For the Curious Culinary…

By Stephen Hill, November 2nd, 2012, Chicago, flowers, indoor plant

 Good afternoon, all — We’re always hyped to have fresh herbs in the store (and on dinner.) But what happens when you can check Basil, Parsley and the usual crew off of your garden list? Well, there are all of the other plants we get really excited about, many of which make better houseplants than herbs — Today’s blurb will introduce to a few edibles you may have seen in the market in their rooted, potted, growing plant form:

First on the list is the Meyer Lemon:

Thought to be a cross between a standard orange and a lemon way back when,  the important part is the resulting citrus — yellow like a lemon, but much sweeter, like an orange. Growing to about an 8-10 ft tree, it’s not going to take over your living room, all you will need to supply is plenty of light, preferably a window with at least several hours of direct sun rays reaching the plant. Keep this fella in a well-draining soil and keep evenly watered, feeding as needed (it is a fruit tree after all.) As an added bonus, enjoy glossy green foliage and heavily fragranced flowers — these can be grown outdoors in USDA Zones 9+ you lucky devils…

Next up are two epiphytic plants — apathetic plants will be discussed in later postings — the Vanilla Orchid and Dragon Fruit:

T
he vine you see is indeed an orchid — enjoying warmth, bright light and high humidity over regular waterings, this vine will grow and grow, then mature once it hits about 10 ft. At this length, it may flower and can be hand pollinated resulting in the vanilla bean prized by bakers and the sweet-toothed worldwide. The alien to the right is a species of cactus, which can be cultivated just as the orchid, but with much more direct sun. Naturally, these two plants are found in Central America, but this cactus is typically growing on rockier surfaces. High humidity is important and so is a little patience . If the tasty, sweet fruit doesn’t entice you, perhaps the sweet-smelling nocturnal flowers are more your speed.

Add that to your plant repertoire!

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