January 8, 2019
Winter weather can sometimes bring on the winter blahs and if they DO set in and you start pining for a touch of spring in your surrounds, try growing a flowering indoor houseplant as a pick-me-up. These gorgeous plants will bring color and warmth to your winter nest and are the perfect remedy for winter doldrums.
Exotic and Holiday Amaryllis
You can still get a Christmas amaryllis bulb that’s been forced into dormancy. With a little water and filtered sunlight you can coax it into producing its double, triple and quadruple red flowers in a month or two. If you plant them now, the bloom timeframe hits between mid-February and mid-March. These plants are fun to watch grow and those intense red blooms will cheer you once they emerge.
Amaryllis are available in many pretty colors and forms: There are bright reds, as well as white, pink and peach. To get them to bloom again just cut the faded flowers and continue to water and feed it (and read these tips about Amaryllis care!) The good thing about the exotic amaryllis types is that, once they start growing, they make excellent houseplants and are pretty easy to keep alive. Plus, when they rebloom on their own the blossoms are always a nice surprise!
The Many Hues of African Violets
African violets, the fuzzy-leafed favorites are some of the easiest houseplants to grow. They like warm conditions – if you have a bright window this plant will bloom almost constantly. We’re most used to the light purple flowers, but the African violet comes in lots of different colors with both solid and variegated foliage.
One quick tip from the Farmer’s Almanac, water from the bottom (saucer) and try to avoid getting any water on the leaves, dusting them occasionally with a small soft brush.
Crocus, Narcissus and Hyacinth Bulbs
Hyacinths, crocuses and narcissus bulbs can be grown indoors by forcing them into bloom, or in soil-less containers, bringing the beauty and warmth of spring inside even when everything outside is chilly and brown.
You can either “force” the bulbs, to make the flowers bloom prior to the time they would naturally bloom outdoors. Or you can grow bulbs without soil in containers. And if you combine these two methods, flowers can bloom, root and bulb in a glass container.
Easy Hydroponic Kits
Take a tour through the Uncommon Goods website for a quick primer on growing a palm tree, a Spruce tree, and an assortment of pansies, zinnias and English daises on your windowsill. Apparently, all you need is a jar, a little water and a sunny spot to grow plants and trees without soil!
If you want to know more about hydroponics, give the folks at Aurora Hydroponic a call. The store is at 4250 S. Chambers Rd., all the way down E. Smoky Hill Rd. in Aurora about 15 minutes from Southshore.
Outdoor Winter Flowers
The Pansy is a cold weather all-star. These pretty winter-blooming flowers can freeze solid and thaw – ready to grow and flower again. Other bedding flowers that grow in cold weather include nemesia, snapdragon and sweet alyssum. These pretty plants will all bring cheery color to your winter garden.
And then there is the Lenten rose, or hellebores, a perennial flower that blooms in winter. The leathery dark green leaves stand above the winter mulch and snow like little umbrellas. Their common name is Lenten rose because they bloom around the beginning of Lent.
Winter Gardening in Southshore
We know some of the homeowners in the master-planned community of Southshore planned ahead for winter color OUTDOORS in the New Year! BRAVO! If you’re new to our lakeside community, drive around and check out the beautiful model homes from Century Communities, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers. Available in ranch and two-story designs, Southshore homes are priced between the upper $300s and the $700s.