During the winter, not much can survive in the cold weather on Staten Island, and gardening is probably one of the furthest things from your mind. At Moravian’s Florist, however, gardening is one of our favorite cold-weather activities, and it can be one of yours, too — as long as you do it indoors! We put together this list of our favorite plants that bloom in winter to help you get started.
Winter Rose Poinsettia
The poinsettia had to be at the top of this list because it’s one of the most popular plants that bloom during winter. The poinsettia responds to the shorter days, and the lack of sunlight causes it to bloom. White and red poinsettia varieties are the most desirable during the holidays, but they also come in pink, yellow, and orange. These unusual colors can create a fun and quirky holiday display. While most people think poinsettia flowers are the brightly colored bracts (leaf-like structures), they’re actually the small clusters of yellow found at the center of the bracts.
To keep your poinsettia’s bracts bright through the season, be sure to place your plant in a location that receives plenty of sunlight. Poinsettias also prefer to have moist soil, but it’s important not to let them get soggy while sitting in a pool of water.
These pretty plants begin blooming in fall and usually don’t stop until spring, making them a great choice for an indoor winter garden. They bloom in clusters of small, brightly colored flowers in red, pink, orange, yellow, and white.
Kalanchoe plants are desert succulents, so they fare really well in the warm, dry air of a home that has a furnace running. They need lots of direct sunlight and prefer not to be watered too frequently. Allow enough time between watering to make sure the soil dries completely.
Purple Double Stemmed Orchids
These exotic beauties were made for indoor winter gardens. Sensitive to temperature changes, they start to bloom when the weather gets cooler in the winter. Orchids bloom in just about every color and in a seemingly endless variety of shapes, sizes, and textures. In fact, it’s estimated that there are about 30,000 orchid species on Earth.
Although orchids look delicate, they’re actually fairly easy to take care of. Orchids need lots of indirect or filtered sunlight. Pot yours in a container that allows water to drain easily. Water regularly, but don’t allow it to sit in standing water. If the air in your home is on the drier side, we recommend misting your orchid with a specially formulated plant spray or water from time to time.
Amaryllis plants have big, bright-red flowers that are perfect for the holidays. They’re great as gifts but will also look lovely in your own home. Amaryllis plants grow from bulbs that can be replanted season after season. Once your flowers have wilted, store the bulbs in a cool, dry location to prevent rot. Plant them again in the fall and expect blooms in six to eight weeks.
Amaryllis plants are poisonous to cats, dogs, and people. Be sure to display yours in a location that small children and/or household pets can’t reach.
5. Christmas Cactus
While amaryllis flowers are poisonous, Christmas cactuses are one of the few kinds of plants that are safe for humans and pets, which makes them a great choice for families with small children, cats, or dogs. In addition to being safe, they’re also incredibly beautiful. Each year, your Christmas cactus will bloom around Christmastime with stunning tube-shaped flowers in shades of pink, orange, red, white, and purple.
Although cacti, these plants are actually native to the humid forests of Brazil. Since Christmas cacti aren’t originally from the desert, they don’t tolerate drought as well as cacti from more arid climates. Christmas cacti like to have lots of sunshine and frequent drinks of water. They don’t, however, appreciate sitting in standing water for long, so be sure to pot yours in a container that will allow the water to drain through the bottom.
How Indoor Gardening Helps Clean the Air
When you have your home sealed up tight to keep the warm air inside, pollution also gets trapped indoors. As a result, indoor air pollution can be a big problem in the winter. Luckily, there’s a simple, natural, and attractive way to filter your air — plants! When houseplants breathe in carbon dioxide and other pollutants, they filter them out and then replenish the oxygen in your home. Some of our favorites all-natural air cleaners are English ivy, bamboo palm, spider plants, dragon trees, and snake plants.
For more indoor gardening inspiration to get you happily and healthily through the winter, we welcome you to stop by Moravian Florist.