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Tempted to eat it for lunch…

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum)

I‘ve been watching a tiny little bud with a tiny little spur get fatter every day for the last week or so. This morning, turned toward the window, and almost completely hidden by a big schlumbergera, was this Peach Melba nasturtium bloom!

This scrawny plant was an experiment from last October. I had stuck a sprig of nasturtium in a flower arrangement. As each type of flower faded, I pulled them and threw them away, but this particular sprig started to root!

I’ve tried to start nasturtium from seed for the windowsill garden several times since reading many years ago in Peter Loewer’s “Bringing the Outdoors In” that you could do that…and that you would have winter blooms.

For me, though, nasturtium seeds don’t like to sprout at all if the temperatures are warm, and to get blooms before winter is over, I would have to start the seeds when it’s still fairly warm here. At least that’s what I’ve always supposed, because the seeds do not sprout in early fall indoors. Even seeds that fall in the garden at the end of the season tend to wait until the cool of early spring to sprout.

Since my little cutting rooted, I stuffed the long, thin water roots into a pot of soil and started watering it regularly. The mature leaves all turned yellow and fell off, just like the leaves outside. I would have pitched it, but there was always a least a tiny bit of green to encourage me. None of the new leaves got very big, but they’re still cute. In my south facing window they always want to press right up against the glass for all the sun they can get. And maybe they like the cooler temperatures there as well.

I couldn’t recommend the nasturtium as a houseplant, per se, but if you love them as much as I do, you might enjoy trying this. I don’t know when I’ve been more excited to see a bloom.

Merry Christmas

Amaryllis 'Merry Christmas'

You’re looking down the throat of an amaryllis with me. This one is called Merry Christmas, but even though I potted it in early October, it didn’t bloom until now. I would rename it Happy Valentine’s Day, but no one’s asked me.

Amaryllis 'Merry Christmas' in bud

An amaryllis is welcome whenever it blooms, though, and intense red is a nice jolt of energy on a cold and windy winter morning.

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