Vail Landscape Logic column: Flowering plants and herbs for the indoors
The health effects of keeping plants indoors are well proven. They clear away pollutants such as household volatile organic compounds, provide oxygen and, with their beauty, add to our sense of peace and tranquility. And now that the growing season is waning, the time is right to turn our attention to pretty and fragrant plants we can enjoy growing indoors.
Here are some flowering plants to bring inside:
• Mums — Not only are they a fall favorite, but mums are one of the best plants at filtering household pollutants from the air and they require little care. You can buy them at any time of the year. A big plus is that flowers last two to four weeks. They come in all kinds of colors from fall orange, rust, red and gold to pink, purple and even clean, bright white. Mums can also go out on a porch or patio until frost.
• Cyclamen is another popular flowering plant that can be enjoyed for many months in a bright, cool window. It, too, is available in many colors, including pink. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s a great gift for a cancer survivor.
• Pink princettia is a poinsettia with a smaller flower. It will also last a long time indoors with good, bright light. There are many other colors of poinsettias — gold and orange for fall — in addition to the traditional ones for the holidays. Keep all varieties warm and away from drafts.
To continue cooking with fresh herbs, bring them indoors. Here are some tips for helping them make the transition to indoor living:
• Bring them indoors now before temperatures get too chilly. The plants will adjust to the indoors better when the temps are not too different between outside and inside.
• Spray plants with an insecticidal soap or some mild organic insecticide to be sure you are not bringing pests into the house.
• Trim very large plants before bringing them inside. This helps them fit into a smaller space and helps to keep them from getting leggy.
Though lavender is actually a perennial, like most herbs it makes a nice indoor plant in a sunny window. It is a great de-stressor and relaxation aid. The fragrance of the leaves — just brushing your hand over the leaves — will help you relax and even help you sleep better. Grow lavender in a bedroom window and brush the leaves before going to bed to relax and unwind.
Becky Garber is a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, of which Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company, is a member. You may contact them at 970-468-0340.