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Foliage Follow Up – January 2012

Orchid cactus

I rarely participate in Foliage Follow-up, but Pam Penick at Digging has prompted me to take a good look at the foliage around me at this time of the year.

I have owned this orchid cactus (Epiphyllum) for a number of years. I pay almost no attention to it which is shameful, because it would bloom regularly and magnificently if I did. You can see I don’t even give it the pedestal it deserves. For the past year it has lived in a bright rarely heated guest room where it seems happy even if it doesn’t bloom.

I am making a new year’s resolution to prune it back and repot it in the spring.  I think I will go upstairs and prune it this very morning.

I do have other succulents. Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus which are among the easiest plants to grow.  They even tell you when they need watering. Before any serious damage is done to the plant the succulent ‘leaves’ will begin to shrivel slightly and feel limp. It just takes regular watering to bring it back into fine fettle.

Christmas cactus, Schlumbergera bridgesii

This particular Christmas cactus lives in my bedroom, right next to a plump jade tree.

Jade tree, Cassula ovata

This jade tree is over 20 years old. My daughter cared for it during the two separate years we were living in China. She is as reluctant to prune as I am, and it grew so much more heavily on one side that the plant was leaning so dangerously that she propped up the stem with a small flower pot.  I finally did prune it  so that it was not only more attractive, but safer in its pot. Then a couple of years ago I left it right next to a north window in our unheated Great Room for the winter and I thought I had killed it for sure. It never got watered and became shrivelled and frozen, but I resurrected it in the spring when I gave it a radical pruning and watered it on a regular schedule. The leaves are now fat and healthy, if a bit dusty.

This citrus scented geranium is another plant I have had for several years. Still full of life, but another plant that is in serious need of pruning and repotting. Next month. I promise. I will also be able to take cuttings and start raising another generation.

Scented geranium roseScented geranium foliage takes many different forms. Check the online catalogs like Hobbs Farm and Logee’s Greenhouse to see the full range. Scented geraniums do produce small flowers, but it is the scented foliage that is the appeal.

Prostrate rosemary

This prostrate rosemary did beautifully in its pot out on the entry walk all summer where it is hot and sunny. I brought it in and put in in the south window of the unheated Great Room which did go down below freezing yesterday, but it still looks fine. Unlike my upright rosemary which got nipped by cold in the Great Room earlier in the season and which I am trying to revive in a warmer, but still cool, room.

This is what foliage looks like outdoors this morning. I am glad for the snow cover before temperatures plummeted. Four degrees above zero this morning.

Pam, thank you so much for Foliage Follow-Up.


Foliage Follow-Up

Scented geranium

I don’t have any unusual foliage, but I had to participate in Foliage Follow-Up this time because of all the vigorous growth I have seen over the past month. The days are longer and the plants have woken up. My scented geraniums are full of new foliage.

This pelargonium is from  a cutting I took. I think I’ll move it to a regular pot  in a couple of weeks.

Jade tree

This jade tree is over 20 years old, but last winter I left it in an unheated room that was no longer getting escaped heat from the living room.  The new insulation kept us warmer, but the jade tree was badly frozen and damaged. I was ready to toss it, but my husband said it was too historic.  I cut it back and look at it now. Lots of new branches and glossy fat foliage.  It lives in our semi-heated bedroom.


This graceful jasmine loves being outside in the summer  and puts out lots of growth. In the fall I bring it into my semi-heated Sitting Room where it slowly goes to sleep and shrivels. But  look now!  New growth at the tips of some branches.  Still I’ll have to give it a good trim in the spring before it gets back its full strength.

I still have a couple of pots of daffodils that are all foliage. I wonder if they will bloom before the daffodils in the garden?

Pam Penick at Digging has lots more foliage.  Thanks, Pam

Foliage Follow-Up

Angel Wing Begonia

Pam Penick over at Digging has instituted Foliage Follow-up to Carol’s popular Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. I don’t have many house plants, and I don’t have any that are unusual, but I do like the polka dotted foliage on my angel wing begonia. And its a good thing I like the foliage, because I have gotten very few blooms.  Who has advice for me?

Visit Pam and see who has interesting foliage, bark, etc. indoors and out.