Bringing the Houseplants Back Inside, including the Begonia fuchsioides
I’m lucky – there’s help. Always a good thing and especially a good thing when there are a lot of large plants and rather a lot of window surface.
You betcha. This is not about housekeeping points; cleaner they are, the better for the plants. It’s amazing how much light can be blocked by even a light coating of dust.
It’s also nice to have someone who can do the heavier lifting.
The awkward, @ 15 pound pot is about at the height of my chin. I could have dealt with it by myself but I’m glad I didn’t have to.
That’s a Begonia fuchsiodes, named for the drooping, fuchsialike flowers.
Those flowers kept coming all summer and were coming still last month. So in spite of the usual vows to use tropical plants as exotic annuals and let them die at frost, I put it in the car and hauled it back down to the Hudson Valley house.
No knowing whether it will continue to thrive. Glasshouse Works says it doesn’t like being moved around, but this pot of them (there are 3 in there) has already done a great deal of traveling.
I bought them in 4 inch pots at Greystone Greenhouses, in Sharon, Connecticut, whose owner could probably make anything grow.
They sat under our giant spruce for a couple of weeks, then all 3 plants got wedged into one pot for instant impressiveness, crowding not mattering because they were to die at end of summer.
Then into the car and up to Maine, then all summer in the South facing but mostly shaded windowbox. Another car ride and sojourn under the spruce and right now they’re eating the entire dining room window.
So far so good. Stay tuned.
Oh, about bringing the houseplants back in. Most important thing already said here back in 2005:
“This is a good time to cast a cold eye on your houseplants and ask: would I buy this thing if I were browsing at the nursery? Would I buy it if it were on sale? Would I pick it up if it were sitting on the curb with a “free” sign around its neck? You know what to do if all answers are no.”
But do as I say, please, not as I do. The unlovely, easily replaceable with a much nicer one ( if I even wanted one, which I don’t ) Christmas cactus we got from the long dead mother of an old friend who has also left us is a constant reminder that emotional investment in plants often leads to aesthetic judgments that are – how shall I say it? –not up to one’s usual standards.
Begonia closeup and dining room picture were taken by Bill Bakaitis, who is remembering not to water it too often.