Gardening isn’t over even though we “fall back” an hour on November 3. Turn your focus indoors to get your planting and blooming fix. The rake may also need a few more workouts after the snow melts.
- It’s not too early to think of holiday gift giving with plants. Indoor bulbs will be ready to bloom in time for the month of December if you start now.
- Amaryllis blooming bulbs are super easy to grow and a favorite by seasoned and new gardeners. If planted by November 15 they should bloom anywhere from December 20 to early January. Garden centers have the best selection now so don’t delay, get out there and stock up. Have fun choosing colors and sizes – some as large as softballs. If you’re too busy to deal with soil, containers and planting, look for potted bulbs in kits—all ready to bloom for the holidays. They range in shades of red, salmon, pink, green, yellow, white or dramatic bi-colored or striped colors. Stagger planting bulbs well into the New Year.
- If planting a new amaryllis bulb place fresh potting soil in a 6-inch container with a third of the bulb showing above the pot rim. Bulbs don’t like to be in large pots. Insert a support stick at planting. Water well and place in a cool area. Hold off on watering until growth appears, then water more frequently and move to a sunny location. Fertilize every couple of weeks after it starts growing. Good quality bulbs should produce two flower stalks with four flowers on each stem.
- To prep past year amaryllis bulbs, click here.
- Paperwhite narcissus bulbs are quick and super easy to grow in either water or soil. Have the family join in to help with planting. Use a clear container filled with a 2-inch layer of pebbles, place the bulbs on top and fill in around them with more pebbles to keep them in place. Add water until it touches the bottom of the bulbs and maintain that level. Place in a bright room, not too warm (70 is just fine). They start blooming as early as three weeks. Use twigs, chopsticks or stakes to support the stems as they grow taller.
- Houseplants add warmth, fullness and interest to your indoor spaces They need regular attention during the winter with our dry air, fluctuating temperatures and light conditions.
- Know your plant and what kind of moisture it prefers, too much or too little watering are common problems. The general rule is to water when the top third of the soil is dry, water until it drains from the bottom of the container.
- Regularly rotate plants so they receive light from all exposures (same for indoor bulbs). Move them away from heater vents and open windows. Groom regularly, cut off yellow or withered leaves. Watch for whiteflies, mealybugs or scale insects, many pests can be treated with insecticidal soaps. Read the bottle directions to make sure your plant’s leaves are safe to be sprayed.
- Most houseplants don’t need fertilizing this time of year unless they are getting ready to bloom.
- When purchasing plants from the garden center or grocery store before heading to your car cover them with bags or cloths to prevent cold exposure. Isolate plants for a few days to make sure they aren’t carrying hitchhiker insects.
- Expand your indoor garden this fall: try beautiful bloomers like orchid, cyclamen, gesneriad (best known in this family are African violets) and bromeliad. For fragrance try gardenia, jasmine and lavender. Terrarium gardening, cacti and succulents for indoor enjoyment, are easy to care for.
- Click here for handy, how to care information for many popular indoor plants.