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Author Topic: Winter active alpines  (Read 1362 times)

VidaSvahn

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Winter active alpines
« on: August 29, 2018, 02:42:24 PM »
Hi everyone! I'm a new member of the SRGC, long time plant enthusiast. I was hoping for some advice on winter active alpine plants which can be grown as houseplants. I'm a university student so I (sadly) don't have a garden of my own. I have plenty of winter dormant houseplants, and as a result the long, dark Scottish winters are quite dull. I'm hoping to find some interesting plants to grow which will be a) active in the winter months, b) not too difficult to find in the UK, and c) affordable for a uni student like myself.

I recently discovered Oxalis palmifrons and immediately fell in love with the foliage. I was also pleased to see that it was winter active - does anyone here have experience with this plant, ie know if it is relatively easy to acquire, and suitable for a windowsill?

Thanks in advance and looking forward to getting to know the club.  :)

bibliofloris

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Re: Winter active alpines
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2018, 08:05:24 AM »
Hello! Iíve grown Cyclamen graecum and Cyclamen persicum inside for years, and theyíre beautiful in winter (and dormant in summer, so you can switch the pots with your others.) The florist hybrids are fairly inexpensive in the US, not sure about the UK. Not exactly alpines, but somewhere to start?
Good luck finding the perfect ones!
Kelly
Kelly Jones
near Seattle, Washington state, USA (US zone 8b)

VidaSvahn

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Re: Winter active alpines
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2018, 10:11:07 PM »
Hi Kelly! Thanks so much for the reply. I hadn't thought of Cyclamen inside; that's a great idea! I travel a lot in the summer so having something that doesn't need much care when dormant would be perfect. I'll definitely look out for some.  :)

bibliofloris

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Re: Winter active alpines
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2018, 03:35:28 AM »
Glad they might work for you! I love cyclamen, and there are other beautiful tender cyclamen you could try too... Iím also trying some Lachenalia this year (fingers crossed I can keep them happy!) If those appeal, perhaps other short winter-rainfall bulbs - Sparaxis, maybe?

I havenít thought of any alpine mat-growing plants that Iím familiar with that donít need cold winters, sorry!

Enjoy them!
Kelly
Kelly Jones
near Seattle, Washington state, USA (US zone 8b)

cohan

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Re: Winter active alpines
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2018, 06:40:05 PM »
Not necessarily alpines, but there are many other South African plants like your Oxalis which are winter growing-- many flowering bulbs and many succulents like Conophytum. The caveat is that they need good light while in growth (as the Oxalis would) so you may need to supplement with artificial light, or you actually get them into growth in early fall while light is still good, and hold back on water in dark mid-winter so they don't grow (but don't die back) while light is poor (which would result in them stretching out and looking uncharacteristic) and then water again in spring when light is back, before letting them go summer dormant.

VidaSvahn

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Re: Winter active alpines
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2018, 10:03:04 PM »
I have heard that a lot of South African plants are winter active, I just don't have much experience with plants from that region. I do have a grow light so I'd totally be okay with supplementing. Any advice on other genera to look out for? I like the look of Conophytum, will definitely keep a look out for some of those! Thanks for the response!

cohan

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Re: Winter active alpines
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2018, 05:50:39 PM »
I'd suggest looking at seed or plant vendors that sell SA plants-- then look at the details, they have summer and winter rainfall regions, as well as opportunistic plants that just grow whenever there is water! You can also search for lists of winter growing bulbs and winter growing succulents :) Many Lachenalia are grown for flowers, and generally winter growing.. does get tricky to get enough light for those indoors!
Succulents such as Haworthia, Gasteria and (small) Aloes make excellent house plants and are easier to please in terms of light.. mostly grown for foliage, some of the small Aloes do easily flower indoors. Not all are winter growers, so you need to check species-- (most) haws in particular do well with  main watering in  spring and fall, dryish in warmest summer and darkest winter. The small Aloe hybrids (colourful foliage, and ready flowers on many) are not specifically winter growing, but quite opportunistic and tolerate a few weeks or more dry when it is dark, or when you are away, I imagine1

 


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