Fragrant houseplants can bring a reminder of the summer and generate a sense of well-being during the dark months of winter. These plants may need more care than the tough-as-nails spider plant or mother-in-laws-tongue snake plant, but the extra effort is amply rewarded. These fragrant houseplants are described in an article by Frank Hyman which I found on the Horticulture Magazine website.
My first houseplants were gifts from an elderly neighbor: aloe, spider plant, snake plant, Swedish ivy. I was a young man on my own for the first time, and these neglect-hardy green statues made welcome roommates. Decades later, such leafy cohabitants came to seem a bit underwhelming, compared to my lush and fragrant outdoor garden. After all, nothing beats the short-day blues like coming home to the scent of a winter-blooming daphne in the garden. And few things counter the mind-numbing heat of summer like a whiff of ?August Beauty? gardenia. I decided I could replace my green statues with a bit of living, growing aromatherapy indoors.
Ironically, my first fragrant houseplant was also a gift from an elderly client: a huge pot of night-blooming cereus, or Epiphyllum oxypetalum
The first time I saw a fist-size bloom on my plant it was about nine o?clock at night. I knew this flower would fade the next day and I wanted to share it with someone who could appreciate it. I was single then, so I called a gardening buddy. He and his wife were watching a movie at home, but he told me to come over as soon as he heard my story. I perched the cereus in its 10-gallon pot on some cardboard in the middle of their living room floor. We rotated between chatting, watching the movie and enjoying the slow unfolding of the flower?s petals. It was fully open by 10:30 p.m. The flower smelled like everything wonderful about summer?cut grass, a glass of tea, the air before it rains?and visually evoked the plant in Little Shop of Horrors. It was silky white, beautiful and inviting. And big enough to swallow a hamster. By midnight the flower was wilting about as fast as our attention.
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