Whether sending them as a gift or using them to add an injection of colour to your home, flowers, and plants are a great source of cheer. Add in the delightful mix of different fragrances they provide and it’s easy to see why they’re such a popular choice for our interiors.
But how can you ensure they thrive all year round and continue to act as a constant source of cheer? Read on to discover our top houseplant picks, including several for the winter months, as well as a few handy tips for keeping them at their best…
1. Phalaenopsis Orchid
These exquisite yet dainty plants are not as flimsy as they first seem. With just a little care, they will bloom for months, and sometimes even into the spring. For best results and to ensure they thrive, place them in an area that benefits from bright, indirect light. They tend to prefer cooler locations when indoors.
To prevent buds from dropping, avoid exposing them to sudden temperature changes and give them a little water once per week. Even when they look like they’re on their way out, they’re likely still salvageable. At this point, place them in west or east-facing window and feed with orchid fertilizer.
When it gets to late summer, water them regularly, before allowing the leaves to dry out, or even wrinkle a little. This will prompt the plant to grow new buds. As soon as you spot a new stem, begin watering again and stop fertilizing.
If you’d like to invest in a Phalaenopsis Orchid, you’ll be pleased to know they’re available to buy online from florists and come complete with a metal pot to show them off in.
Poinsettia plants have close ties with Christmas and are incredibly popular throughout the festive season, but they can last the entire year with a little low-key maintenance. For best results, opt for plants that boast yellow blooms. These are called cyathia, and sit in the centre of the leaves.
Water the plant only when dry to the touch, as too much water can cause root rot, while to promote flowering again the following year, place in a spot that benefits from bright sunlight, such as on a window sill. When it gets to April, remove the coloured bracts (leaves), shape accordingly by pinching the tips, and feed every two weeks.
This process should be continued until early August. In September, move your plant to a room with only natural light and look to keep it there until October.
3. Christmas Cactus
These pretty plants are a favourite of those wishing to add a little greenery to their interiors. They can also last for many years when cared for correctly. Top tips include placing them in an area that boasts lots of bright light and only watering them when the soil is dry to the touch.
Avoid allowing your Christmas Cactus to sit in water too. After all, they are succulent, which means their pads can become mushy when they’re exposed to too much liquid.
For best results, check on them every seven to 10 days. To ensure your plant flowers again next year, place it outdoors for around three weeks between late summer and early autumn, bringing it back indoors before it gets too cold.
These plants prefer to be pot-bound, so there is no need to replant them. However, they do enjoy a little food every now and again, which necessitates fertilizing them monthly between April and October.
These plants enjoy the cooler months, which makes them a great option throughout the winter. They can flower for up to eight weeks when placed in the right environment. This necessitates an area offering bright, medium diffused light.
It’s wise to place cyclamens away from warm drafts, especially if you wish to prolong the flowering period. Always look to prune yellow leaves and spent flowers by disregarding the entire stem, which sits next to the foliage line to prolong its life.
Avoid getting water on the plant’s leaves and always water from the base. One proven way of doing this is to sit them in a saucer of water, allowing them to absorb the liquid for between 15 and 20 minutes before removing the plant.
The strong pine-like scent of this plant can add an injection of freshness to those drab winter days. Asides from its aesthetic qualities, Rosemary is the perfect savory addition to stews and roasts. When it comes to ensuring these plants thrive, it’s important to place them in a position that offers bright light, such as a west or south-facing window.
Simply put, the lighter the better for these plants, as if placed in a shady area, their leaves tend to drop. For best results, it’s wise to check the pot every few days to ensure the soil is evenly moist.
The biggest and most common mistake people make with rosemary is under-watering. These plants may originate from the Mediterranean, but still, enjoy a regular drink. To make this plant last longer, you can move it outside, provided that the area you live in is frost-free.
Waiting until late April or early May is usually a good month to do this. Fertilize every few months, opting for a slow-release pellet-style product, and allow it to thrive naturally during the summer. You can then move your Rosemary back indoors later in the year.
All of the above are great plant options for the home, especially if you’re looking for something to brighten up your home in winter.
As well as being able to thrive indoors, they add colour to various areas in the household and when placed in decorative vessels, can add interest to the likes of tabletops, hallways, mantle pieces, and window sills. Provided that you care for them in the correct manner, they promise years of joy too.
Sources: countryliving.com, goodhousekeeping.com