When the winter landscape is brown (or even white!), it can feel a bit gloomy — especially to a gardener. I am fortunate that in Mississippi, our cold winter days are interspersed with warm 60 degree days. That helps alleviate the winter blues. My other trick is to be sure that I have some plants blooming in the house. There’s nothing like a bright, colorful flower to help cheer up a winter day.
Of the many house plants I have tried over the years, here are my 5 favorites. I selected them because they are relatively easy to take care of and still produce beautiful flowers even in winter.
Hoyas prefer low to medium light or bright indirect light (depending on the species) and high humidity. They don’t require a lot of water and should be minimally watered. Generally, I watered mine about once a week and ignored it the rest of the time. Hoyas need well-draining soil. It surprises me with these lovely wax-like white flowers. However, be aware that hoyas won’t flower until the plant is mature. Root bound plants seem to flower more readily.
While it can be argued that orchids are a bit temperamental, I found success with them in the winter by making sure they received 4 hours of bright, indirect light from a window. The winter sun comes in at the perfect angle in my breakfast nook, making my orchids put on quite a show that lasts for weeks. You get quite a bang for your buck with these plants. Remember to water every 7-10 days in the morning. Try to place it in an east facing window for best results.
Hailing from Tanzania, these plants like the warm, dry conditions of your home in winter. Put them in east-facing window to get indirect or somewhat direct, bright light. Water regularly as they like moist, but not wet soil. Avoid getting water on the leaves. There is specific soil for African violets that you can use to improve the growing conditions. Mine loves the light in the east window in the winter and blooms profusely.
Cyclamen like well-drained soil but require even moisture. With the heat on in your house in winter, it may require more regular watering – touch the soil and if it is dry, give it some water. It too likes bright light and should be placed in an east-facing window for best results. But don’t let it get direct sunlight or the leaves will burn.
While these aren’t your typical ‘house plants,’ tropical hibiscus that overwinter indoors in a bright, sunny window will continue to bloom. They are larger plants, so you’ll need plenty of room for them, but they don’t disappoint. And who wouldn’t love a large, bright yellow, pink, or red flower in your house in the middle of winter? Keep an eye on soil moisture as the heat will dry out the soil more regularly. Water regularly.