If you’re a long time reader, you’d probably know my abhorrence toward artificial flowers. Artistically arranged dried leaves, twigs and buds are okay with me but not plastic flowers.
With that kind of attitude, one would think that I cut flowers from the garden everyday and arrange them in water filled vases, Martha Stewart style. I don’t. Sam and Alex will tell you that I’m terrible at floral arrangement. The farthest I’ve gone with fresh indoor plants is by sticking stalks of fortune plants into jars.
But because the clay jars are porous, I had to insert plastic bags inside to hold the water. Like so.
(The fortune plants have withered and died some months back because I sorely neglected them. But that’s another story.)
As for fresh flowers, the only occasions when we do have fresh flowers in the house is when Speedy gives me bouquets. You know, for special occasions.
I do love flowers, I do love how they brighten up a room so I usually put the flowers in water-filled jugs or vases and cast all kinds of spells on them so they’d stay fresh for days and days and days.
More water is poured into the jug or vase to replenish what has evaporated.
The practice of pouring additional water into jugs and vases filled with cut plants or flowers has another purpose. Aside from maintaining the health of the plants, it is also a precaution against mosquito breeding (something I didn’t really think about when I still had the fortune plants). Stagnant waters are where the females lay eggs and where the eggs mature and hatch.
I mention this now because, as is usually the case, after the rains have ceased, the mosquitoes return with a vengeance. Typhoon Pedring has exited the country, leaving a still undetermined number of fatalities, hundreds of thousands homeless and billions of pesos worth of damaged property. And, there are now a gazillion more places for mosquitoes to breed — stagnant water on the streets, in gardens… everywhere.
You’ll find hundreds of articles giving advice on how to deal with stagnant water around the house. What many tend to gloss over is the fact that indoor plants and flower vases are ideal breeding places for mosquitoes too. So, remember that every time you pour additional water into a flower-filled vase or jug, you are agitating the water in it and the agitation keeps the mosquitoes away.
Another way of going around the stagnant water problem and still be able to maintain fresh plants indoors is to keep cacti.
We used to have pots of cacti indoors as Sam and Speedy are both cactus lovers. Cacti need very little water. A tablespoonful or so every few days will keep them hydrated. What they want is a lot of sunshine.
When we moved to this house, the pots of cacti were the centerpieces on the living room coffee table. The thing is, we moved to this house three years ago at the start of the rainy season. There were very few times when there was a chance to bring out the cacti to give them their much-needed sun bath. After several weeks, they just gave up. Since December of 2009, the coffee table centerpiece has been a bowl of marble eggs.
They do require occasional washing but they don’t need watering. Virtually maintenance free and the bowl will never serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.