Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Winter Houseplants



There are many reasons to grow plants indoors -- they clean the air, soften and infuse our decor with nature, and reduce the amount of stress we feel. There are a stunning array of leaf colors and textures to brighten spirits even on the shortest, dreariest winter days. But that's not all: Pick carefully and they also provide scent -- from rich and flowery to warm and spicy. Read on to discover some of our favorite fragrant indoor plants.


Scented Geranium
Start exploring the world of scented geraniums and you'll be amazed at the range of aromas they offer: Choose from rose, lemon, lime, nutmeg, ginger, or chocolate scents, just to name a few. They also present a lovely range of leaf shapes, from lacy to shield. And many have soft, fuzzy foliage that's as fun to touch as it is to smell.
Name: Pelargonium selections
What it needs: Grow scented geraniums in a bright spot protected from drafts. Water and feed regularly with a general-purpose plant food.
Arabian Jasmine
Arabian jasmine flowers almost all year long if it gets enough light. The starry, pure-white flowers produce a soft, flowery fragrance and are used to make jasmine tea.
Name: Jasminum sambac
What it needs: Grow Arabian jasmine in a bright spot protected from drafts and provide abundant humidity. Water regularly and feed it in spring and summer with a general-purpose houseplant fertilizer.

Citrus
You're sure to fall in love with the sweet scent of orange, lemon, grapefruit, or other citrus blossoms. Most are surprisingly easy to grow, provided you give them enough light. If you're patient, you may even get to enjoy homegrown fruits.
Name: Citrus selections
What it needs: Choose a bright spot protected from drafts and provide abundant humidity for your citrus. Water regularly, and fertilize in spring and summer with a general-purpose houseplant food.








Eucalyptus
While most gardeners don't think of eucalyptus as a houseplant, this easy-growing tree makes a pretty showpiece indoors in a high-light spot. It offers blue-gray foliage with a distinct aroma when you rub it.
Name: Eucalyptus cinerea
What it needs: Eucalyptus thrives in bright spot protected from hot and cold drafts. Water it regularly throughout the year.

Gardenia
Renowned for being one of the most fragrant flowers around, gardenia is a lovely, but tricky houseplant. Its glossy green leaves put the spotlight on the single or double white flowers that emit a heavy, flowery scent.
Name: Gardenia augusta
What it needs: Gardenia prefers a humid, very bright environment. Water and fertilize it regularly in spring and summer; hold off on the fertilizer and let the potting mix barely dry between watering in fall and winter. Protect it from hot and cold drafts.
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