They come in almost any color... I love the pinks and reds since they bloom at just the right time to add color to my holiday decorating! Easy to care for, they tolerate low light conditions in the house. All summer long I keep mine on our shady patios, other than a little plant food and a spritz of water, they are on their own... summer vacation for them and me! When nights begin to cool, I bring them inside and take away their plant food letting the soil dry between waterings. Until buds start forming, they like low light. I keep mine in the living room. Once the buds start to open, move them to a light location, not direct sun though. Favorite places near windows are perfect... bookcases, bedside tables, mantles, kitchen bars, even on the side of your tub if it's near a window! If you have a cool house, they will bloom for as long as 6 weeks! Once it's finished with it's show, move to a sunny place until summer arrives and it's time for their vacation on the patio!
I learned from Mom that summer's annuals can easily be moved indoors and enjoyed, only to recycle the next summer... and the next summer... and the next summer! She moved her ferns, wandering jew and swedish ivy inside every year and enjoyed them all winter long. The ferns set in the coolest part of our house, a foyer that was shut off from the main house with french doors. There was enough light from the rooms that came off of that hallway to keep them in a semi-dormant state all winter long. It must have kept them from doing the leaf drop that mine are prone to each winter. My house is simply too warm so I keep our ferns in the garage. Since it's well insulated, they do just fine.
I love a plant that gives me a plant, the Ivy leafed Geraniums that you may have bought this summer can be "wintered over." They are a trailing plant and by the end of the season are often overgrown and rootbound. You can simply give them a haircut, taking off all but 6-8 inches of growth, then set the pot in a cool place with weekly waterings until early spring. For us, that's March. Then you remove from the pot and slice off the bottom 1/3 of the soil to get the tangle of roots. Divide up into pots of three plants, keep them watered and in a light place until temperatures warm and you can move them outside.
Some of the plants that you can easily propagate are Spider (Chlorophytum comosum), Philodendron and almost any ivy. Just snip, plant and water!
Hands down, my favorite houseplant is an African violet. Somewhere along the way, African violets got the reputation of being temperamental. Given a bright window and a drink of fertilized water they will fill your home with blooms all year long. I love the lacy white edged purples and the double bloomed plants, they remind me of Mrs. Freeman. She had her collection on a large table near a dining room window, they were the first thing you'd see as you walked into her house on Summit. No matter how much snow was on the ground, those violets were blooming!
I know I'll be glad I moved all those plants inside once the snowflakes start to fall and I'm on the inside more. It will make winter bearable and give me the hope that springtime will come again and I can dig in the dirt!
Speaking of "dirt," here's a great recipe for Ghosts in the Graveyard Cake. This one is from Kraft Foods and is so easy! You can Make and Take in less than 30 minutes, so SAVE for that emergency dessert that you may be needing in the next few weeks. Click HERE for the recipe!