Best indoor plants Chicago

Alternathera For those who cherish their time in the garden, the thought of puttering in front of a windowsill brings little comfort. There is a new group of houseplants, however, that can lead double lives — in the winter they're indoor plants, and in summer they become seasonal bedding plants.

They're not new plants, but are used in a new way. They may be planted directly into the ground alongside other annuals and perennials, or they might be planted in containers or window boxes. The Chicago Botanic Garden's Circle Garden utilizes houseplants in its three-season rotation of annuals. And many gardening centers, quick to pick up on trends set by prominent garden designers, offer these houseplants in their "Annuals" aisle.

The houseplants listed below are adaptable enough to move from a sunny winter windowsill to an outdoor garden space once danger of frost has passed. All require at least one week of gradual acclimation to outside conditions; they should never be rudely moved from a house to a garden overnight. In the garden you will notice that your houseplants will dry out faster and will be susceptible to windburn, sunburn, and normal garden pests. They will require the same care as any other new plant in your garden.

At summer's end, before you bring them back inside, check for insects or disease. If you suspect a problem, isolate the plant from your other houseplants and monitor closely to identify the problem. Heavily infested plants should be discarded; it's simply not worth bringing an ailing plant inside. At this time, it's also good sense to change the soil and repot the plant using fresh soilless mix. Ordinary garden soil is too heavy and not as fast draining as the mixes.

Indoor clover (Alternanthera dentata 'Rubignosa') is a woody plant with burgundy foliage (with green undersides) that looks spectacular in the middle of a border. Its dark foliage contrasts with all flowering plants, and it is quite at home amid pinks, lavenders and purples. It also sports pale greenish-white clover-type flowers along its stems. At the end of the summer, you may either take stem cuttings or dig up the whole plant, cutting it down a bit before you bring it inside for beautiful contrast to all the other green in your window.

Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyeranus) is a striking, iridescent plant with foliage having purple and silver tones on top and maroon underneath. It will grow several feet tall in the garden and responds well to stem cuttings in late summer. This tropical plant that loves heat and humidity, something to remember if it begins to look scraggly in late February! Pinching and pruning will help.

Stop Watering them now

2006-10-27 20:55:38 by Luvplants

I've been doing some research, since I recently got them. Dormancy need to be induced for march blooms by withholding water and cooling them. If you don't cool them, the flower stalks will be too short and not rise above the leaves.
From the Gay Gardener:
For best results, clivias should be grown in bright diffused light, with the growing medium kept evenly moist during spring and summer. If the plants are allowed to become quite dry for two months in winter, and the growing temperature is lowered to approximately 10 - 15°C, the plants can also be encouraged to flower. Once a flower stem has begun to emerge, watering can be increased, and plants moved to a location with normal growing temperatures

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