Indoor Plant Care
Enjoy the colors of the seasons with indoor plant care and garden prep tips.
What’s better than warm tea on a cold winter day? I typically make a pot of green tea each day, and on some days, I have some leftovers. But instead of discarding it, I use it to water my indoor plants.
Plants enjoy green tea’s great health benefits as much as humans. In addition to antioxidants, green tea includes trace minerals and is a source of potassium, which is an essential nutrient for plants to grow. To make green tea water for your plants, soak the leaves in water for a few days, then remove them. The tea water is now ready to use to water your plants. The removed tea leaves can attract pests indoors, but can be scattered outdoors in the garden.
Long-Lasting Holiday Plants
You can carry over your festive holiday plants through the winter.
With its red and green foliage, poinsettias are popular around Christmastime, but can last well into the winter months as long as they get bright light and moisture. The soil should be kept evenly moist, but not soaked; water immediately when the soil is dry to the touch. When the poinsettia starts dropping its leaves, this is a sign the plant needs to be watered or has been exposed to drafts or cold. Maintaining a temperature of 65-75 degrees during the day is ideal, and about 60 degrees at night is good. I have been using my tea for watering and my poinsettia still looks great!
With its stunning blooms, amaryllis is one of the most gorgeous indoor plants available. After your amaryllis is finished blooming, cut the stem two inches above the bulb. Place it in normal light, watering once a week. You may have many long leaves at this point. Do not cut the leaves back. Leaf growth and the sunlight will send nutrients to the bulb for the next blooming period.
In June, the amaryllis can be placed outdoors for the summer directly in the garden or in the pot. If you do this, make sure you have the amaryllis in a draining pot. Amaryllis do not like to be watered excessively, as the bulb will rot very quickly. Continue watering and fertilizing. The leaves will continue to grow and you may even get it to bloom. Out of 10 amaryllis I planted in the garden last summer, one of them bloomed profusely.
As the summer ends, you may notice the leaves withering and yellowing. Bring the plant indoors before the first frost, typically by the first of October. Cut off the dead leaves, leaving the live ones. Remember, the leaves are feeding the bulb for the next set of blooms. Clean the bulb and place it in a cool, dry and dark place for a minimum of six weeks. At this time, remove the bulbs and replant them in a clean pot with new potting soil. It usually takes about eight weeks before you will see a bloom.
Getting Ready for Spring
There are several ways to bring spring into your home early. One of my favorite ways is potted spring bulbs, long before they are peeking out of the soil. Examples of spring flowers include Tete-a-Tete mini daffodil, hyacinths, tulips, crocus and muscari (grape hyacinth) and primulas (primroses).
Believe it or not, now is the time to start planning your garden, especially if you want to make changes or additions this year – so start thinking spring!