A closeup of the blooms of an interspecific orchid hybrid. I love the yellow color too. So cheery on dark days.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day: February indoor plant party

Sorry, I’m late to the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day party. I didn’t realize it was already mid-February. How could I miss it with Valentine’s Day right before? Well, everyone here has been sick since Christmas. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

There’s so much blooming in my red dirt world so let’s get on with the show.

Among my indoor plants, I’ve forced hyacinths, and I’ve also bought some small daffodils already doing their groove thing.

Hyacinths 'Delft Blue' Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Hyacinths ‘Delft Blue’ I forced this fall and winter. Dreamy aren’t they?

All of my hyacinths performed wonderfully except the white ones. Most of them rotted. I prepared them the same way as the others. I placed them in paper bags in the garage refrigerator in late August because we don’t get that cold in Oklahoma at the beginning of winter–at least most of the time. I used paper bags because we occasionally store fruit in that refrigerator. I was super busy throughout fall, so I didn’t get them on vase until mid-December. I then put them in the bulb closet in my kitchen so they could start growing roots.

Bulb closet in my kitchen.

Bulb closet in my kitchen.

All of them rooted except the white ones. They just sat there. I watched for green shoots on top too, but nothing. When I pulled up the bulbs, they were rotten. I don’t know why.

Hyacinths mature at different rates when you force them, so I pull them out of the closet when the green shoot is about 1/2-inch high. Then, I place them in a sunny window. Before long, they turn bright green and begin to grow. You’re simply fooling the plant that it’s spring. It’s tons of fun and a good thing to do with kids. I usually get two months of bloom.

See those in front with the yellow tips? They just came out of the closet today. The vase on the left is modern. The turquoise one may be modern too, but it has the Tye type shape. It came from England.

The hyacinth tips were yellow until they sat in sunlight for a few days. Then, they turn bright green.

I gave loads of already-planted bulbs to family and friends at Christmas. They make excellent gifts.

I noticed Trader Joe’s already has plenty of forced tulips and daffodils. Go ahead and buy yourself some. They don’t cost much, and they make this period before spring seem shorter. I bought these daffs and slid the plastic pots down into my containers. I watered and enjoyed them until they bloomed out. Because they are planted in potting soil, I can transplant them outside for bloom in spring 2018. Daffodils are such strong growers that they transplant pretty well even when forced in potting soil. Other forced blooms, especially those in water, do not.

Forced daffodils from Trader Joe's.

Forced daffodils from Trader Joe’s.

After Christmas, Whole Foods put their amaryllis on sale, so I snatched up two I love. They bloomed just in time for Valentine’s Day. Who says amaryllis (hippeastrum) are just for Christmas?

I’ve also been obsessed with orchids this year. There is no easier plant to bring into your home. By the time you see the orchid in the store, someone has worked very hard in a large greenhouse to make it bloom. We visited an industrial greenhouse orchid operation when we were in California for spring trials. I have those photos, and I should write a post about it. Would you like that?

Greenhouse growers take your phalaenopsis orchid from a tiny cutting and eventually bring it to bloom. Then, all you need to do is sit it on a table or mantel and give it some sun every couple of weeks. Oh, occasionally, you water it too.

It’s almost a plastic plant!

For larger orchids, you can do the ice cube trick every other week to water, but even that’s too much for mini-orchids. The mini-orchids and the interspecific (mixed species) are my current favorites.

An interspecific orchid I found at a box store.

An interspecific orchid I found at Lowe’s.

A closeup of the blooms of an interspecific orchid hybrid. I love the yellow color too. So cheery on dark days.

A closeup of the blooms of an interspecific orchid hybrid. I love the yellow color too. So cheery on dark days.

I like how the minis aren’t top heavy, and the blooms on the interspecific ones, shown above, are truly spectacular. I found the minis at Trader Joe’s and the interspecific ones at Lowe’s. You just have to shop every couple of weeks because orchid stock seems to be replenished every week or so. I have a couple of larger phalaenopsis orchids too. I nearly drowned one of them, so I repotted it in orchid bark and stashed it in the greenhouse. It seems happier. Orchids like to grow on tree branches in tropical rainforests. They don’t like wet roots.

Orchids like to grow on tree branches in tropical rainforests. They don't like wet roots. Click To Tweet

When I started posting a lot of orchid photos on my Instagram account, I got questions about reblooming. Well, my friend, Shirley Bovshow, made a video on getting your orchid to rebloom.

Here are my thoughts. If you want to try for rebloom, great. If you don’t, just compost your orchid after it blooms. It’s no different than buying cut flower bouquets–they cost about the same–and orchids bloom for months.

