I figured it was about that time, to do another round of pictures of plants! Yay!
I’ll start with the flowers, etc. that are growing inside TH2. I specifically get plants that will flower at this time of the year, so that I’ll have flowers when it’s generally cold, wet, and rainy in the PNW.
I killed the one I had last year, so this is a new one. It’s kind of ridiculous with all the blooms. But it makes me so happy. I will endeavor not to kill this one. A long time ago, I had one that lasted for years and years. I think I can do that again. I just have to be more careful and patient.
I’ve been so very lucky with this cactus, as it generally blossoms twice. This year, the second blossoming has been wonderfully abundant.
Though this orchid was billed as a chocolate orchid, it really doesn’t smell like chocolate. Or much of anything, really. However, it blooms at about this time every year. The flowers aren’t fully open yet, but they will be in the next week or so. This summer, I’ll repot it again. It needs it, as you can tell from the myriad roots sticking out from the base of it.
I can never remember the name of this type of plant, so I always call it George. George was recommended to me as a plant that fit with my style of watering—twice a week every plant gets a little bit of water, whether it needs it or not. This George is doing really well, and this is its second (third?) blossoming this winter.
And now for the hydroponics.
I’ve tried adding other plants to this system, but the kale pretty much chokes them out. These are two different types of kale. All of them have been growing for a couple of years now.
It’s a little droopy this morning, as it had run out of water and we hadn’t realized it. But normally it isn’t droopy and it’s doing fine. And we are regularly harvesting from it and making tea from it.
Purple Bok Choy
I love this purple Bok Choy. It is tasty as well as colorful. We have four Bok Choy plants at this point. They are all doing quite well. We harvest them once or twice a week. Great for salads or chopping up and sauteing. This Bok Choy has lasted a few months, which I find surprising. I don’t know how long it will last, but as long as it keeps going, we’re happy!
I honestly don’t remember what type of lettuce this is. I’d have to go look it up. But it’s buttery and tasty. And it grows back quickly after we harvest most of the leaves from it. (I always leave four leaves behind. That appears to be optimal for most leafy greens.)
This is a red-leaf Romain lettuce. Just one week ago, I harvested almost all the leaves off of it, leaving only four or five. There are over a dozen leaves on it now. It just grows that quickly. It has a nice flavor to it, kind of sweet, and nicely crunchy.
Flashy Trout Back Lettuce
Seriously, that’s the name of it. This is a more sturdy lettuce, not a melt-in-your-mouth variety. As you’ll notice, we have a lot of red or purple things in terms of leafy greens. We figure that gives a wider range of micronutrients.
This is supposedly red kale. We’ve seen this exact variety of plants in the store, and it really is red. Ours started off green. Really green for the first year or so. Now, they’ve started to turn purple. My guess is that they needed more light to turn color. They’ve grown so much taller, and are closer to the light source that hangs over the table, so now they’re turning purple. We’ll see if they ever actually turn red or not.
This isn’t a true oregano, but rather, a type of mint. However, it tastes like oregano that’s been crossed with citrus. It is incredibly fragrant and tasty. However, it grows like a mint. We have two of these in containers inside and end up trimming off some of the leaves every week. We have yet another plant outdoors. Right now, it’s all dried up and dead looking, so we don’t know if it survived the winter. All of our mints look that way, though, and it always comes back. So we’ll see if the Cuban oregano comes back as well.
This is a container cherry tomato, that is supposed to stay small, and it kinda has. It has also continued to produce fruit. I have no idea how long a tomato kept in hydroponics will last and continue to fruit. I’m really happy that it is, though.
One of my favorite plants of all time. It looks kind of like a spider plant. However, the leaves taste like green garlic. It isn’t an alum, so people who can’t have garlic can have this plant. The leaves also sauté well and retain their flavor. I haven’t tried drying it yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it kept its taste. It grows from a bulb, not a seed. Because of that, I had assumed that I wouldn’t be able to split the plant. I was wrong. I now have five bulbs and need to split them into separate pots.
This little guy continues to grow oh-so-slowly. I’ve never figured out the right nutrients or lights to get it to produce faster. But it does keep growing, and in about a year’s time, it has doubled in size. The leaves taste like wintergreen lifesavers. It’s native to the PNW, and I have a second plant that’s outside that’s done much better. As it just went into the ground last year I haven’t harvested from it yet. Maybe this year I’ll be able to pluck enough leaves to make a wintergreen extract.
I have no issues growing rosemary outside, but I can’t harvest from it year-round, as come wintertime the leaves no longer are fragrant. The indoor plant has been going fabulously, though. I trim it regularly but it keeps putting out new leaves and stems, all winter long. It’s been kind of glorious.
Hot and Spicy Oregano
This came from the store. We joke about how it sometimes thinks it’s a vine, as it trellises everywhere. It grows like oregano generally does, which basically means it overgrows. We trim it probably every other week, and it needs a new trim right now. But it also means fresh as well as dried oregano on a regular basis.
This is my oldest plant. It was one of the original kale plants that I first started doing hydroponics with back in 2020. It will be three years old come June. It continues to put out new stalks, stems, and leaves. And the leaves still taste good. I have no idea how long kale lasts. I watched a Youtube video once where someone said hydro kale only lasts a couple of years. Yeah, right. Tall Kale might have something to say about that.
Not a true sage plant. We bought this as a huge plant in dirt, then split off parts of it, so we have four hydro plants and one dirt plant. We are letting two of the four hydro plants flower, just to see what that does to the taste of the leaves. While I love the fragrance, the taste of pineapple from this variety isn’t as strong as the pineapple sage we had last year, which was a different variety. I will still harvest leaves from the plant, chop them up really finely, and put them into salads. The leaves are slightly fuzzy, and I find that I have an issue with their texture.
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