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I Heart Houseplants

I love to grow and enjoy houseplants in every room of the house. But not all rooms provide the best climate for the ones I like to grow. I've solved the issue by turning my sun room into a grow room, complete with banquet tables and overhead lighting.

growing houseplants, plants under lights
Houseplants under lights

It's pretty to a plant-lover, and gets me through the winter. The plants on my tables are there to grow, not to just look pretty. When they achieve what I call "decor worthiness," I'll put them in a room I frequent, like my office, or even the bathroom.

Albuca namaquensis brightens up my office.

One of the plants I'm enjoying in my office is grown from a bulb that is native to Africa. Albuca namaquensis grew under lights until recently when it sprouted flower stalks. It would have survived without plant lights, but it likely wouldn't have bloomed.

Callisia repens variegata

Variegated Callisia repens needs no flowers to put on a gorgeous show. The best color--pinkish cream and bluish green--comes when the plant gets lots of light. It would do well in a south window, but just as well in a well-lit corner of a room.

This yellow-flowered shamrock-like plant grows from a bulb that's native to Africa..

Some plants resent being moved away from the light. Among my experimental beauties is a pot full of Oxalis bulbs whose species I'm not yet sure of. The most prolific bloomers have been charming me since November. It's the yellow-flowered plant that greets me each morning with at least two and up to four blooms from one bulb at a time.

The underside of each yellow Oxalis flower petal is striped with red.

The underside of the yellow flower petals are striped in red, making them look like completely different flowers. Each is about the size of a half dollar, or about an inch.

This little Fuchsia loves living about a foot away from the plant lights.

The showiest plant in my house right now is the Fuchsia I started from a cutting of a plant I grew outside in the summer. I would never have been able to coax Fuchsia genii into bloom if I didn't have supplemental light. Fuchsias are tricky to grow indoors because they love humidity but hate wet feet. This one is potbound, so it dries out quickly. If you don't water it when it's dry, it will drop its flower buds and go into a wilt.

January 10 is National Houseplant Appreciation Day, a day to pay attention to your houseplants, research them, buy them, and, well, just appreciate them for brightening up your life. Enjoy!

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