The fun of indoor gardening in Colorado during the winter
by Ed Powers
This is my 7th winter in Evergreen, Colorado and having lived 34 years at sea level I find the winters at 8,000’ a bit more difficult in caring for indoor plants such as violets, orchids, bonsais and succulents. But I have enjoyed it here more than anywhere else, and I have learned to adapt to my surroundings. For instance, my African Violets are in my garden room located in my basement. Besides dealing with the thin atmosphere in the winter there is also cooler temperatures down there. After 3 winters of this I believe I have solved the problem; I put them on heat mats with thermostats (the kind you use for growing seeds) and cover my plant cart with heavy plastic sheets. I have found that I can keep the temperature ~ 67 to 77 degrees in the cart.
Plant Stand in Basement with lights, heating pads and plastic cover.
My wife’s plant table with African Violets and an Orchid
I also have Bonsai trees. Like the violets and orchids, the 14 trees I brought died within 4 months. Again, I learned to keep the trees moist and fertilized, and I keep them in warmer areas with a lot of sun in the winter. Now I have 5 indoor Ficus trees, 5 pine and fir trees, and they are doing well.
Indoor Ficus Tree Bonsai's in basement area
All photos by Ed Powers