Camellia sinensis is the plant you want for growing traditional tea leaves. Dried mature leaves produce black tea; young leaves yield a less acidic brew known as white tea. Allow plants to reach 3 to 5 feet before picking leaves, which you can do twice a year. Prune plants when they’re young to cause branching, which gives you more stems to harvest. Plants are winter hardy in Zones 8-10. Grow them in pots in other zones. Feed tea plants lightly—only in spring.
The coffee plant (Coffee arabica) makes an ideal houseplant, not needing high light to grow and flower. Plants start blooming when three years old and usually in late spring and/or summer. Flowers fade to form green cherry-looking fruit that turns red when ripe. Inside are two coffee beans. In summer, place your coffee plant outdoors, gradually exposing it to sun.
Undemanding and spectacular in bloom, lifesaver plant (Huernia zebrina) opens five-pointed star shape flowers with a dark red lifesaver rim. This is a succulent, craving low water and full sun. Flowers, which measure 1.25 inches across, open intermittently throughout the year.
The urn plant (Aechmea fasciata) is one of the more common and popular bromeliads. Beloved for its pink and purple flower, the urn plant also offers green and silver banded leaves. Plants flower after reaching maturity, usually around the five-year mark. After blooming, the main plant dies, but you can transplant pups from around the base of the plant.
Investigate the variety of plant lights available to increase the rays your plants receive, especially in northern regions in winter. New light technology provides full spectrum rays from models small enough to fit on a tabletop.
Last, but not least, passalong heirloom plants such as this Begonia don’t care who grows them; they provide a unique opportunity for people of all backgrounds and abilities to learn from and share with one another! They not only preserve incredible, sometimes hard-to-buy garden plant, but also built a common link within a diverse garden community.
Indoor plant fertilizers come in a variety of forms. You can find liquid fertilizers and powders that you mix with water, as well as slow release stakes and prills (small pellets). Do a little homework to make sure you choose the best fertilizer for your plants. For most foliage plants, general indoor plant fertilizers that are water soluble or slow release work fine.
Fabulously colorful, ti plant (Cordyline fruticosa) struts its stuff with very little care. Purple leaves unfurl with streaks of cream, hot pink, white or purple shades for a non-stop show. High light combined with high humidity is the secret to a healthy, multicolored plant.
Fall is the time to plant perennials in your containers that will last year round. Cameron Watkins of C. Watkins Garden Co. suggests that combinations of holly fern, "Ascot Rainbow' Euphorbia and 'Bella Notte' heuchera are perfect for a shade container.