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Dancing with Potted Plants

The hibiscus will stay inside until spring.

It’s the time of year here in Greenville SC when the temperature fluctuates wildly between a high that can reach the eighties to a low in the thirties at night. Yesterday for Halloween we had a deluge of rain that brought with it a warm tropical wind, and we had a high of seventy nine degrees. But I have been anxiously looking at multiple sources for weather reports. I knew that the temperature was going to plummet last night, but of course not to the exact degree. So yesterday I brought my hibiscus and gardenia pots inside, where they will stay until the freeze has passed in spring. Since the temperature dipped to thirty nine degrees last night, I did the right thing. The hibiscus plants are not hardy below forty degrees.

I’m keeping this pot with tomato and celery in my kitchen window.

The annual ritual of moving my potted plants has gotten to be a bigger chore than it used to be. I also brought in one of my avocado trees, and a potted amaryllis that I couldn’t find a spot for in my house last fall. At this point I have used up about all the space that I have in the sunny portion of our living room. I also brought in one of my pots that has both a tomato starter and a celery starter, both only a few weeks old. I put that one in the kitchen window, but I’m not sure what I’m going to do when that tomato vine starts spreading out a bit. I might experiment with keeping it clipped, (sort of like a tomato bonsai?) and see if I can coax a tomato or two from it that way. I squeezed the amaryllis into the guest room window, which already has an avocado tree, a large gardenia, and a bamboo plant that is almost ten years old now.

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Three Happy Hibiscuses

I transferred these hibiscus trees to bigger pots.

These hibiscuses were so root bound in their previous pots, that I had to water them every day. They grew a lot in the last year. They should be happy now for another year or two. I just have to remember to bring them inside before the frost comes. I’m ready though; even though they’re heavier now, I have them on wheels!

Overabundance

Carolina Jasmine in full bloom.

If you look at the Carolina Jasmine growing on this trellis you might think it is late summer, until you notice that the surrounding trees aren’t even budding yet. Although you can see a blooming Oriental Pear tree in the background.

You might forget that trellises are for walking through. Look hard at this Carolina Jasmine and remember what you see now when you’re at the nursery and pick up a little starter in a little container. Since it is not even officially spring yet, and the Hibiscus growing next to it is in danger of choking, this vine is about to be dramatically cut back.

But, just another little reminder, that Hibiscus that looks like a tree, also started out as a small starter that we thought would be a pretty little bush at the corner of the garden, but now casts shadow on my asparagus…