Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bloomin' Alternanthera

I have entirely too many plants in my house, in pots and rooting in jars of water! I had not meant to have two glass-topped tables in my dining room covered in plants (they were meant for candles, a tea set and my beautiful Peruvian tray with bottles of Cognac and Benedictine in winter, and Vodka and Campari in summer . . .) - heck, I never even meant to become a gardener! - but c'est la vie! I'm totally into plants, gardening and all that good sort of stuff for the past several years and keeping plants alive indoors in winter, growing a "crop" to take outdoors again next April/May, has become a mission! The "Bloomin' Alternantera" (cuttings from an Alternantherea 'Gail's Choice') is in the bottom left of this photograph, there is a Begonia 'Bonita Shea' to its right, an Aloe in the top left corner and the others are all Coleuses of one variety or another. I know, too many plants - it's ridiculous!

Annuals that have had a great outdoor summer must be brought indoors (if they are not cast away) before the first frost of the season. That includes this Alternanthera. It grew on my front porch in a large clay pot, with a Coleus and some other plants, until two months ago. After bringing the entire ensemble indoors, the Alternanthera started a phenomenal growth (reaching for the light?) and its branches were two feet longer yesterday than they were in October, when I decided to cut them off, put them in water and begin rooting them. To my amazement, the thing was blooming! It's not much of a bloom, but see those little white fur balls as the tips of the cuttings? Cute, but not a competitor for my Christmas cacti!

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