Sunday, February 2, 2014

For February - Think Flowers!

Flowers for February

Although RED ROSES seem to garner most of the attention during February, there are other flowers we can enjoy during winter months.  Consider any of the plants shown here to bring indoors in autumn, or purchase a flowering houseplant or two.  Observing buds form-- and later burst into bloom-- is a lovely pastime during cold, wintry weather.  Try your hand at growing any flowering plant, and you will be rewarded with vibrant blooms indoors, long before your spring bulbs emerge.

In September bring in a few medium sized geranium plants; they will lose some foliage as they acclimatize to conditions inside your home, but the plants should produce several blooms for you to enjoy.  Suggest you water sparingly… the annual geranium Pelargonium (origin, South Africa) won’t thrive if overwatered.

Orchids are fun to grow at home and can be obtained in a kaleidoscope of colors.  My orchid began blooming again on January 27; last year it bloomed for five full months before it completed its bloom cycle.  (Although watering orchids is controversial because there are many fans of the “ice cube” method, I prefer the “drench and drain” method, using room-temperature water.  The Orchid Society states, “With the proper care, they will surprise and delight you for many years.”

Kalanchoe plants are succulents which produce tiny bright clusters of blossoms that last several weeks.   Easy to grow, easy to find…. easy to ENJOY!
Amaryllis bulbs can be planted indoors on different dates so they will bloom at different times.   (I like to plant the first one on January 1st  each year.)
Force-bloom a few tulips or daffodils for indoor enjoyment during winter months.   

Whichever blooming plants you choose to surround you during February, you will be reminded that springtime is approaching soon!

M. Lynn Schmid,   Certified Master Gardener
A.A.S. Landscape/Horticulture/Arboriculture