Baxter County Master Gardener Program • University of Arkansas System • Division of Agriculture • © 2013 BCMG
The holidays are almost here, and our thoughts are focused more to indoor plants. Most folks think of the poinsettia as the only holiday plant. There are a number of different and lovely choices for you to explore this season. Here are a few suggestions that will add color and cheer to your interior landscape, the Anthurium, Cyclamen, and the Kalanchoe. I'm sure there are many others that would also be a lovely addition to your home this time of year.
Anthurium is a rather new addition to our indoor plant repertoire. The Hawaiian flowers have the right colors to choose from red, white or pink spathes of color. One of the benefits is the flowers last for several months. You may also choose to use them as a green houseplant after the blooms are finished but it's difficult to get them to re-bloom for the next holiday season.
Light: Bright, indirect light
Water: Keep moist at all times, but not drenched and let them dry out slightly between waterings.
Temperature: They suffer if below 60 degrees, they are a tropical plant.
Fertilizer: Use a liquid fertilizer throughout the growing period.
All anthuriums prefer plenty of warmth, regular moisture and ample fertilizer. The easiest to grow are the A. scherzerianum and A. andreanum. These plants have been extensively hybridized and are relatively common in garden centers. Flowering anthuriums will flower any time of the year, providing they are healthy. Foliage anthuriums are mostly found at speciality greenhouses or through online nurseries. To grow them best, approximate conditions found in tropical zones, and if necessary, provide a climbing support for foliage varieties.
Cyclamen plants come in a range of reds, pinks and whites. These plants grow from small bulbs called corms. They prefer cool temperatures, and will decline
quickly if kept warm day and night. They prefer bright light and even moisture. The bulbs will rot if the plant is to wet.
While many toss the plants after they bloom, they will re-bloom with proper care. As the foliage begins to dye back, withhold water for a few months. After a rest period, gradually begin to add water. When you see signs of new growth, increase water and sunlight.
The genus Kalanchoe includes more than 100 plants, but only a few are regularly seen in cultivation. Kalanchoes are native to arid areas, and they are popular succulents. Modern hybrids are valued for their interesting leaf-forms or for their flowers. Flowering Kalanchoes are available in red, pink, yellow, or white. Like many succulents, these are not difficult plants to grow, providing you are careful with the water, especially in the winter.
Light: They prefer bright, sunny locations, especially in the summer growing season. During the winter, consider a south-facing window.
Water: Water moderately throughout the summer and reduce watering in the winter. Let the soil surface dry out between waterings, and in the winter, the plant can almost dry out. Watch the fleshy leaves for signs of water distress.
Temperature: They prefer warmth, do not let the temperature fall below 55ºF.
Soil: An ordinary potting soil mix is fine.
Fertilizer: Feed bi-weekly in the summer with a liquid fertilizer, or use slow-release pellets.