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Section A: General News


Indoor plants spruce up small spaces




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February 27, 2013 | 992 views | Post a comment

When the walls start closing in and the great outdoors narrows to a few cramped corners, some well-placed plants can help ease the squeeze. Whether a patio needs pizzazz or an office calls for a pick-me-up, potted plants add a natural dash of color and life.

Potted plants liven up any indoor or outdoor area, and Texas offers a wide variety of colorful choices. Adding greenery is a great way to bring the outdoors inside or to spruce up a front stoop or window box. Even the smallest areas can be made more inviting with the addition of container plants or hanging baskets.

If indoor color is what you need, consider the following plants to brighten your home or office.

•Moth Orchid: Favoring bright windows without direct sunlight, Moth orchids can produce year-round white and pink-purple blooms. Water thoroughly and wait until nearly dry before replenishing. Clumped together in small pots, moth orchids make an attractive bouquet.

•Bromeliads: A member of the pineapple family, bromeliads vary widely in size, shape and foliage, but are extremely adaptable to indoor environments. Bromeliads grown indoors will most often lack stems and feature a rosette-shaped reservoir that retains water. Daily misting helps promote longstanding, colorful blooms.

•Chrysanthemums: Known for big, beautiful blooms and a wide array of colors, chrysanthemums grow best near a bright window without harsh, direct sunlight. Shop for mums with dark green leaves, strong stems and slightly opened blooms. Plant in well-drained potting soil and water as needed to maintain color and form.

•Kalanchoes: A type of succulent, the kalanchoe is marked by exotic-looking coral-colored leaves branching from a single, thick stem. The plant is a favorite anytime of year and makes a great gift. Blooms can be pink, orange, white, salmon, red or lavender. Grow kalanchoes in a sunny windowsill and group together for visual impact.

•Azaleas: Regarded as one of the most beautiful flowers in Texas, azaleas grow best in filtered sunlight and well-drained, highly organic soil. Blooms range in color and size, and with proper selection, can prosper from March to May. Bloom colors include white, pink, red, lavender and orange. Mulching helps protect the shallow root system. Azaleas also are well known for adding outdoor beauty and often are the focal point of many glorious gardens.
 

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