Posts Tagged ‘indoor plants’

I’ve decided to have my blog relate to all of my GARDENING friends here at Horizon House in Seattle, WA.  If others want to join in, that’s great…WELCOME!

One of our Garden Committee members suggested I forward an article from a local gardening center about “Fall Planting”.  After reading it, I thought, “Hey, I can be more explicit about this topic and aim it toward the needs of our 3 gardening levels!”  So, that’s what I will now do.

So, give these a try.

Fertilize your perennials and shrubsimg_3890 it will help them make
it through the winter.

To keep your bulbs in top-notch condition while giving you lots of flowers, scatter a 5-10-20 fertilizer on top of the ground above them.

Stop pruning shrubs. Pruning will encourage new growth, which should be avoided. Any new stuff will be nipped by frost which is NOT good for the plant!

If you haven’t divided your herbaceous perennials, such as daylilies, irises, hostas and peonies, get it done soon. Remember the soil is still nice and warm even if the temperature drops at night. It allows the roots time to settle in and establish themselves before winter sets in! This is what makes fall such a good time to plant!

Allowing hips to form on your roses tells the plant to harden off for winter. IMG_2212.jpgSo, you should probably stop picking the blooms for the table!

Water your peonies and shrubs heavily. It may have to last
until spring.

Dig up your gladiola, dahlia and tuberous begonia corms.

Poinsettias should now be put in their dark corner for at least 16 hours each day in order to set up their bracts to be colorful by Christmas time.

IMG_0044.jpgStart preparing your indoor plants to come back inside. You need to be sure they don’t have insects hiding anywhere. You also want to clean off the pots, especially if they were sunken into the soil for their summer sojourn!


I hope you will enjoy following along.  If you’d like to be notified every time I add to this blog, just go to  the “Follow the Transplanted Gardener” to the right of this message, and click on the button that says “Follow”.  It’s that simple!

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It’s been a long, and busy winter!

Between the holidays, being ill, moving to a different apartment, having the Horizon House Gardening Terraces closed due to constructionIMG_3637…I haven’t really had the “gumption” to write in my blog.  For that, I apologize!  I still don’t have a clue what I will write about, so bear with me.

All of my indoor plants survived the move, which is a good thing.  I’m hoping the light won’t be too different.  I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

I did manage to get to the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in February.  As usual I attended the lectures.  They are usually what I go for anyway.  The displays are pretty, but crowded.  The lectures, on the other hand, offer lots of new information.  If they don’t satisfy my curiosity, I just leave and go to another!  Maybe it’s the Master Gardener in me?

I usually also manage to get myself to the fellow who sells the air-plants or tillandsia-1.  I have taken a liking to them.  They are easy to care for, and they like my windowsill.  Last year I got one in bloom and it generated many little “pups” which I shared with friends as “hostess gifts”…rather unusual and enjoyed, I hope!

I got another one this year, which was in bloom, but after a week or so, the bud dropped off before actually blooming.  I hope it still gives me “pups”.  I like being able to distribute them!

Well, there you have it.  My first post of 2016.  Sorry it took so long!!!!!

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My Snake Plant

I have always put my larger houseplants out for the summer.

When we lived in New England, that involved protecting the plants from critters, as well as too much sun.  In Connecticut, the critters were not that big a deal, but in New Hampshire they sure were!  The deer, bunnies and moose LOVED snacking on tender indoor plants.  Yum!

I actually had a cage made of chicken wire where I kept the plants.  That worked quite well.  When our kids were little, that cage had been where they kept little critters they captured.  We called it the “Keeping Cage”.  Weekend ‘visitors’ (of the creepy, crawly kind) were kept there until we left again on Sunday afternoons, at which point they were released again to pursue their normal activities (the ‘creepy, crawly visitors’, not the kids!  We took the kids home with us.  I just thought I should explain that…).

In Connecticut, I parked my plants under shrubs so they would get shade, as well as rain.  It always worked well.  When it was time to bring them back inside, it involved a good shower to get rid of unwanted, traveling insects.  I also usually sank the pots into the soil, so they would not dry out so quickly.  That meant the pots also needed a good cleaning when it was time to bring them back inside.

But, this is WASHINGTON, and it’s the BEGINNING of the season.  The temperatures are staying high overnight, and the sun is SO inviting!

So, today I got some labels for my pots.  I will take a few photo’s to include here.

Off we go!

Off we go!

Now the plants will find their way to the Level C shelf that the Garden Committee has provided for over-summering, indoor plants.

Am I the only one?  If you’re looking for that shelf, go left off the elevator on level C (in the West Wing).  Follow the hall to the end and take a left again up the steps and outside.  The shelf is against the garage wall on your right.  You’ll find my plants there, as well as a few others.

If you choose to use this shelf, remember your pots MUST BE LABELED!!!!!!!  If they are not labeled, they may be removed, so heed my warning!!!  I would also suggest that you don’t put very small, or delicate plants outside.  They need your sustained care over the summer months, and in fact, may not like the breezes and bright sunlight.Outside at last IMG_3749 IMG_3748

You may not have to worry about moose, but slugs and insects must be taken into account.  Do NOT ignore your plants once you put them outside.  Be sure they are insect free and receive the necessary hydration.  Also be sure  the sun is not overwhelming your plant.  If, after a week or two, your plants look sickly, perhaps they need a comfortable chair and a book INSIDE.  Take pity on them, and bring them back to their usual windowsill.

