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Filled to the Brim

November 17th, 2014

I’m guessing if you are a gardner you overwinter a few potted plants indoors like I do. Over the years my collection of plants has grown and grown. This past weekend I finished bringing in the last of the plants, most of which were figs. I like to let them experience some cold so they go dormant for the year. These ‘Hardy Chicago’ figs are perfectly capable of overwintering in the ground here in Maine, but I haven’t found the perfect spot for them yet, so they move in and out with the seasons.
overwintered potted plants 1
There are also quite a few citrus trees, some old and producing, some only a few years old. There are also various pots of herbs and a few succulents that spend the winter in the basement. All of these plants appreciate the coolness that they find in our unheated basement. They get fairly good light from the south facing windows in the doors and they love the 50 degree temps. I have a shelf that they will all be organize onto that is on wheels, which makes it easy to wheel them out of the way when we need to bring in more wood. That is on this week’s project list.
overwintered potted plants 2
There are also many tropical plants upstairs, these all prefer the much warmer temps of the second floor. In that collection there are avocados, papaya, passion fruit, mango, and banana. Upstairs you’ll also find various pothos living in each room, along with lots of jade plants and other succulents. I love what houseplants add to a room, there’s something quite nice about seeing something green and living when everything outdoors is brown or blanketed with snow. My mom always had lots of houseplants, I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

Do you have a collection of plants that move into the house in the winter?

Bloom Where You’re Planted

January 3rd, 2013

Remember those tiny citrus trees I got when I went to Monticello way back in 2010? Last fall the little lime tree bloomed like crazy, but none of the blooms set fruit. That’s not really uncommon for the first bloom of a fruit tree. Now it’s blooming again.
lemon trees blooming 3
There are only a handful of blooms and it’s inside in our office. I also noticed the other day that the variegated lemon is blooming as well. It resides in our bedroom window.
lemon trees blooming 1
lemon trees blooming 2
The smell of these blooms is way too much for me, so I’ll be moving the tree out into the landing for a while. It probably won’t set fruit, but I’m excited because these beautiful trees are finally reaching maturity. I’m fairly certain that next fall/winter I will have finally see fruit!

Do you have any houseplants that produce fruit/food?

Make it Green Please

January 19th, 2012

My mom’s always had amaryllises blooming around Christmas ever since I can remember. It was no different this year, she has quite a collection of bulbs that she’s had for a very long time. She even has a few that she’s grown from seed from blooms she hand pollinated a few years ago.


Her amaryllises have always tend towards the red and salmon shades, nice, but not my cup of tea. I prefer something green or maybe white, so I purchased three different kinds of amaryllis bulbs this past fall when I ordered all those tulips, daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs.

I ordered ‘Baby Doll’, ‘Green Dragon’, and ‘Evergreen’ amaryllis bulbs, three of each. I gave one of each to my mom and planted the remaining six bulbs in pots. The ‘Evergreen’ started blooming earlier this week and it’s quite lovely; this is not my mother’s amaryllis. It’s perfectly green, just like I was hoping.  My mom, who dislikes green flowers with a passion, didn’t like the green one, but the white ones she said were “OK”.  I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but it does fall from the tree!




Can you believe this is the first amaryllis I’ve ever had? It seems like they’re one of those intro to gardening plants that everyone has grown before.

Do you grow amaryllises? What’s your favorite color?

If you’re looking for great prices on amaryllis bulbs of all colors, shapes and sizes try visiting Van Engelen. They sell in lots of three bulbs, but generally getting three bulbs is cheaper than buying one from other places. Give the other bulbs away as gifts, or find a gardener to go in on the purchase with you. They do have a sister company that sells in single bulb lots, John Scheepers.

The Favored Ones

January 16th, 2012

I’m not much of one for high maintenance plants, indoor or out. The majority of my houseplants are neglected, which is actually what houseplants seem to like! Most of them live on in the same location for months without a thought. There are two that are my favorites though, receiving special care.

These two dwarf citrus trees are my pride and joy when it comes to plants that live in pots (here’s a post with their history and why they mean so much to me). During the long cold winter months, they get carried outside whenever the weather is mild enough. I would put a light on them, but I really hate the thought (plus I’m pretty sure the sherif would stop by every now and then to make sure I was just growing citrus).

You many wonder why I go to all this trouble – I’m really hoping they’ll bloom soon and provide me with some fruit this year or next. One of my garden dreams has always been to have a citrus tree in a pot with a few lovely lemons dangling from it’s branches. Soon, this dream may actually come true.

Do you have any plants you favor above others? What special treatment do they get?

For more information on growing tropical fruits and other exotics indoors here are a few book ideas:

Growing Like a Champ

October 25th, 2011

Remember when I talked about the plants I purchased on my trip to Monticello? One of the plants was a small variegated citrus.

I potted it up after we got home and it lived by the window in the living room all winter long. Late this spring I put it outside, along with many other potted plants. It spent it’s days on the back deck soaking up the sun and the rain.

It hadn’t grown a ton over the winter, but I hadn’t really expected it to. I figured this summer it would take off, and I was right. I’m just about to carry it back inside and thought I’d take another photo to compare just how much it had grown over the summer.

This little tree is about three times the size it was in the spring when I put it out. I made sure to fertilize it on Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day as the Lemon Ladies Orchard recommended to me when they heard I had a few citrus trees in pots. I’m wondering if this little tree will bloom this coming year? I certainly hope so. I would love nothing more than to be able to harvest a few lemons from it. Or limes from my dwarf lime tree. After all, if I have houseplants, they might was well provide some food too!

Do you have any houseplants that are edible? Any tiny citrus trees in pots?

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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.

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