Gardening

Beautiful WInter Bloom

Yes, I know it may not be winter where you are, but it sure is here. Cold, sunny, with about 6 feet of snow on the ground (a whole new foot in the last few days). So, no blooms outdoors, but indoors: it’s spring!

Dozens of plants are in bloom. Here are just a few of them.

Neomarica northiana, called the walking iris because its bloom stalks bend over with babies on the tip that root, so it spreads by  “walking”. The flowers only last a day each, but there are always several per stem. Still, it is certainly not a long-blooming plant: take a photo when it blooms or you may not see another for a whole year!

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Aloe vera: yep, the medicinal aloe. It doesn’t bloom very often for me: every few years. Of course, then I appreciate the stalks of greenish yellow blooms all that much more!

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And finally, my Thai hybrid crown-of-thorns (Euphorbia x lomii cv) is always in bloom. I have it stuffed back behind other plants, so I can only get a glimpse of the flowers. That was a dumb thing to do! Next time I clean up the greenhouse, I’ll give it center stage!

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Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

3 comments on “Beautiful WInter Bloom

  1. How long did it take your aloe vera to bloom? I have one that is several years old and I honestly didn’t even know they bloom! Is there any way you know of to encourage it?

    • I’m more than a bit slow to respond (I didn’t realize there was a “Comments” button!), but here goes: my Aloe vera took about 10 years to bloom for the first time and now blooms every 2 to 3 years. I did nothing special: it just has to mature.

      • Well, it would seem that I have a few years to wait then! Thanks so much for getting back to me! 🙂

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