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The Pleasures of House Plants from Howard Payne's blog

There is something elusive and wonderful about growing a plant in a pot. It is the joy of seeing a flowering Christmas cactus or begonia on the window sill with snowflakes falling on the other side of the glass. It's the fragrance of good moist earth, the perfume of a gardenia, the spiciness of a scented geranium leaf. For you, it may be the magic of waiting for a night-blooming cereus to burst into pristine loveliness on a summer evening, the challenge of training an ivy to frame a window, or the delight of propagating your favorite pot plant to share with a friend. If you'ref searching good app about plants for your ios or android - Plant Spot!


   Many growers like the feel of house plant leaves-to touch a velvety gloxinia, a pebbly pilea, or a waxy hoya. Others enjoy strange and picturesque cacti, bizarre bromeliads, or gnarled dwarf trees. The person with a passion for neatness will find special pleasure in symmetrically grown African violets. For some people, indoor gardening has no meaning unless the plants produce bumper floral crops. Others find the gem-toned foliage of rex begonias and episcias even more appealing than flowers.



   It is a matter of family record that I began a window-sill garden at the age of three and a half years. It consisted of young beans transplanted from outdoors before frost in autumn, a pot of pink oxalis from a great aunt, and wax begonias from a neighbor. Today, preschool children stare in wide-eyed wonder at my potted holly and Norfolk Island pine, which they call "Christmas trees." To the kindergarten set, sharing a potted plant with classmates is a real adventure. I know elderly people whose lives are made far less lonely by houseplants. And, conversely, some of the busiest people I know find peace in caring for a collection of indoor plants.


   Since that winter years ago when I carefully tended three house plants, I have found every phase of indoor gardening full of its own special delights. There is the thrill of having an orchid produce its yearly crop of long-lasting flowers. There is pleasure in hearing guests exclaim over the huge fruit on a small potted Ponderosa lemon tree. And, every autumn I find buds pushing upward from amaryllis bulbs, promising pure white, pink, and velvety crimson flowers for the holidays. There is great satisfaction, too, in reflowering a poinsettia or an azalea the year after its purchase from the florist. Eagerly I anticipate the blooming of all seedling house plants, for there is always a chance that one of them will be better than were its parents. Finally, there is the daily pleasure my family and I derive from seeing house plants express a measure of warmth, individuality, and charm in each room of our home.

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By Howard Payne
Added Jan 16 '20



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