Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Plants in the House

No, not the greenhouse. The house house.

I spent the last couple of days pottering in the greenhouse, trying to make enough room to start seeds. I came to the conclusion that the only recourse was to just move some of the plants into the house.  I brought a couple of Begonias upstairs to the guest bathroom, which has a skylight and is quite bright even on cloudy days.

Begonia 'Midnight Twist'

The leaves on 'Midnight Twist' have a gorgeous rich red underside

And a lovely, shiny rich green on top

I bought 'Midnight Twist' over a year ago from Logee's, and I'm so pleased that it is still alive. In photos and in the description on their website, they claim the leaves are charcoal gray. Maybe it's been in too much bright light out in the greenhouse.

I think I also bought this second Begonia from Logee's, but I don't have a tag for it. It looks a lot like one called 'Northern Lights' on their website.

Begonia possibly 'Northern Lights'

I love the tiny hairs on the edges of the leaves.

There's a selection of plants sitting in my dining room now, in the only south-facing window. Still, it's a heck of a lot less cluttered than it used to be in my pre-greenhouse days, when plants covered this area, as well as the dining room table (unseen just to the left).

Begonias, Pelargonium sidoides, Chlorophytum, and Faucaria

Another tagless Begonia that has died back, except for this one tiny leaf that it has put out.

Pelargonium sidoides

I have room now for four flats, so I can start seeds.

I managed to move some of the larger pots around, and now I have room to stand in front of the wire table, and even a small space on the wire table to work. (I'll have to move that Agave 'Blue Glow,' it's only there temporarily.)

I hope four flats is enough. If not, I do have other options. I still have a handful of small portable greenhouses, as well as a makeshift hoophouse that covers part of a raised bed in the back garden. But I prefer to start my seeds in the greenhouse.

Do you overwinter any plants inside? Do you have a space for seed-starting?


  1. Daddy Mack used to call a 'house house' a dwelling house.

    Four flats are not enough. Forty flats are not enough. Use what you have. I am trying to regroup and make room.

    I winter 4 orchids in the house, a Pothos that prefers dimmer light and a spathiphyllum that tells me when to water the orchids.

    Around Christmas I bring in a Schlumbergera or two for the kitchen windows that face north. I am not fond of house plants. Last year I had an areca palm with the orchids but it outgrew the space. I started a new, small one when I pulled out a culm. I am "into" growing, not decorating.

    I like the way your heater fits in between the shelving. I am always torn between pleasing to the eye vs. works well and makes better use of space while leaving room for the cat who has been known to knock a pot off a shelf and walk across a flat of emerging seedlings.

  2. Those two begonias look good, and match their pots nicely too :)

    Overwintering plants in the house can be more tricky than in a heated greenhouse because of central heating. Having a sunroom in our case helps although even in our greenhouse there's no room to start seeds.

  3. After your visit, I put some glass shelves up on the ceiling beams of the greenhouse and threw a bunch of plants up there so I have a little space down below to start seeds. I haven't started seeds in years so we'll have to see if I can do it. Usually I let them dry out too much but maybe I'll be better to them now. Nigel is right, you need another greenhouse!

  4. All of my tender plants spend the winter indoors. It gets a little crowded, but it's always nice to be surrounded by friends. There's a sink downstairs where I can do some seed starting. Those go on downstairs windowsills.

  5. I forgot to say how much I admired your begonias. Begonias might be my next craze.

    Starting seeds can be done most anywhere. I used to put them on the counter in the laundry room or trundle them in and out of the windowless tool shed on a kitchen cart to catch the sun. They are more photogenic on shelves in a greenhouse.

  6. Any plants we overwinter have to survive the just above freezing temps in our minimally heated green house. Tom will start seeds later in the winter in the greenhouse.

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  8. That's a beautiful begonia, and goes well with that pot. All of your plants look wonderful. Very healthy.

  9. I love that Begonia, I have the same one but took it inside the house, because the greenhouse is too cold. I am always pottering around with plants from and to the greenhouse, to the conservatory and upstairs. I think I am quite mad, but as long as I like doing this..... I see you do the same thing.

  10. I do overwinter some plants and hope to overwinter more and my grow lights in the basement are barely enough for starting all my seeds. It is an obsession for me to cover my inside with plants too.

  11. Your begonias are wonderful! I'm hoping to add some to my
    "new" shade area this year, although watering may be an issue. With respect to your questions, it's not generally necessary to bring anything inside here but I just discovered that my Adenium obesum may have received too much rain (here!!!) as the trunk seems to be rotting so my bad there. I started seeds in my laundry room last year but haven't gotten moving to try that again this year.

  12. My house is crammed with begonias too. What seeds are you planning on starting?


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