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Thanksgiving Cactus

Thanksgiving Cactus (Schlumbergera) is a perennial houseplant that blooms every fall. If you think you might like to grow one, they are fairly simple to grow and make for a wonderful centerpiece for your holiday table.

In order to grow Schlumbergera, plant it in a well-drained soil mix and place the pot in a window that gets a lot of light. The cactus needs to be in a room where the temperatures are at least 70 degrees.

Water the plant about once or so every week. If the leaves look a little dry, then that is a sign that it needs watering.

Once the plant begins to grow, you will notice the stems first. In the beginning they grow straight up. Then once they reach a certain height the stems begin to arch.

As the stems grow longer they begin to branch out also.

The leaves on this cactus are a nice lush green color and have tooth-like edges. The edges of the leaves look sharp and pointy like teeth.

Once the flowers begin to grow, they are very light and dainty looking. They come in colors like pink, red, and white. The flowers only last for a short time, but the plant itself sets so many buds that it can continue to bloom more flowers again and again.

While the flowers grow in the fall, this plant can last all throughout the year. In the summer place the plant outdoors and it can live outdoors until the first few cool nights in fall.

When the weather gets cool at night, it is time to bring the plant back indoors. The plant will grow in the fall through to the spring. Then in the winter the plant will stop growing for a brief period.

When it stops its growth in the winter, water the plant when the leaves begin to look like they are dying. If they look withered, water the plant. Then in the summer to fall months begin to water the plant more regularly so it will start to bud.

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Sweet Pea Flowers

Sweet Pea flowers (Lathyrus odoratus) are the April birth month flower. They are considered to be vines, and they have a very dainty look to them, and a great scent.

Even though they grow from a vine, these flowers can be cut and used in a vase, either with a flower arrangement, or on their own.

The delicate flowers on the vine look like seashells hanging from lovely green foliage. Sweet Pea flowers come in many colors such as pink, yellow, white, purple, red, or blue. Some can be composed of two colors.

Once they begin to grow, they can reach up to 10 feet tall. They grow from the spring into the summer. They grow the best in cooler weather. They will wilt away and die in areas of hot temperatures.

They can be annual or perennial. Perennial Sweet Pea is a little bit more long lasting then the annuals. They live longer, and can thrive in even hot weather conditions.

Make sure you know which variety you are planting, so that you pick the best spot for that particular type.

In order to grow this pretty looking vine, you have to soak the seeds through the night, and then plant them in cool moist soil. If you want to grow them before it is time to plant them outside, simply begin to grow them in peat pots.

When they are ready to be planted in the ground, dig a deep whole and plant the whole thing in the ground. Be sure to include the peat pots. It is best to plant the whole thing so that you do not bother the growing process.

If you are going to grow this vine along a trellis, plant the trellis before you plant the flowers. This is so that when the flower begins to grow, it can find the support it will be growing on.

One problem with this plant is that the animals love to eat it. You can either spray the plant with something that will deter critters away, or you can fence in your trellis with Sweet Pea growing from it.

If you are growing the perennial variety, they will reseed themselves each year.

Whichever type you choose, you will surely enjoy them.

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Sternbergia begins to grow in the beginning of fall. While it only grows until about October, it is a beautiful, warm-colored fall flower.

Plant the bulbs in September. You should plant each bulb about 4 inches deep and about 6 inches apart.

The bulbs should be placed in well-drained soil in a spot that receives a good amount of sun. The bulbs need lots of moist, but you want to make sure the soil has good drainage because otherwise the bulbs will rot.

In the winter, if you live in a really cold climate, you will want to cover the soil above the bulbs with leaves or some type of mulch to protect the bulbs. Otherwise it will be too cold and they may not grow the following fall.

When the plant is ready to bloom, it will send up its stems straight up and out of the ground. The stems only reach about 8 inches above the ground.

The flowers are a nice gold/yellow fall color. They actually resemble crocuses when they begin to grow.

At first growth the flowers are cup shaped, like crocuses. Then once the warm sun hits them, they spread out and really open up. If you have the chance to grow these plants, they really are a nice welcome to the fall.

Besides being pretty to look at, it is a very tough flower. Where most flowers will wilt and die in certain temperatures, the plant is tough enough to deal in most temperatures.

This is definitely one of falls better flowers. They are low maintenance, durable, and great to look at!



Squill are bulb plants that grow in the winter months. When they bloom they spread out quite rapidly. They cover the ground and look like a light blue carpet. They are pretty enough to warm up the coldest of winter days.

While some varieties of this plant grow in the spring, Persian Squill grows during the winter. Since they are a ground covering flower, they grow close to the ground reaching only about 5 inches in height.

Squill Flower

Squill Flower

The leaves are almost as high as the flower itself. They are a bright green color and look like broad spears of grass. As I’ve said above, the flowers are a light blue, but they have a darker blue stripe on each petal.

Each flower is composed of six petals that are bell shaped. The petals are thin and delicate.

If you have decided that this is the right plant for your winter garden, they are very easy to plant and grow. They require very little maintenance.

Plant the bulbs in a shady spot in loamy soil that is well drained. Dig a hole about 3 inches deep and space the bulbs about 3-4 inches apart.

Plant them in the fall so that they will be ready to grow in the winter.

That’s about all you have to do. Once the bulbs are planted, they take care of themselves. Just relax and take a peek out the window when you need some cheering up. The crisp look of this plant will have you thinking of spring in no time.



Speedwell (Veronica) is another summer plant that grows out of the ground, looking like a spike. They are about 1 to 4 feet tall and grow throughout the whole summer season.

On each stem many little spike like flowers grow. The flowers come in shades of blue, pink, purple, white or red.

Speedwell Flower

Speedwell Flower

When looking at the flowers, they sort of look like a bristle brush that is used for cleaning.

They are perennial flowers that grow back every year.

If you notice your plant is beginning to look a little sick or is dying, you can cut back the dead parts of the plant and watch a new plant grow.

You can do this all season long and enjoy Veronicas for the whole summer.

Since Veronica plants grow so low to the ground, they make great edging plants or bordering plants. I personally think they would look great as a border plant to Cosmos or Honeysuckle.

This plant is very tolerant of soil types and of different types of weather. While it would prefer moist, well-drained soil, it can grow just as well in average soil.

Speedwell Flowers

Speedwell Flowers

Veronicas are also tolerant of heat and drought.

As long as you pick a nice sunny spot for this plant, you shouldn’t have any problems.

When you’re ready to begin planting your flowers, space the plants about a foot apart.


Water them when you think they need to be watered. As I said before they can last through drought.

Also don’t forget to remove dead or faded flowers to promote new growth.

If you live in a cooler climate, you may want to divide the plants in the fall and bring them indoors for the winter. If you leave in warmer climates where winters are not as harsh, they should be fine to remain outdoors.