Sometimes Mondays
When Spring Gives You Snowflakes . . .

Cultivate the Root

"Cultivate the root; the leaves and branches will take care of themselves."
            --- Confucious

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I have a love-hate relationship with houseplants.
(Oh. No. That's far too strong.)

Let's begin again: I have an off-again/on-again relationship with houseplants.
(Much better.

There have been periods of time in my life . . . when I have tended a lush, indoor jungle. And there have been other (honestly longer) periods of time when my indoor gardens . . . hmmmm . . . shall we say fail to thrive

It seems to be challenging for me to to care for the plants both IN my house and OUTSIDE my house/IN my garden . . . at the same time. And those plants outside/in my garden tend to win out every time.

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But as I was thinking about my word - root - earlier this year, back when it was deep-winter and dark and I was not feeling very hope-full and being IN my garden seemed a very long time time away, I decided to build myself an indoor garden again. I decided to follow that advice from Confucious: I'd cultivate some roots, and let the leaves and branches take care of themselves.

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Back in January, I had two very old (but hanging in there!) Christmas cactus plants, a mini jade tree, and a few amaryllis bulbs (3 new; 3 dormant that I was hoping to coax back to life). If I was going to create a new indoor garden, I was going to have to do better than that! Luckily, my favorite nursery sells houseplants in the "off season." And I signed up for a Horti membership.

And I put down some inside roots.


I love the results!

And I'm committed to cultivating the roots IN my house even as the roots OUTSIDE my house call ever louder.
(Remind me of that should you notice neglect, won't you please?)


“Gardening is the greatest tonic and therapy a human being can have. Even if you have only a tiny piece of earth, you can create something beautiful, which we all have a great need for. If we begin by respecting plants, it’s inevitable we’ll respect people.”
     — Audrey Hepburn


How about you? Do you tend an indoor garden?



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Oh, yes! I think that my houseplants help me get through the winter. What I like best is that so many of them remind me of the people I got them from, whether from cuttings or whole plants that we've shared. I don't have a nearby garden center in NJ or MD, but I'll be making a trip soon to look for some geraniums. My grandmother always had them on her windowsill and I need some, too. Your plants look so nice and healthy (and I'm a sucker for those little orchids, too)!


I don't but I want to! I think it's more an issue of no-place-to-really-put-them. Old house, broken walls, relatively dark. I've got a succulent garden that I've managed to keep alive though and it does bring me a lot of joy. Amazing what a little green can do for you!


My indoor plant game is in need of a reboot. I am trying to add more succulents - seem to be able to keep those going.


The extent of my interest is the two thriving Christmas cacti. I love the IDEA of an indoor garden, but never quite get it right when I try. My first problem is room. The living room is too dark the kitchen too small and my office has enough with what's there. Your plants look great! The orchid brings that spot of color and the varied greens are lovely!


We're like houseplant twins... I have often struggled with them, and definitely do better with low-maintenance varieties!


Being in North Central FL we can garden outside most of the year. My tropicals live outside and I pull them up near the house and cover them when we get below freezing (6-10 nights a year most years). The move to NC will change that...

I do have indoor plants in the kitchen. The house we sold last year (in anticipation of the move) had a wonderful skylight right over the breakfast bar that gave plenty of light. Here, in the rental, the kitchen counter is in between the kitchen and the family room. We put a full spectrum lamp in the canister light fixture above it. I hate the color (blue/purple/red) but my indoor plants (three of them) are doing great, along with some coleus tips I scavenged off the street pile last fall.


I would LOVE more houseplants, but with Giroux, I need to be careful what I choose. Second . . . not much sun in my house except in the late afternoon.

I have two orchids (one phaleonopsis and one dendrobium). The phal is doing well. The dendrobium . . . well, we'll see. I have a Christmas cactus that seems happy. That's about it for now, but I'm happy with what I have . . . . . for now. LOL

Your houseplants look lovely.


Your houseplants do look so nice. I want a jade plant...a lot! My Christmas cactus is suffering. It had one bloom last year and none for several years before...none this year. I hesitate to get rid of it because it came from my Grandmother's plant (which was HUGE and bloomed excessively EVERY year). Maybe I'll take a cutting to root. And, we have an aloe plant upstairs that came from Fletcher's Grandmother. Mailing gave us a lemon tree at Christmas and it has a TON of flower buds on it (and thorns!!). I'm excited about that.


I gave up indoor plants. I had two or three on the kitchen counter (southern exposure with lots of natural light) but they would get pretty punky when we traveled. In March of 2020, Trader Joes gave me a shamrock plant. Since we haven't been any where it has flourished. I'll just enjoy your plants and Bonny's.


My grandmother, whom we lived with growing up, was a fabulous gardener. I still remember the giant philodendron providing privacy in the living room picture window. Plus African violets galore and a whole lot of other things inside and out. She seems to have filled my need for flowers and greenery for a lifetime because aside from a few sporadic container plants here or there I am extremely content to just let things be. My son-in-law, however has taken up the gauntlet and their property is alive with seedlings, elephant ear plants, peppers, succulents, front porch geraniums and the sky seems to be the limit with him. And, of course, it is all fabulous. So again, I have enough for another lifetime. Amen.


I don't have a great track record with indoor plants. I had one back when I was living (alone) in my apartment that did really well, but I gave it away when I moved. And recently I've tried to have more plants, but our forced-air heat killed some of them even though I was diligent about watering them. Soon I want to start seedlings for our vegetable garden, but it's going to be a guessing game about when is the right time.


I still haven't committed to real plants on the top of the hutch in my study. I have a short list of plants to put there - including the ZZ that you recommended ... the list is on my desk and I see it often. and imagine becoming someone who could have real plants indoors :-)

Katie @ The Cozy Burrow

I also have an on again/off again relationship with houseplants! Before we bought our house, I had a beautiful little collection. But once we moved in, I struggled with finding the right places for the right plants and then started having (human) babies... who consequently destroyed any plants who happened to survive those first couple of years in our home! Since then, I've tried. Really, I have. And things will be going great... until one day: they all just seem to die at the same time. How can that be?

So I'm trying to start slow - I have a pathos in my bedroom that has done well for the last several months. I got a small succulent for my kitchen window with the rewards from my feed store just a couple of months ago - it's still doing okay. I've had a snake plant for the last couple of years in the bathroom, but I'm not sure if it's still alive. I keep watering it and giving it food sticks, just in case. And that's it! I'd love to be a successful plant mama and maybe I'm on that path? We'll see how things turn out.


Indoor plants... sigh. I want them, but they never do well. I did manage one year to keep a couple of orchids, but that house had better light than I do here. I wish you luck on your indoor gardening!

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