Best Plants to Grow Indoors in the Winter

It’s winter outside, but that doesn’t mean we can’t earn the mood-elevating, health-enhancing benefits of tending to plants.

| November /December 2017

  • If properly cared for, certain flowers, culinary herbs and even citrus plants can be grown inside.
    Photo by iStock/IPGGutenbergUKLtd
  • Elegant orchid blooms can last for months.
    Photo by iStock/aimintang
  • Rieger begonias can bloom in colors ranging from white to fuschia.
    Photo by iStock/donkeyru
  • Blooming Christmas cacti only need watering when their sandy soil is completely dry.
    Photo by iStock/vermontalm
  • In a sunny south-facing window, some culinary herbs can thrive indoors in winter.
    Photo by iStock/IPGGutenbergUKLtd
  • Sprouts and microgreens are intensely nutritious and can be grown any time of the year.
    Photo by iStock/PeterHermesFurian
  • Meyer lemons, kaffir limes and kumquats are just a few citrus varieties that grow well in containers.
    Photo by iStock/mashabuba

Growing plants indoors adds vibrance and cheer to our homes in winter, and may even offer a squeeze or sprinkle of homegrown culinary delight to winter meals. Try your hand at growing these colorful blooms and easy edibles indoors this year, and reap the benefits of tending living plants throughout winter.

Winter Bloomers

If you’re a fan of cut flowers but want your beautiful blooms to last even longer, try these plants that add color to winter interiors.

Orchids
Though orchids require a slightly different care regimen than the average houseplant (they need less water and more fertilizer, for instance), their blooms can last for months, brightening any room with their tropical feel. Phalaenopsis (moth orchids) are easier to find than ever. Buy one with a few closed blooms to get the full flowering experience. Check out the American Orchid Society for reliable care instructions.

Rieger Begonia
Referred to as winter-flowering begonias, Rieger begonias produce boisterous blooms, ranging from white to fuschia, during short days. Place plants in an east- or west-facing window and fertilize monthly while in bloom. With proper care you may be able to get it to rebloom.



Christmas Cactus
Though now you can find hybrid varieties that bloom any time of year, these plants traditionally produce their vibrant blooms, ranging from salmon pink to yellow to ruby, closer to the holidays. Keep these succulents in sandy soil and only water when soil is completely dry.

Cyclamen
Reliable winter bloomers, cyclamens’ pink to red blooms are as stunning as their variegated foliage. The plant requires excellent drainage; water when soil is dry, avoiding getting water on leaves or stems. Fertilize bimonthly with water-soluble fertilizer mixed at half-strength.



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