While I don’t have any houseplants per se, I do bring plants inside for the winter. A few are too sensitive to be outside year round (like the plumeria you see on the extreme right in the photo below), others simply do better protected from the cold temperature. I’m not above admitting that I play favorites, so the plants that are invited to be houseguests for the winter are typically the ones I’m particularly fond of at the moment.
Houseguests for the winter. The light you see all the way on the left is an OttLite floor lamp my wife picked up for free on Freecycle.org.
Others are recent purchases that I want to give a head start. The bulk of the agaves you see in the next photo are recent purchases from Arid Lands Greenhouses. They were shipped bare root and need special TLC to get reestablished quickly. After repotting them in a very loose soil mixture, I put them on a seedling heat mat like this one. The mat warms the bottom of the pots, thereby stimulating root growth. I lightly water these agaves once a week to simulate the kind of environment they might encounter outside in early summer, their peak growing season.
Agaves on heat mat
This is the kind of treatment I gave the agaves I bought from Greg Starr when I visited him in Tucson, AZ in early December. I planted one of them, an Agava bovicornuta × colorata hybrid, in the driveway succulent bed a few weeks later, and it had a healthy amount of new root growth when I took it out of the nursery pot.
Agave montana (left) and Agave titanota (right)
Here are some of the other houseguests. Many of them would be perfectly fine outside—like the three agaves you see in the next photo (Agave victoria-reginae, Agave parviflora, Agave striata)—but I’m hoping that the preferential treatment I’m giving them will make them grow faster.
Window sill dwellers
Denizens of another window sill
Dioscorea elephantipes, the larger of two specimens
Euphorbia decaryi var. spirosticha (left) and Sansevieria cylindrica (right)
Euphorbia bupleurifolia. My goal is to get them to grow as quickly as possible since mature specimens are drop-dead gorgeous (check out this photo).
Do you bring your special favorites inside for the winter?