Exotic Gardening with Rare and Strange Plants

Everything is coming along quite nicely. 97% of my tropicals have found warm homes either in my house, cold frame or the greenhouse at work. There is large volume of marginal zone 7-8 plants that I’m tempted to test outdoors, but have opted to take the safe route and bring them inside. In a panic to make more room for cacti I splurged and bought a new lighting system for my basement cacti setup. Originally priced in the 500+ area I picked this system up for $150.00 used. It features three shelves with moving growing lights to accommodate different sized plants. Having set it up last week so far I’m impressed with the results. Everything seems quite happy.


While the basement is a great setup I still try to keep my prized specimens on the top floor where things will be a bit warmer. The top floor of my house has a whopping 90 potted plants scattered throughout the living room, kitchen and bathroom. Who knew it would get this bad, it’s like an episode of hoarders. Really though I did my very best to reduce the cluttered look and I’veĀ  jigsawed the collection into a tasteful display. When one finds himself with a crippling plant collecting addiction one should be wary of making his roommates uncomfortable due an excess of plant “clutter”. I digress.

The upstairs “plant lab” is looking pretty nice this year.


The frogs hairdo seems to be cooperating so far. “Cut those sideburns you hippie!”


I’ve been training a hedera ssp across the ceiling of my living room for the last 3 years, It’s almost made it to the fireplace.


Hanging off little hooks my air plants bask under the grow light. Pictured above: Tillandsia stricta


Another airplant : Tillandsia ionantha


My phalaenopsis ssp. orchid has been creating non-stop blooms for the last 8-10 months, incredible!


Upon a closer inspection, it’s markings are exotic and spectacular. The detail in nature never ceases to amaze.


My 7 foot Euphorbia trigona has put out a healthy flush of leaves this year and couldn’t be happier.


When I first brought in my impatiens niamniamensis it sulked for about a week, now it’s climatized and is flowering like crazy.

What a relief to have succeeded with the move. No frost yet but Winter strikes in 5-20 days tops. I need a new jacket and some waterproof shoes. Ho Hum.

4 Responses to Winter Grow Lights : Plants in the house

  • Not to cause you any jealously, but here in northwest Indiana (zone 5b) we still haven’t had a heavy frost. But I know it’s coming… Anyway, I love your light setup. And I love your succulents–my favorites for their small size and low maintenance demeanor.

  • Candy Suter says:

    Better hurry with the cloths! LOL You have a great setup. It’s something I could never do though. My plants and pots are wayyyyyy to big. I am worried about putting stuff in the garage this year too. I wonder if I can rent some space from a friend. Haha! I have counted about 150 pots this year. Uh oh!

  • I love the rainforest upstairs! I have most of my plants in the local university greenhouses for the winter. I picked up some grow lights but mainly just for seed starting.

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Mr Nat. Gardener, Plant Nerd
Tips and tales about gardening in one of the most mild climates in Canada. Specializing in rare and strange plants from far out destinations, this is the story of an obsessed young gardener in Victoria B.C. Let's create more tropical gardens in the garden city on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
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