Snow Can Put The Bloom On Houseplants

Snow is good for houseplants, but not in the way you might imagine. We've had a continuous cover of snow on the ground since the holidays and the increase in reflected light has had a very salutary effect on my houseplants, particularly the yellow Clivia 'Golden Dragon,' which I purchased in 2008.

In the summer of 2009, following advice from members of the Garden Writer's Listserv, I moved it out onto the covered, north-facing porch and was rewarded with a flower, albeit somewhat anemic and barely above soil level. Last year, despite the same treatment, the Clivia grew only leaves.

Inside the house, the Clivia sits in a northeast window, behind a lace curtain. Recent outdoor nighttime temperatures have hovered in the single digits for several weeks, keeping the Clivia's environment between 50ºF and 55ºF. Cold and bright are apparently the plant's ideal conditions, because it started pushing out a fulsome bloom just last week.

But the Clivia isn't the only plant that's happy. Two of my orchids, Rhyncostylis gigantea and Dendrobium Nobile are in bloom and the Frangipani is pushing out leaves after having had a one-month nap. I'm anxiously awaiting further developments.

I'd be interested to learn whether other houseplant aficionados have had similar experiences this winter.

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