In the first three months of the year, even the tiniest flowers mean a lot. Sure, it's easy to wax rhapsodic about a plant's gorgeous leaves when the sun is shining and it's above 70 degrees. But on four-layer days when you're looking for your down vest, it's flowers that are called for.
I'm glad I took cuttings of my Pelargoniums last November. And ordered a few more this year. And I'm really glad I kept my Lachenalia happy throughout the summer when it required warmth and dryness. Lachenalia are easy to grow once you get the hang of it. Plant the bulbs and forget about them until they start to grow. I discovered they make great cut flowers, too. They last in a small vase for more than two weeks! And I found that Pelargonium leaves make good "collars" for encircling the flower stems.
Pelargonium ‘Cerise Carnation’ is an ivy geranium hybridized in the U.S. in 1955.
As for the pellies, I can't say they're blooming their little heads off, but many of them are pushing out buds and opening up to bring me joy in a colorful package. One of my theories about their ability to bloom without too much trouble is that they don't require a lot of humidity. If you've ever tried to grow things like Gardenias or even fuchsia indoors, you've suffered the frustration of watching a bud form over a period of weeks, plumping up to a promise, and finally, dropping off like a run-on sentence.
|Pelargonium 'Mosaic Silky' in bud.|
|I won't say no to the flowers of Pelargonium 'Mosaic Silky'.|
One plant I've come to love enough not to be without is Oxalis adenophylla, AKA silver shamrock. It's grown from a tiny bulb that takes its sweet time emerging. I planted them as soon as I got them--late November. They take nearly three months before you can see anything, and then they slooowwwlllyyy grow up to about four inches tall--leaves and flowers at the same time.
It doesn't seem to matter where you put them or whether you keep them dry or toss a little water on them when you think about it. It just takes that long.