Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog on the Northern Plains, USDA Hardiness Zone 4-5a. Snow, cold, and fluctuating temperatures outside result in plants wintering in dormancy or adapting antifreeze features. Blooming plants are uncommon until at least near spring.
While blooms are hard to find outdoors now, indoors, some enjoy the challenge of continuing care for holiday poinsettias. With little input, flowers in the center of the colorful modified leaves die, green leaves fall off, and the plant declines within a month or so.
To maintain poinsettias after the holidays, they prefer slightly cooler room temperatures, a sunny location, and consistency of care. It’s time to remove the foil wrapper, so water doesn’t puddle and kill the roots. Watering the plant until the water exits the bottom of the pot about every week is adequate and allows the soil to dry a bit. If the color in the modified leaves becomes light, more light is needed. Little houseplant fertilizer is required until growth accelerates later in weather like subtropical Mexico, where poinsettias originated.
Camelia japonica, USDA Hardiness 7-10, is another container plant still in bloom indoors. Blooming in winter is one of its features. Enjoying its flowers all winter is possible with 200 or so species of camellias and 3,000 hybrids. Its cinnamon-scented bloom is often compared to a rose or peony in form, and the shrub commonly produces flowers for more than a month.
For more blooms, Carol awaits at May Dreams Gardens in Indianapolis to show you her plants. At the end of her post on January 15th, note the list of garden bloggers waiting to show you plants. Here’s the link to her garden: http://www.maydreamsgardens.com