It is then suspended by raffia, twine or wire, in a sunny window, upside down, and the well is kept full of water. The feathery growth coming out of what is now the bottom will turn upward to surround the carrot with foliage.
The sweet potato makes a spectacular vine grown in water, or rather suspended over water, tapered end down, with only the lower third actually in the water. A hyacinth vase, a wasp-waisted affair that holds the heavy part of the tuber out of water, makes this procedure easy and most decorative. However, any wide-mouthed container can be used, the potato being suspended by sticking toothpicks in its sides, resting them on the rim of the jar, to hold the tuber at the desired point.
Lack of success with the sweet potato vine is usually because the potatoes used have been kiln-dried. Sweet potatoes from your own garden are most dependable. If you buy them, be sure to choose tubers showing some sign of life in the eyes.
Avocado seeds are slow to sprout if planted in soil, but they can be forced into growth in about three weeks if they
are suspended over water (just like the sweet potato). After a couple of months, when roots have gone down into the water and top foliage growth is under way, soil may be added gradually to the water. After a week or two of this half-and-half way of life the plant should be lifted out and carefully transplanted to a pot of soil. It will eventually make a long-lived, handsome little tree which can spend summers out-of-doors and winters in the house.
Citrus fruit seeds-orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime, tangerine-are extremely easy to grow and make long-lasting, glossy-leaved plants for indoor decoration. Plant several seeds to each pot of soil for the best effect. A little liquid fertilizer, after plants are under way, will speed them up.
Date seeds will eventually grow into miniature palm trees. They are slow to germinate and to grow, but are appealing from the time growth does start. Pasteurized dates, of course, will not germinate.
Lentils, right out of a grocery store package, are a quick crop. Planted thickly in very moist soil, peatmoss or sand, within a few days they will produce a forest of green suitable for a low bowl or grouping around a taller plant.
A pineapple top makes a rather exotic, bromeliad-like plant (which it really is). The top is sliced off, leaving about two inches of the fruit attached. This is put in moist sand to root, and then transferred to a pot of good soil.
Onions, leeks and garlic will sprout quickly if planted in pots of soil. For a dish garden of various kinds of vegetable foliage, these spiky plants are good accent notes.