The snow outside may prevent you from growing in your garden, but you don't need to spend the winter green-less! Keep reading for a list of the best indoor plants to grow in your home during this winter season.
In addition to being one of the most common and easy-to-find houseplants, aloe vera is also extremely affordable, and comes in a variety of sizes for you to pick and choose from. Aloe vera is commonly known for its medicinal purposes, which include: soothing burns, treating canker sores, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, and lowering blood sugar levels. Aloe vera is plant that is well-suited to being grown indoors in the winter, as it does not need direct light or consistent watering.
To best take care of your aloe vera plant, keep in indirect or artificial light, and water heavily once every month.
The snake plant is less commonly known than the aloe vera plant, but is just as easy to tend to in the wintertime. This plant only needs watering every 3-4 weeks, and does not need many hours of sunlight. To keep your snake plant fully healthy, carefully wipe leaves with a dry cloth to remove any dust that may collect on them. In addition, water your snake plant from the bottom of the pot, and make sure that the soil is completely dry before giving it a thorough watering. In the spring, your snake plant should be large enough that you can divide it into two or three pots.
To best take care of your snake plant, keep in direct sunlight for 1-2 hours every day, and water heavily once a month.
Cast Iron Plant
Native to Japan and used in many floral arrangements, the cast iron plant, or Aspidistra elatior, is one of the hardiest plants you can grow. The name comes from the Greek word "aspidion," meaning "shield." This is a testament to how tough this plant really is; the cast iron plant thrives on neglect, can survive in a large range of temperatures, and does not need direct sunlight to grow. The cast-iron plant will grow up to about 3 feet in height, with leaves reaching about 2 feet in length. The only care this plant needs is the occasional watering, and having its leaves wiped with dry cloth to clear any dust that may form.
While the cast iron plant can grow in a shaded area, to keep it thriving, keep your plant in low or filtered light. Only water when the soil is mostly dry, or every 2-3 weeks. The lower the light it is kept in, the less often you need to water it!
The Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or ZZ plant, is native to Africa, and became popular when Dutch nurseries began to mass propagate them in the late 90's. These plants thrive in dry conditions, in low or filtered light, and are slow growers. The ZZ plant is becoming increasingly popular because of the little maintenance it requires, and because it does not quickly outgrow its container like the snake plant does. The ZZ plant contains calcium oxalate, so prolonged contact with the ZZ plant can cause minor itching, burning, and swelling of the area in contact, which goes away when washed with soap and water. Despite this, the ZZ plant can purify the air in your home, removing toxins such as Xylene and Toluene, which can harm your nervous and immune systems. To protect yourself when re-potting or planting the ZZ plant, simply wear gloves, wash any area that comes in contact with the plant with soap and water, and try not to eat your ZZ plant!
Your ZZ plant can thrive in any light, from shade, to bright, direct light. Ensure that the soil of your ZZ plant is completely dry before watering, which could be 3-6 weeks depending on the brightness of the light it is in.
The peace lily is a tropical plant that can survive in low light, but needs consistent moisture to thrive. Although the tropical lilies can grow up to 6 feet tall, your household peace lily will only grow to be about 16 inches. Just like the ZZ plant, the peace lily contains calcium oxalate, but also purifies the air in your home from toxins such as carbon monoxide and benzene! Peace lilies are more sensitive flowers, and need to be kept away from windows to avoid direct sunlight and temperatures colder than 60 °F. These plants are also sensitive to fluoride, found in tap water, and so it is recommended you water your peace lily with filtered water to ensure it is thriving. If your plant is not flowering, give it a little more indirect light each day!
To ensure your peace lily thrives, water once a week with filtered water, and keep out of direct sunlight.
This plant is not just on our list because of the name, but also because of the low maintenance it requires in the wintertime! The Christmas cactus comes from the Southeast Region of Brazil, which includes São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. This plant received its name because of the time it flowers, which is in winter. The bright red, pink, and white blooms on the Christmas cactus can brighten up any chilly room, which is where you can put this draft-loving plant. Keep your Christmas cactus in a chilly room, but one where it can take in about 4-6 hours of indirect sunlight.
Water your Christmas cactus once every week in the winter. To encourage blooming, alternate between long periods of darkness and light, and keep the soil moist.
This plant is known for its hardiness, as it can tolerate dry air, low levels of light, and infrequent watering. This is one of the best plants to grow in the winter, as it can be in either low light or direct light. The Chinese evergreen is even so flexible that, if you do not have a well-lit space, placing a lamp above it will have the same effect as direct sunlight. In addition to this type of flexibility, the Chinese evergreen can thrive in temperatures from 70 to 50°F. Be careful to not over-water your evergreen, as the amount of water it needs depends on the amount of light it receives. If it gets just the right amount of water and light, your Chinese evergreen may begin to bloom! In the winter, wipe down the plant's leaves with a dry cloth, or run it under water and let it air dry, to make sure it does not foster dust.
Water your Chinese evergreen every other week, and be sure that the soil is constantly moist. Keep this lovely plant in dim light, and you may end up with some blooms!
This palm received its nickname, the "Victorian Palm," because of its popularity in Victorian England. This palm could survive the dark, cold British apartments, in which many Brits of the time were fascinated with growing exotic plants. The parlor palm is a great pick for an indoor plant in the winter, as they thrive in low or filtered light conditions, as well as temperatures ranging between 80 and 50°F. Despite surviving through tough conditions, the parlor palm has a very fragile root system, and should be repotted and handled with care. These plants are slow growers, and so should only need to be repotted about once every year. If you are looking for an exotic plant to bring some warmth to your home this winter, the parlor palm is the one for you!
To best care for your parlor palm, keep in low light conditions, and keep the soil moist at all times, as this plant is heavily sensitive to over-watering.
Last but not least, some of the best plants to grow indoors in the winter are succulents. There is a reason why these plants are so trendy today, and it is because they are impressively easy to take care of. Choose succulents that are naturally green, as these will need less light and care than other, colorful succulents. However, you should let your succulent sit in the brightest place you can find to ensure that it receives enough light during the day! Succulents are dormant in the cooler months, so do not need to be watered as often as they do in the warmer months of the year. When watering your succulents, use the "soak and dry" method. This is where you soak the roots of your succulents with water, and then allow the soil to dry for a few days. Do this every 5-7 days, and your succulent should thrive during the winter!
Use the "soak and dry" method to water your succulents, and always water from the bottom. Give these plants as much light as you can, and they should be thriving come springtime!
Happy growing to you all! Share pictures of your indoor garden with us on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #PLGKC.