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Indoor Plants

Source: What Shall We Do Now?: Five Hundred Games And Pastimes

A list follows of suitable plants to be grown indoors. Green plants
are mentioned first.

Aspidistra.--Of all green plants the aspidistra is the best to grow
indoors. (This plant indeed is so hardy that it will stand not only
draught but even a certain amount of gas.) Its smooth, beautiful
leaves should be carefully sponged every week.

India-rubber Plant.--The india-rubber plant is a very handsome,
smooth, bright-leaved plant. It should not be given too much water.

Ferns.--Several hardy ferns grow well in a window. The maidenhair is
very beautiful while it lasts, but it is a poor thing the second year
unless it can be put into a greenhouse and cared for.

Ivy.--Small-leaved variegated ivy will grow under almost any
conditions. Its leaves should be kept clean. If grown up a small
trellis it is very pretty.

Japanese Fern Balls.--In February and March one can buy Japanese
fern balls. The balls have to be soaked for two or three hours in
water (rainwater if possible) and then drained and hung up in a window
where there is not too much sun. They should be watered three times a
week. Gradually the delicate ferns will grow and unfold until the
whole ball is a mass of green. In November they should be put away in
a cool dark place until the following February, when they can be
started again.

Miniature Trees.--Fine little trees can be grown from chestnuts,
beechnuts, acorns, and hazel-nuts. Collect the nuts as they fall and
leave them in a dark place, until about two weeks before Christmas,
when you lay them in bowls full of wet moss or in pots filled with
earth, and put them in a warm dark place near hot pipes, or in a warm
cupboard. This warmth will start the root growth. When the root is
two inches long, fill a bowl with moss or pebbles, lay the nuts on the
top so that they are only half covered, with the roots downward, and
keep in a room where they will have plenty of light. Water frequently
but do not let much water stand in the bowl.

Wheat or Canary Seed.--Wheat or canary seed can be sown in any kind
of dish, the bottom of which is covered with wet moss. Sow the seed
thickly and then keep the dish in a dark cupboard until the seedlings
are about two inches high. Then place it in a sunny window. The seed,
which will take about three weeks to grow, makes a beautiful patch of
clear light green in a room. Keep the moss wet.

Mustard and Cress can be sown in pots or on pieces of wet flannel.

Campanulas.--Blue and white campanulas are grown in almost every
cottage window, and they are very beautiful and graceful. They can be
grown in pots, but are prettiest in baskets from which to hang down.

Fuchsias and Geraniums.--Both fuchsias and geraniums are gay and
delightful plants for a room. Good kinds should be bought in early
summer and well watered. In winter the plants should be kept in a cool
dark place, until with the coming of spring they begin to grow again.
Both can very easily be increased by cuttings. To do this take off a
shoot of about four inches long, cutting it off just below a joint.
Then pull off the leaves just above the joint and put it into some
earth in a sunny corner and water it well. In about a month roots will
have formed and it can then be potted.

Bulbs.--Bulbs, such as tulips, iris, daffodils, crocuses, scillas,
and snowdrops, can be grown in pots or deep earthenware saucers that
have been filled with cocoanut fibre. This can be bought at any
florist's. A little shell, shingle, or sand, can be mixed with the
fibre, and a piece of charcoal should be put at the bottom of the pot
to keep it sweet. The bulbs need only to be covered with a thin layer
of damp fibre. Water regularly, as they must never get dry. If your
pot has no drainage hole it is a good thing a little while after
watering to turn it gently on one side so that any water which has not
been soaked up by the fibre can run off.

Bulbs can also be grown indoors in earth. Plant them in October just
below the soil, and keep them in a cool dark place until they have
made a little growth. Then bring to a sunny window. Horsfieldii
narcissus, polyanthus-flowered narcissus, and yellow jonquils, grow
well, and so do tulips, hyacinths, and crocuses. In a sunny window the
Scarborough lily (Vallota purpurea) can be grown. It is a very
gorgeous and imposing red flower which blossoms in August and
September. It should be planted in autumn and plenty of room allowed
for its roots.

The Good-Luck Lily, which is a strong and beautiful polyanthus
narcissus, can be grown in bowls filled with pebbles and water. Fill
the bowl almost to the top with clean pebbles (which can be brought
from the seashore), and among them plant the bulbs and fill up with
water which must be added to as it evaporates. Among the pebbles put
two or three pieces of charcoal.

Next: Bulbs In Glasses

Previous: Flower-pots

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