While I do enjoy the cooler temperatures that fall begins to bring with it, for me this is a bittersweet time. Autumn beckons the end of gardening as we know it, or does it”¦ I survive by bringing some of the garden inside.
Colorful Coleus Plants – Bring the Garden Indoors
I find myself becoming more depressed with the onset of fall. It doesn’t necessarily get cold here until much later, like October or November, and even then, it’s not unbearably so, which means extending the garden season just a little longer is achievable. Higher elevations may be lucky enough to enjoy brilliant color shows from the surrounding trees, not always the case where I’m located if the weather has been unusually hot or rain free. Still, it’s a great time to get things done in the garden without soaring temperatures, humid air or pesky mosquitoes to deal with. And yet, at the same time it’s sad.
Much of the garden is preparing for its winter nap. Leaves fall from deciduous shrubs and trees. With exception to my mums, asters and a few other cool season flowers or veggies, the plants begin to die back, and my houseplants slowly ease their way back inside. I actually enjoy the last part more than anything else. It may be somber outdoors now, but at least I get to be surrounded by green until spring returns. This is how I extend the garden season – and also how I survive once outdoor gardening has come to an end.
I do grow a few cold season crops, and try to keep something blooming in the garden when I can, but I’m not excited about being outside when it’s cold. And the bleak surroundings only make it more difficult to enjoy. Indoors is a different story. Here is where I can grow plants year-round. The best part”¦ I get to keep gardening. I especially love adding something from the garden inside. I do this every year, usually by taking cuttings or digging and potting up certain plants, like coleus.
I absolutely love coleus plants. The various color combinations and ease of care make them one of my favorite plants to grow in the garden, but many people don’t realize that you can grow them inside too. Unfortunately, the plants don’t survive our winters, so in order to continue growing them (in addition to buying and planting more), I always take cuttings in late summer to early fall and root them to enjoy indoors throughout winter. Those that I already grow in pots come inside too. Sometimes, a splash of vibrant color during the dark days of winter is just what the doctor ordered. I know it helps me.
As a houseplant, coleus enjoys brighter conditions than what it may typically receive in the garden, especially during winter. My office offers plenty with its eastern and southern facing windows. Sitting plants on a humidity tray is helpful too. Once spring returns, they can go back out again, remaining in their pots or replanted in the garden. These plants also grow fairly easily by seed, which I’ve been known to do on occasion too.
There are many ways to extend the garden season depending on where you are and what you enjoy. For me, it’s gardening indoors. Bringing colorful coleus plants into the home makes dreary winter days more bearable.