At the time of the year when it’s too cold to garden outside houseplants are more important than ever. They will provide some greenery to enjoy indoors and an opportunity to carry on some small scale gardening by caring for their needs. This article by Martie Young which I found on The Master Gardeners website describes five attractive houseplants and how to care for them.
Here it is, January. Christmas is over, the decorations are put away, the greens have dried and fallen all over the house. It?s time for some different greenery–some that will last longer than the Christmas tree. If you?re like me, you may need a trip to the plant store to assure yourself that there are still plants that aren?t hidden by snow that will bloom in your house and make you think of spring.
Depending on your specific house conditions, here are some plants you might want to try:
Oxalis needs well-drained, loose soil (potting mix with added perlite) and 4 to 6 hours of sun a day. During the growing season, feed oxalis every other week with all-purpose, balanced houseplant fertilizer. To avoid spider mites, cut oxalis back to soil level when bringing indoors. Mites flourish in overly dry conditions. Repot oxalis every year or two and divide the tubers or fibrous roots.
Citrus trees thrive on container living with their shallow roots. They need 4 to 6 hours of sun, good drainage, regular feedings and plenty of water. While the plant is indoors, water only when the top inch of potting mix dries out. Citrus trees flower in late winter or early spring and fruit ripens 9 to 18 months later. Check plants for pests such as mealybugs and spider mites; spray with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap, if necessary.
These plants like moderate temperatures, bright indirect light, an occasional breeze and a deep drink now and then. Some bromeliads don?t require soil; they need only a stick to cling to. Those grown in containers should have a pot no larger than necessary to stabilize the plant. A coarse, quick-draining, acidic potting mix, such as a homemade mix of equal parts perlite, pine chips and commercial potting soil, is suitable. Dry air is the biggest problem and can be solved by setting potted plants on pebbles in trays of water. Misting leaves helps also, and grouping bromeliads builds their own humid microclimate.
See more at The Master Gardeners