Indoor plants remind me that spring will come again

Susan Manzke
Car-E thinking about plucking a plant.

Some people think the color for winter is white because of snow. My color for the season is green because of all the plants I have growing in my house.

I start planning my winter garden in the fall.

Amaryllis bulbs need special treatment at this time. First, I stop watering the plant. Depriving the plant seems mean, but if I want to have flowers in the winter this has to be done.

I then take the Amaryllis pot into my cool basement. There the leaves wilt and the plant goes dormant. It needs to rest for at least 2 months. I waited until Christmas before I woke it up. That’s when water is sprinkled on the waiting bulb.

The Amaryllis come out of my basement and are set around my house. They like to be in the light when they are growing.

At this point, my amaryllis needs more time before they blossom again, but I can wait. Just seeing the green growing from the bulb makes me happy.

Many winter house plants came from the outdoors.

In past winters, I put my summer geranium into the basement. Without water, it became dormant, too, until awakened in early spring when leaves would begin to show. This year, after talking to knowledgeable friends, I kept my geranium in my upstairs bathroom.

For once, it didn’t go dormant but is actively growing. The leaves are not a vibrant green because of the lack of sun, but it seems to get enough to keep going. It even gave me a couple of blooms around Christmas. I guess those bits of red were my gift.

Fern on top and geranium on the floor to the right.

Last fall, a large Boston fern was given to me by my friend Bridget. She took it out of her garden and handed it to me. We both had our fingers crossed that the beautiful fern would survive the change of scenery. It went right into my house where it is now waiting for spring.

The fern is a lovely green, even though direct sunlight doesn’t touch it much during the winter.

I was told to keep my fern well-watered and away from heat vents. It seems to like the upstairs bathroom. These days its neighbors include the aforementioned geranium, amaryllis, and a spider plant.

I need to have things growing in my house in the winter. Green is a necessity for me.

Last year, my son Russell, gave me an AeroGarden Harvest - Indoor Garden with LED Grow Light. It came with an assortment of different pods: Basil, Curly Parsley, Dill, Thyme, Thai Basil, and Mint.

Kitten Barn-E enjoys his perch atop the grow light of Susan's Aero-Garden.

I loved that indoor garden so much that I bought a second one. Currently, I have a lot of different lettuce plants growing and one basil. Often, I’ll be walking past my two gardens, snip a few leaves off, and pop them into my mouth. No need to wash off the household dust, or at least that’s what I think as I munch my greens.

For Christmas 2020, I received four orchid plants. Currently, these houseplants are not blooming, but I have faith that in the future more blooms will appear.

I do have some vegetable seeds waiting to be started, but I think it’s too early to set them in soil. A few friends who live farther south have started to wake up their seeds. In the past, when I started early all I got was spindly stems with a few leaves. These then died—I’m far from being an expert, but I do try.

As I wrote about my indoor plants today, I couldn’t believe how many I have. They are spread over two floors of this house where I can admire them—and remember to water them.

I have four-footed furry friends, but I also have many green friends. All make surviving winter easier. My cats and dog make me laugh. The plants remind me that spring will come again, even if today it’s below zero.

I recommend a growing plant to pick up your spirits mid-winter.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;