Summer blooming house plants

10 Jul

Most of the stuff I consider house plants goes outside for the summer, but there are a few things that just doesn’t work for. The Orchids for one, though I do take the big Cymbidium out, more on that one later. The African Violets have never done well outside either, so they stay inside. And I learned a few years ago not to take Amaryllus outside, since they get these nasty Iris borers tunneling through those big succulent bulbs. Distorts them from the inside out. So those stay inside.


The Phaelenopsis orchids we have been collecting the last couple of years seem to like our house pretty well. At any given time we seem to have one or two blooming. Right now we have one that was recently given to Beth in full bloom of course, but two others have been the looking too, one of which is the first one she was given years ago, by her coworker. I just need to remember once a week or so to place a handful of ice cubes around the base of each plant to keep them from getting too dry. At some point I should figure out how to fertilize these poor things too…

The African Violets have long been a favorite of Beth’s too. I think all the ones we have now were gifts of one type or another.


We have three blooming now, for the summer. Most of the time these poor things just have leaves. I suspect the kitchen windowsill isn’t bright enough for them in winter, the camellia tree really does shade most of it now. The orchids seem to better here, oddly enough.

More spectacular than these is the big Clivia lily, which hasn’t done much the last few years, but decided to put one big glorious flower spike up this summer!


It really is a spectacular lily in full flower. I have to be caref about overwatering, and in spring when I set it out it cannot go anywhere full sun hits it or the leaves burn, but it seems happy under the rhody in the front, and with summer water seems to be filling its pot again. I noticed a new off shoot the other day, yay!

I me filmed above the other orchid I’ve been growing for a few years, a large Cymbidium. Usually it blooms in late winter and spring, around and just before I have to take it outside. Well it did that this year. But is also blooming now! May be the cool weather we’ve been having? Dunno, but the single flower spike is a nice addition to the back deck, even if the hummers back there totally ignore it.


Another surprise flowering is the Christmas cactus!


I have two of these, both presents from Beth as this is one of my own personal favorites, and they reliably bloom usually right before thanksgiving, lol. I don’t know why these would bloom now, they are supposed to bloom triggered by day length if I remember correctly. So far haven’t seen any hummers visit, but the straight species is supposed to attract them. They just usually bloom at a time of year when they are stuck inside.

The other main house plant is the big Jade Tree, poor thing needs a depot, but I haven’t had time when it was consistently warm enough for it. It seems to be suffering this year though, so I really do need to make sure I repot it.

Beyond that, I am going to have to do some major rethinking this fall about what to bring in. The Fuchsia triphylla ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’ is doing really well, but I have two others I may want to bring in now too- ‘Mary’, which was a gift from Patrick on the hummingbird Forum, and ‘Juelle’ which we got from the Arboretum sale this spring. It’s a beauty too, though haven’t seen any hummers on it yet.


The flower scales are slightly different, not so congested, but I believe it is also a triphylla type, and not likely to be hardy. They rely should be brought inside for the winter if I want to keep them.

Another group of marginally hardy plants I have collected are the Cupheas. Almost all of them have proven at least some attraction to the hummers, espe I ally the two forms of Cuphea ignea I have. That one may even be partially hardy here, I’ve overwintered it in the past, though it does flower earlier and better if kept warmer over winter. Man, I wish I had a small greenhouse to put stuff like these, and the Abutilon, and the Pelargonium geraniums, etc. lots of half hardy stuff here… Even the begonias I have could probably be overwintered if I can figure out where and how to do it.

I have a few months to figure it all out…


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