I am so grateful to my indoor plants, most especially to the ones that flower in winter. Granted, I tend them with loving care and talk to them, often silently, encouraging their blooms to spring forth. Often when it’s cold and gray, I buy a plant in bloom and set it somewhere prominent. Especially rewarding are bromeliads, like this one, whose efflorescence lasts a few months.
I also bought this miniature orchid in bloom. After a week, the blooms were starting to droop and I felt desperate and cheated until shortly thereafter I found this charming and delightful Wardian case at the Rusk Institute garden (more on this another time), a miniature terrarium that opens on top. Inside its cozy, moist home, the orchid has been happily revived and plans to stay in bloom indefinitely.
Last summer I bought the flowering maple below from Chris, the plant man at my local farmer’s market. Once the blooms fell away, it hung out for months with nary a bud until I set it under grow lights and began fertilizing regularly. Within a month it started blooming its little head off. I moved it to a southern window where it continues to make new buds and look very happy.
This episcia is a rather large plant that I’ve grown from cuttings generously supplied by members of the NYC gesneriad society. (I belong to numerous indoor plant societies and will write more about them soon.) While it is profligate about growing leaves, it’s stingy with flowers. So these little red darlings are special cause for celebration.
I saved the most generous plant for last. This euphorbia, commonly called a crown of thorns, was a rescue. It stood among the garbage on my block a few years ago, and I took it in gladly, somewhat in shock that a neighbor of mine could toss such a thing away. (What is this neighborhood coming to?) It has grown to be about two feet tall, and has never stopped flowering.
Soon to come: the dramatic journey of my amaryllus bulb. Stay tuned.