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Rain, Houseplants, and Herbs

houseplants in sunny window
Part of the houseplant hoard, pre-move.

The big garden news for this week is finally getting my houseplants to a sheltered spot outside–not all of them, but most of the high humidity lovers, and any that have scale or mealy bugs. One of my mistletoe cactuses is covered with scale, but I want to give the beneficial insects a chance to do their thing with those little pests before I use neem on them. Last year putting the plants outside was all they seemed to need to clear up.

The story outside: rain! Oh my goodness, the rain. And we had tornadic winds one day, which is particularly scary when you’ve got saturated soil and large trees around your house. Fortunately, no fallen trees or any significant problems came of the storm, not even any power loss, which we almost always have here. We are due for windy conditions later today, but not quite at the level of last time.

Probably due to the extra moisture, mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum) is getting a little too happy. I’m going to have to dig and relocate some of it. All sorts of little pollinating insects love it, and the leaves are fragrant. I don’t mind having plenty, but it’s growing into the paths and shading out some Geranium ‘Biokovo’.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria), is also getting a little out of control, like so many of the mint family plants can. I read that catnip is becoming invasive in many parts of the United States, already listed as such in Maryland and Kentucky. I’ll keep the flowers pinched off of mine and use it up by end of season. I use it for tea and like the effects–it is very soothing, relaxing–but the flavor is pretty strong. It’s better mixed with lemon balm.

Skullcap (Scutellaria incana) is full of buds. This plant took a couple of years to decide it liked my garden, but now it is spreading around nicely. Even if it is also in the mint family, it doesn’t seem to spread aggressively, and it is native to the southeast. The spikes of blue flowers are pretty. Many skullcaps are used medicinally, including Scutellaria incana. It is used for anxiety and insomnia primarily, but for many other things as well.

Last but not least for this week–mosquitoes and ticks are back. I am a critter magnet, but until this week I had avoided bites. Well, maybe one or two, but now we’re back to needing spray. Any thoughts or tips appreciated.

I’ve noticed quite a few pictures of reptiles on Instagram this week. Turtles mostly, but also snakes.

Who’s in your garden? What’s your plant of the hour?

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Yup, lots of rain. Moved my houseplants outside two days ago…felt like it was a lot later than previous years. With a rambunctious kitten, many of my houseplants are waning. Have a friend on FB that hates snakes and refuses to come to my house if she sees anymore snake posts…so I have not shared those pictures this year.
    Glad you didn’t have issues with the winds. Last I looked we were about 10 inches above the average year to date.

    1. People are really passionate about snakes, aren’t they, for or against. I’m not entirely comfortable with them myself, but my husband likes to find them and I do like having them in the garden. We will be hoping for rain one of these days but not any time soon. Whew, enough already!

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