Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's a Jungle in Here

Call it tradition; call it procrastination���������I never bring my houseplants in until the afternoon of the first day the forecast calls for an overnight frost. This year, that day is one full month after the latest I've brought them in before, ever. It will take me a week or so to get all the saucers in, clean and dry, and to get everybody set up in his winter home.

The bottom image is, I know, spectacularly bad. But I wanted to show off the big, beefy buds on that Christmas���������er, Thanksgiving, I guess���������cactus. Dean's grandmother asked me to adopt it a year ago and it was a pretty sad little bug. I can't resist Christmas cactus. It's one plant I seem to have some sort of finesse with. Now, cyclamen: Please don't give me a cyclamen. (Unless you already have, in which case, thank you, and I'm sorry but it's dead.)

There is something very fresh and wonderful about the way houseplants look when they first come in from their shady summer digs alongside the house. They're so healthy and a kid who spent the day at the beach and whose mother applied the proper amount of sunscreen. Not fried. Dewey.


Celia said...

Seriously jealous of the buds on your Christmas cactus. Mine has bloomed once in 6 years.

Jane M. said...

Hi Celia. If you live in the North, next year try this: As soon as the danger of frost has passed, being out the plant and put it somewhere where it won't receive any direct sun. Mine are lined up next to the house on the sidewalk. All summer, water and fertilize it whenever you water your other plants, so that's several times a week). Instead of regularly fertilizing I put Osmocote in at the beginning of the season. Then, like I talk about above, leave it out there until the bitter end of summer, and only bring it inside when the forecast calls for frost. You can then put it pretty much anywhere in the house and it will bloom. Cut back on the water, of course, because now it's inside, and then when it stops flowering cut back on the water even more...although last year mine bloomed almost until it was time for them to go back out.

I hope this helps!