The world is filled with interesting houseplants. On your travels outside Alaska, keep an eye out for new additions.

Garrett Gardner

I applied to deliver houseplants household to Alaska when I visited the Reduced 48. This was long just before the COVID-19-induced, houseplant fad, which, judging by the variety of indoor plant outlets I see when lecturing, is however going potent. In fact, it is defying the odds with its period, not that I am complaining.

Anyhow, the crops I introduced dwelling had been cuttings taken from dad and mom or a relative who did not brain my getting a healthful size chopping (or, currently being a Lowenfels, in fact had some rooted cuttings for me). These ended up commonly not quite unique like the plants being highlighted these days. Continue to, they were being issues I could not buy this much north. I nonetheless delight in quite a few of individuals crops. I have even created cuttings for some others to take.

My parents are long gone, and largely my family check out Alaska these times and not the other way about, so now I go to Outside the house plant suppliers anytime I vacation. I like to see if there is anything “new” that could be a worthy addition to an Alaskan’s assortment. Given the cutthroat character of retail, there typically are quite a few plants that pique my fascination.

So for instance, the other working day I wandered into a retailer and noticed a unusual plant labeled as a relative of African violets, Ramonda myconi, aka the Pyrenean-violet. It is also acknowledged as the “hardy African violet” as it is member of the Gesneriaceae, the household that consists of African violets. Due to the fact I understood nothing at all about the plant, nor did the retail store employee, I did some exploration to see if it was truly worth purchasing.

Lowenfels Ramonda myconi, the Pyrenean-violet or rosette mullein - Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich or Botanischer Garten der Universitaet Zuerich stock file photo

Come to find out Ramonda myconi is a rock backyard garden plant in hotter regions, even though 1 trusted supply claims if you can increase primulas, you can tackle Ramonda myconi. On the other hand, these vegetation do very best in places that are zone 6, and we are not there yet. It can provide as an unconventional residence plant in cooler climes like ours.

The leaves are 3 inches across, furry, dim eco-friendly and variety rosettes. The 1-inch flowers are purple with yellow “centers” (in fact anthers) and increase previously mentioned the leaves in regular African violet design and style. The plant grows about 4 inches tall and can distribute to all-around 8 inches.

[Houseplants are Alaska’s way of gardening through winter. Make your collection something special.]

The exciting thing about this plant is that it is “poikilohydric,” indicating it has evolved to not only stand up to cold, but serious drought, two conditions usually confronted by Alaskan houseplants. This is one particular of a handful of so-termed “resurrection plants,” mainly because it can reduce up to 95{5a5867cc9cca71cf546db38f42fbf171004839e3542174405390d177276b4f49} of its h2o, search totally lifeless, still absolutely revive when exposed to moisture.

I am sure some of you can already see the utility in a resurrection plant leave house for a extensive family vacation and on return, revive what would normally be dead plants. Have a cabin or a second house someplace? This is for you. (Observe to self and reader: Have to have to do a resurrection plant column or two.)

And, seem at this: Given that it may possibly be difficult to discover a local source or to have a couple of vegetation transported in the winter, it is fantastic to know this is a plant that you can develop from seed. All you have to have is the seed (verify the online), gentle (which you presently have), seed setting up blend and tolerance, as they can consider a month or so to germinate.

A different astonishing issue about Ramonda myconi is these plants’ longevity. Incredibly, they can dwell 250 a long time. Yup, you go through that accurately. Wow! You could possibly have to include things like a part in your will to make certain someone will take treatment of it right after you can not.

Hmm. What am I waiting around for? The retail store in which I observed the Ramonda myconi vegetation is charging $26 for a plant in a 3-inch pot. I was spoiled for the reason that my relations under no circumstances charged me for crops, but I have appear to figure out that if we want to maintain the houseplant trend alive, we need to spend the likely fare.

So, again I go. I hope they have a single or two remaining. My stage is not essentially to get you to buy a Ramonda myconi, but rather to persuade you to examine out Outside plant stores. They have tons of neat factors, and most are compact enough to suit into a carry-on. In point, I speculate what else they have that may be of desire?

Jeff’s Alaska Back garden Calendar:

Alaska Botanical Garden Brighter Wintertime Nights: Wow! Bring your sunglasses! Tuesday via Jan. 21, appreciate botanical themed gentle shows, luminaries, hearth pits and extra! Reservations and tickets are accessible at

Poinsettias: They are back. No drafts, hold marginally moist, and they are not toxic.

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