I hear you. It’s–gasp–a plant, not a flower! Yes, but even plants die, and that’s ok.

I hear you. It's--gasp--a plant, not a flower! Yes, but even plants die, and that's ok. Click To Tweet

I repotted two of my orchids–including the unfortunate drowning victim–and put them out in the greenhouse for now. I’ll place them by a window in my bathroom come summer. We’ll see if I can get them to rebloom. I’ve never tried, but I never bought so many orchids before either.

Most of my February blooms are indoors, but I have a few outside too. My hellebores started blooming today in fact. I trimmed back the old foliage a few days ago and accidentally cut off two blooms. It is one of those things that just happens I guess. Some people in milder climates don’t cut away the old foliage, but here it looks so bad I do. That way, everything is fresh, unhidden and ready to bloom. I have more to trim, but as you can see, I need to cut back the ornamental grasses too.

We are supposed to have a high of 68F today. I think I’ll get out there and garden.

Just one of my ornamental grasses that needs cutting.

Just two of my ornamental grasses that need cutting.

Yesterday, I contacted Grooms Irrigation Co. and asked for them to come out and estimate what it would cost to expand the irrigation system. Since we installed it in 2008, I’ve added three or four more borders. I should get the costs soon and get started. I told him we needed it done before June and the daylily regional tour. Hopefully, since I contacted them early, they can get to it soon.

Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day everyone, and thank you, Carol, for once again hosting us.

 

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20 comments on “Garden Bloggers Bloom Day: February indoor plant party

  1. sagegreenforest

    I just heard about your blog and thought I would check it out. Your pictures today are so beautiful…I just recently decided to try growing flowers and plants, I hope I do as well as I have.I look forward to your next post. I hope everyone has a great day!

    1. Dee Nash

      Thank you Sagegreenforest. I post about once a week these days so if you want to subscribe, please do. Thanks so much!

  2. Robin Ruff Leja

    My goodness Dee, you really do have a lot of blooming things there inside your home! Mine is a much smaller scale. The single amaryllis has come and gone, and the two primrose are growing on the window ledge till I get them planted outside. A vase of tulips completes my indoor blooms! Oops, almost forgot the lone geranium that I saved from the patio last fall. So maybe I do have a few indoor blooms after all…

    1. Dee Nash

      See Robin? You do have a lot of blooms. They certainly help winter pass quickly I think.

  3. Layanee

    I think those roots on the hyacinths, so visible in the forcing vases, are just fascinating and almost as gratifying as the blooms! You do have much in bloom. I love them all.

    1. Dee Nash

      Layanee, I do believe the roots are my favorite part. Also, the scent. I like that too.

  4. Beth @ PlantPostings

    Thanks for sharing the beauty of your blooms! I have a few, but I think I need a wardian case (or two or three) and more plant cages, so I can add more indoor plants and keep the cats away. Beautiful post!

    1. Dee Nash

      Hi Beth! Wardian cases are great as long as we remember they amplify the sunlight. Some plants burn in them.

  5. Marlene Maxon

    I love my orchids and find they each have their own personalities One of my Phalaenopsis never disappoints me. Each spring it sends up a flower stalk that branches out and has about 34 blooms on it that last about 4 months. The Phals are the easiest to get to rebloom. Mine thrive on neglect.

    1. Dee Nash

      Thanks Marlene. It’s good to know they thrive on neglect. They will certainly get that here. 😉

  6. Lisa Greenbow

    I like that yellow orchid. I hope to find one like that. I get all of my phalenopsis to rebloom. Not much to it except keeping them alive. Mine always start blooming after I bring them inside during fall. They sort of take turns beginning to bloom and right now all are blooming and will probably continue to do so until I put them outside. I don’t think they like it outside but I get tired of having plants inside. I love your hyacinths. I can imagine how it smells in your house. Yummy.

    1. Dee Nash

      Hi Lisa! I can’t take mine outside because it’s much too hot here. However, I think they will like my bathroom for summer. Then, I’ll move them somewhere that gets lower temperatures at night. I’m willing to give it a try anyway. Glad to know yours are successful.

  7. Marian St.Clair

    Looks so pretty inside. My last hippeastrum is blooming now too and, like you, I enjoy them best after the rush of the holidays, rather than before.

    1. Dee Nash

      Hi Marian, yes, I think there is less competition from the Christmas decor. January gives them time to shine.

    1. Dee Nash

      Hi Kathy, yes, some of mine rotted this year, and others rotted by halves. Weird.

  8. indygardener

    Happy Bloom Day, plus one. You’ve surrounded yourself with flowers. Love the hyacinths, mine are also blooming and just one seems to be uncooperative. Thanks for joining in!

I love your comments. Thanks for letting me know what you think.