Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

The Easter Cactus

July 11th, 2019

A few years ago my nieghbor gave me an Easter cactus for Easter. This year, Easter came and went with no blooms and no bud in sight. I figured since I repotted it last year, it would take a year off. However, it decided it would rather be a Fourth of July cactus and started blooming profusely about a week before the 4th and is still blooming beautifully.

Perhaps next year it will return to the original schedule and bloom on Easter. I’d like to get a Christmas cactus as well, houseplants are such a joy during the long, cold winters here in Maine.

Do you have a Christas cactus? What’s your favorite houseplant?

New Houseplants

February 20th, 2019

Even though I have plans of “not buying any new plants this year” I break that each and every year. This year I lasted until mid-February until I saw this cyclamen at a local store. I thought it would be the perfect addition to the house to add some color. Growing up, my mom had the house filled with houseplant, typically ones that bloomed with big, colorful blossoms.

I also got an African violet with beautiful leaves. It had one slightly wilted flower, which was stunning. That made it into the my cart as well, I’ll post photos when the bud opens up. I’ve always wanted to add cyclamens to the outdoor garden, I’ve just never gotten around to it. Will this year be the year? If not I have one in the house to enjoy!

Are you a houseplant person? What’s your favorite houseplant? Does it bloom?

Still Going Strong

February 7th, 2018

I always have an African violet by my sink. It’s something my grandmother always did and something I started doing four years ago when I purchased my first one. When my mom got too sick to take care of her houseplants, she gave me all of her African violets. They were gifts from me five years ago or so (I got her a collection from The Violet Barn along with some gloxinias too, which I remember her always have when I was a kid). There are a few, so I rotate through them as they bloom. Back in October, right around my mom’s birthday, one of the ones she gave back to me started blooming.

While the other violets that live upstairs do OK, they really thrive by the kitchen sink. I don’t know if it’s the extra steam from doing the dishes, the light that comes in through the low window, or the extra fertilizer they get each morning (I water it daily with the water I rinse my coffee cup with). I can’t believe this beauty has been blooming for so long.

Do you have any houseplants just because you have memories of family members or friends having them?

Houseplant Cleanup

December 14th, 2017

Now that it’s winter, I’ve been looking around at the houseplants and noticing they need a bit of tidying up. The banana plant was a bit crazy, though in my defense, I was hoping it would fruit this past summer, and I’ve always heard that you don’t trim off the dried leaves if you want fruit.

I meant to get a “before” photo, but completely forgot until I had already trimmed it up. Oh well, you get the idea. The pot wasn’t even visible because there were so many dried leaves all the way from the floor up to the leaves. While I was pruning, I also cleaned up the leaves with a mild detergent as they were a bit dusty.

While I was pruning, I decided to give all the plants a bit of a haircut. The elephant ear in our bedroom got a bit of tidying, as did the spider plants in my sewing room. Most of the other houseplants don’t any tidying. All of this brown material will go into the chicken coop as litter.

What’s your favorite houseplant? How often to do clean & prune them?

The Orchid

December 28th, 2016

My grandpa’s second wife gave my mom and orchid a year or two ago. She’d had it for a long time, but no longer wanted to take care of it. My mom tried splitting it and thought she had killed it. Then she noticed that all three starts were producing new growth.
When I came home from visiting her at Thanksgiving, she sent one of them home with me. After a little research, I put it under a grow light upstairs. Amazingly, within a week it started to produce buds. One fell off, but the other one is just starting to open up.
I’ve never grown orchids before, so this is completely new for me. I read that they like little water and lots of light. So far I guess I’m doing OK since it’s blooming.

Do you have any new houseplants this winter?

Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.