Winter Aromatherapy

Winter Aromatherapy

Want a cure for cabin fever? You Can Grow That! After the second snowstorm of the season we all start to get cabin fever. We see customers come into our greenhouse because they are starved for flowers and want to be surrounded, even for a few minutes, with lots of green. In addition to the lushness of the plants, we’ve found that at this time of year fragrance is especially important.

Fresh herbs are especially valuable at this time of year. Put a pot of rosemary on your kitchen windowsill and have the scent and taste of summer at your fingertips. Place a pot of lavender in any sunny window and run your fingers through the foliage anytime you need some soothing fragrance. These two herbs can be planted in larger clay pots come spring and placed outside where they will almost double their size over the summer.

Did you know that many primroses are fragrant? Be they the short variety with round, yellow flowers or the taller pale pink fairy primrose (Primula malacoides), many of these spring plants have sweetly scented flowers. Primroses should be kept moist when grown indoors, so check the dirt daily to make sure the plants don’t dry out.

The most highly prized fragrant flower in our greenhouse is the gardenia. Keep this plant in a room that’s kept evenly warm (65 to 70 degrees is ideal) in a bright location but out of direct, hot sun. In this area gardenias do well in an eastern facing window, or near a western window. Avoiding fluctuations in temperature and soil moisture are the key to preventing bud drop on a gardenia.

It often helps to repot your gardenia plant soon after bringing it home. Fertilize regularly but with a mild dose of fertilizer and only after you’ve watered the plant. Put a gardenia outside in a mostly shady location for the summer. Frequently they will come into flower then as well, providing sweet perfume on your deck or patio.

We invite everyone to come into our greenhouse to be refreshed this winter. Feast your eyes andyour nostrils and get a much-needed dose of aromatherapy.

Lavender and rosemary are drought tolerant plants when grown outdoors but when kept inside, don’t let these fragrant herbs get too dry.
In the spring we can enjoy the flowers and sweet fragrance of the fairy primrose, Primula malacoides. These are not long-lived houseplants, but are great for late-winter pick me ups and providing color on tables, kitchen counters and windowsills.
Gardenias are a popular fragrant plant. They like high humidity so place them in your more humid spaces such as a kitchen, or use a humidifier in the room where it’s growing.

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