It may be winter, but that doesn’t mean our love of gardening can’t be fulfilled. We simply shift gears, and focus on indoor gardening until the weather warms up enough to spend more time outside. Hopefully that flowering pansy will survive the winter cold to delight us in Spring.
House plants clean the air and enhance the decor in our homes with their assorted textures and colors. They can brighten our spirits on the coldest and darkest winter days and may even provide a pleasant scent to tickle our noses.
Here are a few suggestions of fragrant houseplants from Crofton Village Garden Club members:
Arabian Jasmine – The starry, pure-white flowers of this plant produce a soft, flowery fragrance and are used to make jasmine tea.
Citrus – Enjoy the sweet scent of orange, lemon, grapefruit, or other citrus blossoms. Most are surprisingly easy to grow, provided you give them enough light. If you’re patient, you may even get to enjoy homegrown fruits.
Eucalyptus – Tish easy-growing tree makes a pretty showpiece indoors in a high-light spot. It offers blue-gray foliage with a distinct aroma when you rub it.
Gardenia – A lovely and fragrant flower, with glossy green leaves spotlighting white flowers that emit a heavy, flowery scent.
Orange Jessamine - This is a beautiful foliage plant when it’s not flowering, and its clusters of long-lasting white flowers smell like orange blossoms.
Orchid – It may not occur to you to smell these lovely flowers but, like begonias, some of them have a beautiful scent. (Attend the Orchid Diagnostic and R epotting Clinic with Carol Allen at the Potomac location of Behnke’s during January.)
Scented Geraniums – Choose from rose, lemon, lime, nutmeg, ginger, or chocolate scents, just to name a few. They also present a lovely range of leaf shapes, from lacy to shield. And many have soft, fuzzy foliage that’s as fun to touch as it is to smell.
Many of these plant descriptions are based on those posted by Better Home sand Gardens, where you will also find photos and learn what each plant needs to thrive inside your home.
Visit nearby Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville or Behnke’s in Beltsville, and ask them to suggest other fragrant houseplants they may have in stock for Crofton area residents to purchase.
How to care for all houseplants at this time of year:
- Check for pests (spider mites, mealybugs and scale insects) on your plants. Most of them can be eradicated with simple methods such as a spray of water, insecticidal soap, or swabbing (especially mealybugs) with a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol.
- Be careful not to over-water.
- Resist the temptation to fertilize houseplants at this time of year.