Indoor Winter Plants

The benefits of gardening are endless. With winter and dropping temperatures on the horizon, transitioning your warmer weather hobby to the cold can be done with indoor plants, as they can deliver instant personality, color and brightness to your home - even if the outdoors say otherwise. Plants can also be good for your health by keeping the air in your home clean, while successfully keeping a plant alive can boost confidence and self-esteem. Though plants can vary in size, they typically don't require large spaces; a well-lit windowsill is often a go-to choice, especially for tight quarters.
 
When it comes to ongoing care, a wide range of indoor plants are so low-maintenance that following a few simple rules will set a firm foundation for growth through the entire season. Checking on plants several times a week to observe changes, keeping fallen leaves and flowers cleaned up and using room temperature water for hydration are the first steps in maintaining your plants while indoors.
 
Whether you're working with a small space or looking to create your very own indoor escape from the dreariness of winter, there are plenty of plants to choose from to keep your gardening hobby thriving well into spring.

 

Orchid

At first glance, the unique look of an orchid may make it appear as if it requires a lot of upkeep, but don't be fooled. Unless your orchid is growing in the open air or is suspended in baskets where water can completely drain, it needs very little water. With just three ice cubes a week, the flower will continue to bloom. Orchids will last even longer if they're placed in a mild, warm and slightly humid environment, like the bathroom or a temperature-regulated sunroom.

Christmas Fern

Keeping its green color year-round, Christmas ferns are a great indoor plant for any seasonal display. For the best results, place your Christmas fern in a hanging basket in front of a window that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Evenly water soil and mist the plant to increase humidity and help your evergreen thrive.

Christmas Cactus

Unassuming throughout most of the year, this festive plant boasts red, white, pink, purple or orange flowers right around Christmas*. With proper care, the plant can live 20 to 30 years, and sometimes longer. Leave the plant outdoors until temperatures drop below 35 degrees Fahrenheit; the cold is what promotes budding. Though a cactus, this is not a desert plant and will not tolerate dry soil, so be sure to water the base of the plant regularly, allowing the top layer of soil to dry completely before watering again. Cacti should remain covered, or in a dark room, for at least 12 hours a day until tiny buds appear; this typically takes three to four weeks. As buds get bigger, move the cactus to your desired display area; this should be a spot where the plant can get four to six hours of indirect sunlight a day. Nights should be spent in a cool, dark space such as a closet or garage. The cactus should be fertilized and pruned after it flowers, and moved outdoors to a shady area for the summer. 
 
*Keep in mind that all Christmas cacti are different and may not bloom exactly on December 25. Whether or not you see flowers right on time for the holidays, it still provides a wonderful surprise to look forward to.