The Anti-Poinsettias

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Every year about this time I post about these pretty red and green plants, calling them “anti-poinsettias.”

These are aglaonemas, otherwise known as Chinese Evergreens. You often see them sold in pretty green and white varieties. I almost brought one of those home the other day, but it was so cold that I wasn’t sure that I could safely transport it from the store to my car so I will wait until warmer temperatures–in other words, July, in my part of the world!

Poinsettias don’t do well in my house. Like many New Englanders, we keep our house too cold for the heat loving plant from Mexico. So I have learned to stop killing them, and I grow these, which will tolerate my chilly low 60s.

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Here’s another variety, a pinker version, that’s about to bloom as well.

And the best part about these plants? Once the holidays are over, they’re still lovely to look at!

Juxtaposition

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Last Wednesday you may remember this zygo cactus from my “Happy Thanksgiving” Wordless Wednesday. It was hovering over a plush turkey that I am ridiculously fond of, for some reason.

The reason I am calling this post “juxtaposition” is because the cultivar name on the zygo cactus is ‘Christmas Fantasy.’ And yet, this year, it’s the earliest of my collection to bloom. Maybe that’s the fantasy.

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Then there’s this: an orchid whose name is bigger than it is. It goes by the ridiculous moniker of Elizabeth Ann Bucklebery FCC/AOS.

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It looks as if it should have bloomed at Halloween, with its somewhat creepy flowers.

I guess if I insist on forcing bulbs, I shouldn’t object when plants do their own thing on their own schedules!

Last Year’s Media Darling

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This is the fiddle leaf fig (ficus lyrata). Last year, it was everywhere. This year, it’s still popular, but not quite so much as last year. My theory on that in a moment.

Just “google” fiddle leaf fig care. The first thing you’ll see is the amazing number of contradictory instructions. So that’s trouble right there. If even the so-called experts can’t tell us how to take care of it, what hope do folks who are growing this thing for the first time stand?

I am actually trying it for the second time. My first one made it through 2 winters in my chilly New England house. What it didn’t do was grow–at all. Not one inch or one leaf, not even when I put it outdoors in a protected location for the summer (in between my 2 chilly winters).

I finally gave up with that one, composted it and am starting over. This may turn into “how many fiddle leaf figs can one person kill….”

What I can tell you is that the plant is native to tropical parts of Africa–so about as far from New England as you can be. It’s going to hate the next 6 months around here. Perhaps I can redeem things and make it up to it next summer. If not, there’s always the compost pile.