Depending on where you live, it can take a treasure hunt to find something blooming during the middle of winter. Some people go south to find color – the Caribbean, for instance, would be a brilliant treasure trove right about now. Other people (like me) stay close to home and go out to greenhouses to find blooms. And we’re the lucky ones who can sometimes bring blooming things back home.
Winter in a cold climate is tough season for houseplants though. Most indoor heat is too dry for humidity loving plants to thrive. There are things we can do to mitigate the dryness though, and our bodies (the insides of our noses, elbow skin…) might appreciate the effort as much as the plants. Place bowls or kettles of water on stoves/heaters/radiators – you’d be surprised how quickly the water evaporates. Keep your plants in dishes filled with pebbles and a little water – only make sure that the plant is not left in standing water unless that’s the culture it prefers. And get more plants! The more plants you have, the more humid your home will be because plants transpire out the water they have taken in. That’s why walking into a full greenhouse feels so good this time of year. Sounds skeevy to say it but we crave plants’ moist breath.
Some plants like these Camellias really need more humidity that the average warm home can provide. Logee’s Greenhouse website recommends 50% humidity and nights below 60 degrees (down to 35) for the plants to be healthy and set buds. Other than that they’re easy – they only need partial sun, water when dry and they don’t want fertilizer. (That’s my kind of plant.)
Gail and I and a friend took a quick last minute trip to Logee’s in Danielson, CT earlier this week. Even if you live with or work in a greenhouse like we do, it’s good to get out and breathe in another. And that one is amazing. It’s full of venerable specimens and ginormous stock plants growing, flowering and fruiting like miracles out of the floor. If you can get there, do! And, of course, if you’re near to here, you’re more than welcome to stop by our chilly but deliciously humid greenhouses for a breather too – the door is open! (Figuratively speaking – it’s still wicked cold outside!)
Many thanks as always to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for keeping us searching for blooms the middle of every month. Where did you find blooms this month?