Another thing you MUST remember is that YOU are responsible for your plants.  If it’s dry and sunny, they will need supplemental water.  That is YOUR responsibility…NO ONE ELSE’S!  There are hoses, and usually a watering can to use.  PLEASE remember to return ANYTHING you use (hoses, watering cans, etc.) to the place you got them!!!  Using the shelves is a privilege.  Do NOT abuse it, or that privilege will be discontinued.WATER!

The Garden Committee is trying to help ALL gardeners at Horizon House.  If your green thumb only addresses indoor plants; and perhaps you are a user of the Potting Room; we have your needs in mind as well.

IMG_3756While you are out there, take a little walk and appreciate the lovely gardens tended by your Horizon House neighbors.  The garden beds are labeled (just like your pot) so you should be able to compliment each gardener the next time you see them.  They would love to know someone is enjoying their hard work. IMG_3752 IMG_3750 IMG_3751

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I’ve been so proud of myself for keeping all my indoor plants alive over the last 2 years.  As you may recall, I used to be an OUTDOOR gardener (Master Gardener in CT and NH), but since moving to a small apartment (across the country, to an entirely different climate, in Seattle, WA) I’ve decided to turn my gardening efforts to indoor plants.  Up to now, I’ve been pretty successful.  With the exception of a Bonsai, that I had to toss because of aphids, everything is looking healthy…

Until NOW!  I have a Croton (Codiaeum) that is going NOWHERE fast! IMG_3077 I understand that to judge your success with one of these, it should have lots of leaves on the lower stem…  Mine does NOT fill that requirement.  It is also so very SLOW in adding either height or leaves.  It had what looked like little blooms developing…but they hardened up and died off.  Now I’m discouraged.  Hence, the need for my Teddy Bear!

What I have found from my research is that, in nature, these plants tend to grow tall.  The way to stop that is similar to pruning outdoor plants.  Prune the top, and leaves will (hopefully) sprout from the lower regions of the plant.

My searching has also indicated that it reproduces readily from cuttings!  That means that what I cut off the top, I can stick in the soil and it will soon yield another plant.  Perhaps I’ll try that and soon have a pot full of Crotons?  Maybe I’ll try that!  If you’ll notice my plant however, it isn’t exactly a “redwood” from Muir Forest!  It isn’t big enough to prune ANYTHING off the top!

This is one of my weaknesses.  I tend to buy my plants small and grow them big.  This one never got there!  I’ve had it about 6 months now, and it sure is puny!

Another thing to remember is that these pretty (should you be so lucky) plants  like full sun.  Mine grows in a north-easterly exposure.  Probably not the very best, but it will just have to do!  Even more noteworthy, it is POISONOUS if ingested!  Do NOT add this to your salad!

If you would like to read a bit more about the care and enjoyment of this lovely foliage plant, try this link: Croton-Codiaeum

If there are those of you that are expert with caring for these plants, please comment and let us all know how you are successful.  I know I’d appreciate a few words of advice.  Reading about it from a text, is often not nearly as good as hearing about it from those “in the know”.

Happy Gardening!

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This morning, I posted an INDOOR PLANT CALENDAR on my Indoor Gardeners Calendar blog.

It has suggestions for dealing with your indoor plants for AUTUMN.  I guess I’d better get started on one for winter as well, eh?

Anyway, I hope you’ll click on the link if you have indoor plants to care for in your apartment.  I am hopeful it will be of use to you.

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I just found a great Aloe identification site.  It’s called “The Aloe Page” visit it here:   http://succulent-plant.com/families/aloaceae.html

I’ve been doing a little more research on this plant, since it’s new to my menagerie.  Some of the things I’ve learned are pretty “common sensible”, but it never hurts to hear it again, so here goes!  IMG_2503

Your aloe will love being outdoors in the summer and particularly enjoy being in the sunshine.  It is a succulent of the most tender variety, being 95% water.  If it meets frost, the outcome will be what you find in the ice-cube tray in your freezer!  Definitely, NOT a good thing!  Keep it protected.  If you put it outside in the summer, be sure to get it back inside before there is ANY danger of frost!

Even though it is so full of water, you should allow the soil to completely dry out before watering it.  In fact, some of the articles I’ve read suggest putting gravel or marbles in the bottom third (1/3) of the pot when you plant it to create incredible drainage.

IMG_2508The root system is shallow rather than deep, so try to use a wider rather than deeper pot when you plant it.  If you already have it in a conventional pot, consider making that shift when you re-pot it in the future.   As you can see by my photos, I planted this aloe before doing research..  SOOO, I’ll have to be looking for a shallower, wider container when it’s time to re-pot!  (Whoops!)  As I keep saying, I’m learning, right along with you when it comes to houseplants!

You can propagate it by removing the off-shoots around the base of the plant and potting them.

Aloes are also used medicinally.   The sap found in the leaves are said to relieve burns and itches, as well as insect bites.  All you do is remove a leaf from the base of the plant, slice it open and apply the gel-like sap to the designated area and wait for relief!

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Yesterday, I was given a few pieces of an aloe that is overtaking a friend’s windowsill.  When I brought it in, my husband wondered where I might be putting this new acquisition.  I guess, first into a pot!  I understand by my reading, that they can dry out a bit before planting, although my friend propagates her’s by putting the stems in water to root.  So, which method shall I try?  I’ve got 3 of them, so I guess I could try both methods and see which works best!IMG_2434

Here is a photo of my newest orphans…about to settle into their new home!

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