by Charlene Burgi
Rainy days can prevent the most avid gardeners from getting their hands dirty outdoors. Seed and bulb catalogs only go so far to stir the creative juices of what to plant where. Garden designs can be formulated, but going outdoors is necessary to see if the ideas can be worked into the existing garden without major reconstruction.
There may be garden work lurking within the confines of your home. Do you have orchids that need to be repotted? How about the spider plant or pathos that could be cleaned up, snipped back or fertilized? Dust often collects on the leaf surface and blocks the needed light for plant health. Try washing the leaves with milk by gentling swabbing it on with a cotton ball. You can also place your indoor plants outside during daylight hours if we are experiencing a warm rain, as the rain might revitalize them. Just remember to get the plants back indoors in the late afternoon because they won’t appreciate camping out at night. (Note: I would refrain from putting your ficus outdoors now since they do not like temperature fluctuations.)
If you look around, there may be a vacant spot in your house begging for a bit of color or greenery. One plant that fills both bills is hoya. This leathery-leafed cascader requires very little water and bright indirect light. It will reward you with beautiful fragrant flowers called umbels that bloom in shades of white, pink, red or yellow. The foliage varies in colors of cream and shades of green with pink edges. It doesn’t like to be watered until the soil completely dries out, then it wants a thorough soaking. Check this plant out at your local nursery. And while you are there, be certain to see what bare root plants are available and stock up before the season closes next month.