Jeanine Rubert: 'Best of' plants for pots and spots

This month has lots for gardeners to celebrate. The entire month of April is National Garden Month with April 14 designated as National Gardening Day. Plant Appreciation Day is April 13; National Orchid Day is April 16; Earth Day is the April 22; and Arbor Day is April 29.

Lest we think gardening limited to a single month of celebration, the National Garden Bureau selects one plant each in the categories of annual, perennial, shrub, edible, and bulb crop to feature in their ‘Year of’ program. This year they have added the category of houseplant to the mix.

According to their website, the plants are chosen because they are popular, easy to grow, widely adaptable, genetically diverse, and versatile. As we begin a new gardening season, I thought it would be fun to talk a bit about each plant.

Let’s start with the houseplant category: 2022 is the year of the peperomia. Peperomias have been used as houseplants since the 1930s. They range in size from a few inches up to 12-18 inches. They can have thick, plump, smooth, rippled, or shiny leaves in a variety of colors such as red, green, purple, grey and cream. Peperomias can be bushy to trailing, upright or cascading. Although they don’t need bright light, thicker-leaved varieties need more light than thinner-leaved varieties. The combination of smaller size and lower light requirements make them perfect houseplants. Two of my favorites are String of Turtles and Watermelon peperomia.

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