According to the calendar spring is here.
According to what I see out my window, it is not.
Earlier this week I finally gave up on waiting for Mother Nature to get her act together and transplanted most of my houseplants at the kitchen table. My plan was to do it outside, but the days have either been too windy or too cold.
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I didn’t realize just how many I have until I started transplanting. Granted some belong to my daughter, but even still, between the two of us there are at least 40 (25 of which are in my office).
I have always had houseplants. My love for them came from spending time with my maternal grandparents, because they had several in their home. I can recall the weekends I stayed with them, one of my jobs was to water the plants. Grandma tried growing several different plants, just to see if she could do it. I think a couple of the most memorable to me was the eggplant and the ornamental pepper.
I don’t recall whatever became of the eggplant, but the pepper I remember vividly. Now that I think about it, what she called an ornamental was just a chili pepper. Me being the rebel that I was decided I was going to eat one, even after being told not to. “How hot can it be?” was what I said when she told me they were hot.
Long story short: I couldn’t make the burning in my mouth go away no matter how much water I drank. After that I listened when she told me not to eat something.
As I’ve said, houseplants have always been my thing, as has gardening in one way or another. Now, here are 5 reasons to have houseplants:
- Purify the air – Living in a cold climate means windows are closed for weeks on end, and central heating is necessary. Plants take in the carbon dioxide we expel, and produce oxygen in return. We help the plants, and the plants help us. Some air purifiers are: spider plant, English Ivy, Snake Plant (aka Mother-in-Law’s Tongue), aloe vera, Broad Lady Palm, Dragon Tree, and Devil’s Ivy. The only one on this list I don’t currently have is an English Ivy.
- Peaceful Atmosphere – I don’t know about you, but to me plants offer peace and tranquility. If you have a lot of stress in your life, try surrounding yourself with some greenery. (If you’re a newbie to plants, getting them to grow might cause stress too, but it’s a good stress in my opinion.) I have always wanted a solarium filled with plants, and it may become a reality within the next year.
- Mid-winter Colour – While most houseplants are different shades of green, there are some that have colourful leaves or produce colourful flowers during the coldest months. Having a burst of colour inside while the snow is blowing outside is welcome, no matter what. Some plants that have a display of colour are: Christmas Cactus (my cats killed my last one), bromeliad, African Violet (Note: I have yet to keep one of these alive.), Croton (has colourful leaves so you don’t have to wait for it to bloom), and the Polka Dot plant (one I recently had just appear in another plant pot).
- Rewarding Hobby – If you enjoy trees in their glory, cultivating and caring for a bonsai could be just what you want. I personally haven’t attempted this particular avenue of indoor gardening, but do know it takes time and patience. If bonsai isn’t your thing, caring for other plants so they reproduce is rewarding in itself.
- Side Hustle Opportunity – If you have a green thumb and can make your houseplants grow, then you can benefit by taking cuttings from them. Some common plants that are easy to reproduce are spider plants, weeping fig, bromeliads, Devil’s Ivy, English Ivy, and Snake Plant. After my latest transplanting stint, I have extra weeping figs that may be finding their way to Facebook Marketplace.
If you’re worried about not being able to keep plants alive, try cacti. They go weeks without water in the desert, so are right at home when paired with people who forget to water them. No matter your gardening know-how, there is a plant that you can grow if you have the desire. It may take some trial-and-error, but when you see new leaves or flower buds appearing, it’s all worth it.