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By Tovah Martin

You think things are winding down? Wrong. For many potted plants, this is when they are happening. Look around you. The grasses are bulking up and forming plumes, celosias and amaranths are tasseling up, coleus are plump. This is prime time for many plants, and they’re happy to perform their stunts in pots. And here’s the good news: All that energy can be translated indoors. You’ve heard of the seasonal movement for chefs. Well, indoor gardeners should think seasonally as well. Lots of late summer plants make great roommates and they’re available at nurseries now.


Picture late summer and you are bound to see plumes. Granted, some grasses are just too immense to translate indoors. But tender fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) can easily grace your home to capture the essence of late summer. With burgundy stems and lots of plumes, it’s just the ticket. Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) also adds color with steel blue blades that burnish to brick in autumn. Eventually, it will outgrow your home, but you can easily tuck it into the garden later in the year. Or for something that is even more compact, pot up a sedge (Carex cvs) and adopt it into your indoors. Talk about touchy-feely, you’re going to want to reach out every time you walk by. And don’t be surprised if the cat takes a few soft-paw swipes.

Grasses are thirsty plants. So dig into your Coast of Maine Bar Harbor Blend Organic Potting Soil and give them a breakfast of champions and a generous container. In fact, you might need to provide a few graduations. That way, you won’t need to hover over with a watering can.


Flower Plumes with a Purpose

Right about now, celosias and amaranths are popping into flower. With feathery plumes, pagodas, crescents, and other cool configurations, the beauty of these plants is they come in a rainbow of colors. We’re talking about jazzy neon hues that will prompt you to pull down your sunglasses. These plants are just pure fun. Give them a sunny window, a generous container (because they’re thirsty), and great potting soil (another mission for your Coast of Maine Bar Harbor Blend).


Geraniums Never Get Old

Tender geraniums (actually Pelargoniums) won their fame as favorite potted plants for a reason. If you thought they are only apropos in windowboxes, think again. Whether you favor zonal geraniums or ivy-leaf types, the good news is that they are incredibly easy, agreeable, high profile houseplants that just want to make your heart race. They would love bright light. But hey, when you’re going for the botanical version of Miss Congeniality, you perform in an east or west window as well. And the color range includes everything but the blues.


Who knew that vinca would make a great houseplant? The mini vincas (like ‘Soiree Kawaii’) are the work horses of your windowsills. They like bright light, but tolerate east or west and blossom like nobody’s business. The color range is incredible.



Okay, it shouldn’t only be about flowers. Foliage plants can be key to your décor and they often don’t need a lot of light. Coleus are key and they are available in just about every color to complement your décor. Keep them pruned to form a nice mound and create the essence of outdoors right at your elbow inside.

Written by award winning author, Tovah Martin.  Photos also taken by Tovah Martin.  Find her books and more information on her website:


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