Winter-Blooming Plants for Indoors

Boost your mood and improve your health with indoor winter-blooming plants.


| November/December 2013



African violets

African violets are perfect little plants to grow near east or even north-facing windows.


Photo By iStock

Any day goes better when we have an optimistic frame of mind, and there is nothing like cheerful indoor plants blooming their hearts out to keep us humming a happy tune. “Plants calm us, reduce stress, increase pain tolerance and speed recovery from illnesses,” says Virginia Lohr, professor of horticulture at Washington State University. “They also improve mental functioning in children and reduce domestic violence. In short, plants make us better, more civil people,”

Studies show that indoor plants help clean and humidify air, raise oxygen levels and increase work productivity. Blooming houseplants also bring color to indoor spaces, making any room feel more vibrantly alive. At McGill University in Montreal, the faculty and students believe so strongly in the benefits of indoor plants that they have organized the Greening Indoor McGill Initiative, which distributes plants to any office or classroom that wants them. Try your hand at growing any of the following blooming beauties for a cheerier home and enhanced health.

1. Cyclamen

The shooting star flowers of cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum hybrids) bring lively color to tabletops or windowsills from midwinter to spring. Inexpensive greenhouse plants are available at garden centers and supermarkets in a range of colors from baby pink to bright red or white. New cyclamen blossoms with backswept petals replace old ones for two months or more, all the while framed by green heart-shaped leaves. Cyclamens grow best in a sunny window, but they don’t mind being used as temporary table centerpieces in dimly lit rooms.

Cyclamen Care Tips: Cyclamens are prone to fainting spells when soil becomes dry, but they quickly recover when given a drink. To keep new blossoms coming, snip off old ones with a small pair of scissors. It is best to discard cyclamens when they begin to deteriorate in spring, as old plants become pest magnets.

2. Orchids

Orchids have proven especially popular among McGill staffers, and with good reason. In particular, little skill is needed to grow gorgeous moth orchids (Phalaenopsis hybrids), which produce a parade of blossoms on a long, arching stem. If you buy a moth orchid on the brink of bloom, new flowers will open for two months or more. A period of rest follows, but with regular, light watering and a steady supply of natural light from a south- or west-facing window, moth orchids can be counted upon to rebloom at least once a year. 

Moth Orchid Care Tips: Moth orchids grow best in a bark-based orchid planting mix that drains quickly. When the tip of a bloom spike is cut back, secondary blooming branches often emerge from buds on the lower half of the stem.

cameron
5/3/2014 1:48:44 AM

All love flowers as they are very beautiful. In home many people have flower plants which enhance the value of that place. We also get several products from flowers. Among all flower orchids are best and most beautiful. Orchid flowers use for several purpose. The demand of flower is increasing day by day. This is not enough, we have to take care of these. http://gsplantfoods7.blogspot.in/2013/06/orchid-fertilizer-why-you-need-this.html






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