soil for house plants needs to be very loose with Vermiculite or Perlite and Sorgham Peat Moss added or included in purchased soil.

Water lightly when soil feels dry an inch or so down.

Sweetheart Hoya, also know as Valentine Plant or Sweetheart Wax Plant (Hoya kerri) was bought at a native nursery in west Texas.  The heart leaves are intriguing.

Happy inside gardening.

“According to an ancient Japanese legend, when you cannot sleep at night, it is because you are awake.”

Easy, Breezy Blooms

Need some blooms inside in the winter?  There are several plants that fit the bill.

kolache2Kalanchoes are a diverse group of succulent plants.  Some are grown for their foliage, but others have gorgeous blooms.

What can be easier than Kalanchoes?  All they need is a little water once a week and some indirect sunlight.  The operative word here is “little” water.

During the winter, they prefer 45 – 65 degrees F  but will survive in the low to mid 70s.  As the weather warms, put them near a sunny window, and they will start to bloom.  Then in summer, they love the outdoors in a semi-shady spot with indirect light.

kolacheOnce you have one Kalanchoe, you can have many more because they root so easily when a stem is broken off and stuck in soil.  Just keep it slightly moist until you see growth.

kolache3Kalanchoe blossfeldiana or Florist’s kalanchoe has succulent leaves with small scalloped edges.

kolache4Snake plant or Mother-in-law’s Tongue or Saint George’s Sword (Sansevieria trifasciata) is a pass-along house plant.  Most people cannot distinguish between the two, but snake plant has green edges, while a Mother-in-laws’s Tongue has yellow edges.  But I can’t see either on this plant, so I don’t know how true this guideline is.

These are usually grown just to have something green growing in the house, but as you can see, this one has bloomed.

kolache5This is the second time it has bloomed.  Both times were within the last year.  It was a complete surprise to me, so I don’t know if it just got old enough or crowded enough to bloom.

I’ve read that they give off oxygen and are good for a bedroom.  Also, one person said it can split a pot with its mass of underground shoots.  They should grow to 3 or 4 feet tall, but a couple of leaves on mine are 4 and a half feet long.

It’s probably time to divide and share.  The most important thing to remember with succulents is not to over water.  Most need a small amount of water once a week or every ten days.

“Have your prayed about it as much as you’ve talked about it?”  Unknown