Acalypha Plant – There are two distinct groups of Acalypha. The more popular type bears long tassels of tiny flowers amongst its plain foliage and the other type has colorful foliage with insignificant blooms. All Acalyphas are woody shrubs which are quick growing but are unfortunately difficult to overwinter in the average room. The problem is the high humidity requirement which can be readily satisfied in the greenhouse or conservatory, but not in the home. Continue Reading
Myrtle (Myrtus) has been grown as a decorative plant for thousands of years and yet it is still a rarity indoors. The small oval leaves are shiny and aromatic – the white flowers appear in large numbers in summer. In the fall the purple berries appear. In midwinter, many of the shoots are crowned by a series of radiating pink stems that are themselves topped with small heather-pink stars. These are immature fruits that eventually berry into purple-black, but in their unformed state they brighten the foliage and give this ancient, egg-shaped evergreen extra sparkle.
Growing Bertolonia – Bertolonia (or Jewel Plant) is an evergreen species of pretty, dwarf, creeping, tender perennials, native to tropical forests of Brazil. A rarity, but well worth looking for if you have a terrarium or plant window to fill. Not a good choice, however, for the living room – Bertolonia needs the high humidity of its jungle home. Bertolonia marmorata require special conditions of constant warmth and very humid atmosphere and will not thrive without them.
Indoor bonsai is a relatively new idea which has not come from Japan. The center of interest appears to be Germany but the concept has now spread to other countries. You can buy indoor bonsai trees from garden centers and nurseries throughout Britain.
The basic difference from the traditional outdoor bonsai is that non-hardy trees and shrubs are used here. Indoor bonsai are generally much better suited than hardy types to the conditions found in the average home, and of course they must be kept indoors during the winter. Thus they can be regarded as true house plants, although during the summer months they should be given the standard bonsai treatment. This calls for keeping them outdoors and then bringing them inside for a few days at a time.
Abutilon (Flowering Maple) – The typical Abutilon or flowering maple is a vigorous shrub with large Sycamore-like leaves and pendant blooms which are borne on slender stalks between early summer and fall. It is a plant which needs room to spread – a large window which receives some filtered sunlight during the day is ideal.
The leaves are often variegated with white or yellow patches and a couple of varieties (A. striatum thompsonii and A. hybridum savitzii) are regarded as foliage house plants which bear summer flowers as a bonus. Abutilon is not a difficult plant to grow despite its exotic appearance. It needs neither unduly warm conditions nor moist air and it benefits from being stood outdoors in summer.
Indoor Winter Gardening – People with indoor gardens residing in areas that have chilly wintry months must remember that even though the plants indoors are shielded from the fury of the elements raging outside, a lot of safety measures should be taken and modifications carried out for indoor winter gardening.
In the first place, if you purchase new plants in winter, ensure they are properly enveloped in newspapers or paper covers for that brief walk from the shop to your vehicle, and from there to your residence. Always bear in mind that even a momentary contact with the outside cold air can harm or even destroy some houseplants. Never put the plants in the boot of your vehicle. It is always advisable to place them in front and switch on the heater.